ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Neville Maxwell's 'Facts'and Silences

A rejoinder to Neville Maxwell's "Olaf Caroe's Fabrication of the 'McMahon Line'" (EPW, 6 August 2016) claims that there are many factual inconsistencies. The author also asserts that Maxwell deliberately silences alternate explanations to his claims.

Neville Maxwell’s “Olaf Caroe’s Fabrication of the ‘McMahon Line’ ” (EPW, 6 August 2016) is well written and articulate, but there are too many factual inconsistencies and deliberate silencing of alternate explanations to his claims. Some of these have been deliberate and persistent in all of the author’s writings spanning more than half a century. There is nothing that the author has written here, or the charges that he makes, which are different from what he has written 50 years ago. They have only been recycled to make them look current and relevant.

Without any qualification, Maxwell presumes Tibet was Chinese territory all throughout history, and has little use for what the Tibetans themselves think on the matter. China did always claim this, but as early as the closing decade of the 19th century Viceroy Lord Dufferin had come to the conclusion that China’s claim of control over Tibet was fiction and that Tibetan issues should be pursued with Tibet directly. Dufferin came to this conclusion following China’s inability to do anything to make Tibet honour two treaties the British signed with China in 1890 and 1893, the first on fixing the boundary of its protectorate state of Sikkim with Tibet and the second on regulation of trade between Tibet and India at Yatung in the Chumbi Valley.

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