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Muslim, Trader, Nomad, SpyChina's Cold War and the People of the Tibetan Borderlands$
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Sulmaan Khan

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469621104

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469621104.001.0001

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Border Crossers

Border Crossers

The Sino-Nepali Frontier

Chapter:
(p.60) Chapter Three Border Crossers
Source:
Muslim, Trader, Nomad, Spy
Author(s):

Sulmaan Wasif Khan

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469621104.003.0004

This chapter examines how Sino-Nepali border crossings exposed the weakness of the People's Republic of China in the Tibetan borderlands, in part by triggering unpredictable responses from local authorities distant from the capital. It presents the stories of the Sino-Nepali border crossers, particularly Ma Tengbiao, and the dangers they posed: criminals fleeing retribution through hidden passes, spies linked to Taiwan and the United States, troops appearing where they were not supposed to be. The movements of the border crosses highlight the gap between center and periphery and show how events in the Tibetan borderlands redefined Chinese foreign policy during the Cold War—and indeed, China itself. The rest of this chapter discusses Zhou Enlai's trip to Nepal, the links between the Guomindang and Tibetan rebels, the impact of the fourth world on Chinese foreign policy, and how improved relations with Nepal opened up broader possibilities for Chinese diplomacy.

Keywords:   border crossings, People's Republic of China, Tibetan borderlands, Ma Tengbiao, spies, foreign policy, Nepal, Tibet, fourth world, diplomacy

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