Nehru and then Defence Minister Krishna Menon in a pensive mood at the United Nations

Premier Zhou Enlai's Visit To India!

Premier Zhou Enlai was no stranger to India as he had already visited Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu in 1956.

Zhou was reportedly given a rousing welcome in Chennai during his visit at the time.

The Warning

According to an internal note declassified by the Chinese government, in a meeting between Chinese vice-foreign minister Zhang Hanfu and R. Nehru, ambassador to China, the Chinese official reportedly said that “the border issue was serious, and if India did not withdraw troops, it should bear all the results.”

'Turning Point'

The internal document suggests that the failure of the meeting between R.K. Nehru and foreign minister Chen Yi and India's Defence Minister V.K. Krishna Menon was seen as a major "turning point".

'China Did Not Give Sufficient Warning'

R.K Nehru in fact reportedly reflected in the July meeting to conclude that it was not as if China “did not give us sufficient warning” of a military attack which eventually took place on October 20, 1962, therefore dismissing the conspiracy theories of a betrayal.

Serious Military Conflict

Chinese vice-foreign minister Zhang had reportedly said that "it is bound to lead to a serious military conflict" in his notes.

India in all likelihood underestimated the nature and scale of the attack even as it was poorly prepared for the impending Chinese aggression.

Countries To Aid India

In the declassified note by the Chinese, it said: “Since the implementation of the Second Five-Year Plan in April 1956, India’s economy has been deteriorating and its economic policy has moved increasingly towards the right,” adding,". “The gap between the rich and the poor is growing. The road of Indian bourgeois reformism has become narrower and narrower.”

“The US-led imperialist countries are taking advantage of India’s economic difficulties and tightening control over India through aid and private investment. In early 1958, the United States provided for the first time a large number of loans to India to buy equipment. The US also colluded with Britain, West Germany, Japan, Canada, and other countries to aid India."

Meeting With Morarji Desai

Zhou's meeting with Nehru on April 25, 1960 ended without any result. The Chinese premier's meeting with the then finance minister of India Morarji Desai also did not bear any result.

India's Canberras, Gnats And Hunters

Finally things came to a head as India-China border war started in the upper Himalayas in October, 1962, as the Chinese army - prepared and ready - took Indian troops by surprise leading to a crushing defeat of Indian forces which did not use its air power despite having Hunters and Canberras. 

There were low-intensity border clashes already taking place since 1959 but post-failure of the talks in April 1960, India and China settled their differences with arms with disastrous consequences for India.