Disputes over the line of the border with Tibet are arguably a result of British colonialism.

A deal was reached in 1914 to mark out the border between what was then British-controlled India and Tibet – the so-called McMahon Line.

The agreement was never recognised by China, but it was open to a land swap deal in which India could keep what it claims on the eastern stretches of the two countries border, with China keeping Aksai Chin in the west. The western section of the border was non-negotiable for Beijing as it provided the best access into Tibet from the rest of China.

New Delhi rejected any suggestion of giving up territory in contested areas, deeming them inviolable parts of the nation’s territory.

Chinese and Indian troops fought a war in 1962 after a series of skirmishes heightened tensions on the border, which largely ended in stalemate. Beijing argues the Convention of Calcutta, dated 1890, set out the Sikkim issue and that there should be no dispute about the territory on which China’s troops were trying to build the road.