Talk:South Tibet dispute

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Redirect to Arunachal Pradesh[edit]

Chadsnook removed the redirect to Arunachal Pradesh with the explanation "Undid revision 272585269 by Nat Krause (talk) Can't find clear conclusion on either talk page that this should be redirected". There has never been a clear conclusion on this talk page about anything. You will certainly find no clear conclusion that the article should exist in its current form. Meanwhile, the article just sits and stews. This article is and always has been a trainwreck, and the talk page is even worse. It should be redirected to Arunachal Pradesh or perhaps to Tibet until someone volunteers to perform a thorough rewrite with actual, valid citations (preferably more than one, since, so far, the Asia Times Online article is the only one that actually links the name "South Tibet" to the territorial dispute).—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 22:39, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

I would support merging some portion of it into Tibet, the one citation and some mention that there actually is a problem or dispute regarding an area of land that China also claims. I do object to redirecting the whole entire issue out of existence by essentially saying through a redirect that south Tibet, or South Tibet is actually an Indian state. —Mattisse (Talk) 22:52, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
User Nat Krause, If you agree there is no conclusion this article should be redirected to Arunachal Pradesh, why would you redirect it? Wouldn't that make more confusion? Besides what Mattisse said, I also think redirecting South Tibet to Arunachal Pradesh is similar to redirecting Taiwan to Republic of China. Chadsnook (talk) 02:10, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
I could simply ask you the same question "if you agree there is no conclusion to undo the redirect, why would you undo it?", but where does that leave us? What is your proposed solution? I think I would prefer redirecting to Tibet, unless a new version of the article is available.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 05:27, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
What kind of logic is that? I did not agree "there is no conclusion to undo the redirect". You want to redirect this page to Arunachal Pradesh, then you did it before you and other editors come to an agreement the redirect should be done. You guys had a discussion on "whether this page should be redirected" and ended up with no conclusion because you do not agree with each other, that's why I undid your redirect. Because the result of your discussion is "no conclusion". There was no discussion took place on "whether the redirect should be undo or not" in the first place, of course there is "no conclusion" for this, but that's not the result of the discussion, that's just because the discussion never took place, therefore, how can i agree with something that never happened? I just said above that I think redirecting South Tibet to Arunachal Pradesh creates confusion. Now you are confusing yourself. You first wanted to redirect South Tibet to Arunachal Pradesh, now you wanted to redirect South Tibet to Tibet, do you think Arunachal Pradesh is the same thing with Tibet? Chadsnook (talk) 11:14, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
The fact that your edit was not discussed beforehand doesn't vitiate the fact that there was no consensus for it on the talk page—that's not an argument in its favour. I don't mind you being bold, but I wish you'd extend me the same courtesy.
A redirect does not necessarily imply that the two terms in question are synonyms. I wouldn't argue that "South Tibet" is a synonym for "Tibet", so there is no point in trying to apply a principle of transitivity here ("Arunachal Pradesh" = "South Tibet" = "Tibet").—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 20:43, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
There are many imperfect articles on Wikipedia. South Tibet may be one of them. However, the fact is that there is a dispute over the land the article South Tibet describes between China and India. Redirecting the dispute out of existence by redirecting the article to Arunachal Pradesh removes the article on the dispute from Wikipedia. If someone searches for South Tibet, is it satisfactory that they get Arunachal Pradesh instead? To me, that is confusing. I believe that there will then be attempts to create an article called South Tibet because the term is used to refer to the area under dispute, and this situation needs an explanation. I agree that such a redirect can be seen as analogous to redirecting Taiwan to Republic of China. —Mattisse (Talk) 21:08, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't really understand the point of the argument that "there are many imperfect articles on Wikipedia." This is one of them, and I think changing it into a redirect constitutes an improvement. I think it is entirely unsatisfactory that someone searching for South Tibet finds an article that blatantly contradicts itself and cites sources such as [1] and [2] (the latter being a news article which has no relevance to "South Tibet" at all—who added this stuff?).
It looks like this article wants to be two different things: the northern section is a discussion of territorial disputes between China and India and then a shorter southern section wants to discuss something called "South Tibet" which apparently includes Shigatse, among other places. Why don't we split the former out into a new article titled territorial disputes between India and China or something like that? The section about "South Tibet" is of no value because there's no one place which is reliably called by that name. I would suggest simply redirecting it to Tibet. Perhaps it could be made a disambiguation page linking to Tibet, Arunachal Pradesh, and the article on the dispute.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 00:50, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

This page is still under development. It is true the overall quality of this article is not that great, but that does not mean it should be redirected to another page, not mentioning it's not even clear which page it should be redirected too. Direct to either Arunachal Pradesh or to Tibet would not only confuse people as they are not talking about the same things, but also a redirect would cause the dispute out of existence. For sure in the future others would want to create this article again.

Your advice of separating this article sounds good to me. The part which introduce the southern part of Tibet can probably merger into other existing articles if other editors agree it is of little value to be separated. However, I am not sure the main part of this article (the dispute section) can be given another name other than South Tibet. It is for sure the new article cannot be called territorial disputes between India and China, this part is only the eastern part of the dispute land, the other part being Aksai Chin. Unless Aksai Chin merge with this article and does not exist separately, it should not be called territorial disputes between India and China.

The reason you do not find much information with the name South Tibet is because it's not an English name, it's just an informal translation from the Chinese name 藏南. Wikipedia has many examples of these kind of articles that there is no official translation, but when writing the article in another language in Wikipedia, the editors translate themselves. eg. China proper does not have an official Chinese name, editors had a huge discussion and came up with the name 中国本部,it is still not an official translation of the phrase China proper, but it is how Wikipedia works. Google did not have an official Chinese name until 2006, before that, people just use different versions of unofficial Chinese name until Google gave an official Chinese name 谷哥, which was never used before. It is a matter of fact that many English items do not have Chinese names yet and Chinese items do not have English names yet. Wikipedia is likely to be the first popular media in using these unofficially translated names. This area which is dispute between China and India probably did not even have an official Chinese name to call the whole area back in the days when the McMahon Line was drawn, just different names to call different parts of this area. This is not unusual for disputed areas of different countries. From what I know, it is considered by the Chinese government to be the southern part of three counties in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Chinese call the whole area 藏南, which literally means Tibet South, to understand it with Chinese grammar, this word means South Tibet in English. The South Tibet area existed as a historical place which not only covers slightly different areas from Arunachal Pradesh, but also has a different historical meaning. That's why this article should exist as South Tibet independently in English Wikipedia. Chadsnook (talk) 22:22, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree with this assessment. Chadsnook has explained the situation very well. It seems sometimes to be called "Zangnan" in newspapers. —Mattisse (Talk) 21:12, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
This article already mentions the dispute over Aksai Chin. If that section needs a bit of expansion, that doesn't strike me as a big problem comparatively. It would seem sensible to have an article in each case about the place, viz Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin and then an article about the territorial conflict. I'm not sure what you mean by the "different historical meaning" of "South Tibet" as opposed to "Arunachal Pradesh". Can you elaborate?
If 藏南 is a common name in Chinese, why has no one produced a useable source for this article in the three years since its creation?
I would imagine that the Chinese Wikipedia has significantly different habits regarding how to handle articles based on foreign terms than the English does. In this case, if it is common in Chinese, we might want to work with the term "Zangnan" instead of an English calque.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 19:57, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
South Tibet was an area of Tibet, it existed as a certain region of Tibet in the past. Arunachal Pradesh is an India state founded in the 70s. India govt named a place around the same area of South Tibet plus a few other places Arunachal Pradesh. Asking why two articles exist separately is like asking why Tibet and Tibet Autonomous Region exist separately. In terms of whether it should be called Zangnan or South Tibet is really up to the people who use it. Whichever translation is more common then it should be used. Chadsnook (talk) 08:38, 2 March 2009 (UTC)


I moved the article (as you can see!) because it is really about the dispute over the region. Which, imo, is a fairly serious dispute so it should have an article of its own. Any geographical or ethnographic material should go in the Arunachal Pradesh article (I've also redirect South Tibet to that article) because, regardless of its name, we don't want region specific information in multiple places. --regentspark (comment) 15:47, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

I moved the article from Arunachal Pradesh dispute to South Tibet dispute, and redirected South Tibet back to this article because
  • 1. Original title of this article was South Tibet, and there was no consensus to rename or redirect it.
  • 2. Not all of Arunachal Pradesh is disputed, redirecting South Tibet to AP reinforces the common misconception that all of AP is disputed.
  • 3. The dispute started (1914) long before AP was created (1986).
--Zanhe (talk) 21:12, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, actually the original version of this article was a redirect to Arunachal Pradesh: Pandatshang (talk) 00:28, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
True. That was seven years ago, before any content was created on this page. --Zanhe (talk) 00:44, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Thing is this article makes no sense under "South Tibet dispute". The region under dispute is Arunachal Pradesh. India, for example, does not lay claim to any part outside Arunachal Pradesh. Nothing else is under dispute. --regentspark (comment) 22:24, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Move not made – YET, it is clear from the discussion that some sort of adjustments need to be made relative to WP article titles and content concerning South Tibet issues. But from this rather lengthy discussion, what those specific adjustments are is not explicitly clear, too many alternatives in play. Going backwards as Zahne suggests isn’t the way forward. Both Greg Pandatshang and Pseudois have proposed reasonable approaches to resolution but the clarity or consensus on that resolution isn’t evident yet. I am asking that either Greg or Pseudois take the lead here and open another RM with very explicit, unbiased move proposals for each of the article titles in question along with supporting rationale. I think it’s in the discussion already, but terribly difficult to find. Then I ask that all the participants weigh-in with their support/oppose positions on the moves, etc. that either Greg or Pseudois are proposing without going too far outside the proposals. Policy-based, well sourced, unemotional rationales will win the day. Mike Cline (talk) 17:53, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

South Tibet disputeArunachal Pradesh dispute – India and China dispute ownership of the territory currently known as Arunachal Pradesh. The dispute is generally known as the Arunachal Pradesh dispute (15,700 google search results for the exact phrase) and very rarely (8 google results, including wikipedia) as the South Tibet dispute. Regardless of which side is correct, we should use the more accepted name per WP:AT. regentspark (comment) 22:32, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose. As we can see from the section above, the move description is misleading. China does not dispute the whole of AP state (which was created in 1986; the dispute started with China's loss of effective control in 1914). There is already a term that refers precisely to the disputed area (that is "South Tibet"). India disputes China's ownership of Aksai Chin; Aksai Chin is administered as part of Xinjiang, would we call that then the "Xinjiang dispute"? I think we should revert to the title that this article was at before you added "dispute", which was "South Tibet". The term is precise and common enough in the literature, and it doesn't prejudice the naming of the dispute with modern mismatched administrative divisions (India's Arunachal Pradesh State on one side; China's Shannan and Nyinchi prefectures on the other). Shrigley (talk) 22:48, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Agree with Shrigley that the article should revert to its original title which was South Tibet. --Zanhe (talk) 23:40, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - an article named "South Tibet" had existed here since 2006, and in 2009 there was discussion to redirect it to Arunachal Pradesh and the majority opinion was against it. However, in November 2011 administrator (who's now requesting the current move) Regentspark unilaterally decided to move the article to Arunachal Pradesh dispute and redirect South Tibet to Arunachal Pradesh, against the majority opinion and without any discussion. As an administrator, Regentspark should have known better than to take such a controversial move without first seeking consensus. Below are the reasons why the proposed move is ill-advised:
  • 1. The dispute started in 1914, 72 years before Arunachal Pradesh was created in 1986. As far as the dispute is concerned, the term South Tibet has been in use for far longer than Arunachal Pradesh.
  • 2. Calling the article Arunachal Pradesh dispute or redirecting South Tibet to Arunachal Pradesh would reinforce the common misconception that all of Arunachal Pradesh is disputed, which is not the case. On the other hand, the term South Tibet refers exclusively to the disputed territory and excludes the non-disputed parts of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • 3. The original article had existed under South Tibet for 6 years, and in prior discussions a proposal to redirect it to Arunachal Pradesh was already rejected.
By the way, my google search for the term South Tibet dispute yields 11.3 million results. But in this case Google is not a neutral tool as it would show most Indian sources and virtually none of the Chinese sources. --Zanhe (talk) 23:37, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree that "South Tibet" is probably more geographically precise but it is not for Wikipedia editors to make determinations primarily on this basis. It seems that "South Tibet is rarely used in English sources (note WP:UCN—use common names) to describe the dispute and, when it is, it is used in scare quotes to describe China's claims. For example, from The Economist, "...the state of Arunachal Pradesh. In recent years Chinese officials have taken to calling part of the same area “South Tibet”, to Indian fury,..."[3] Having an article or a section of one describing the geography of "South Tibet" is needed information but it might not be the best name for an article on the dispute. —  AjaxSmack  00:44, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment:
1) As per Wikipedia:COMMONNAME, the previous name Arunachal Pradesh dispute should be preferred to the new name (15,700 google search results versus 8 google results). This argument alone should be enough to put an end to the discussion.
2) As per WP:BRD, it might be wiser revert to the previous title before starting a move discussion.
3) South Tibet is very ambiguous and may refer to several different concepts. It is very often used to refer to the southern part of Tibet, including many areas of the Tibet Autonomous Region not under dispute. For many English readers, "south Tibet" is a geographical definition which has little to do with the "political entity" called "South Tibet". This has already been discussed a lot before (see above sections).
4) The current article is in a horrible condition, with a huge amount of wrong, unrelated and/or unsourced materials. I noticed that a lot of additions date back from this edit where the edit summary is misleadingly suggesting that it was a blanking reversion. For example, 90% of the information under "Description" is wrong or unrelated, and even the lead contain wrong information (e.g. about the Monpa) and posterior edits do not reflect the content of the sources given.
5) The analogy with "Aksai Chin / Xinjiang" is also misleading, as the term Aksai Chin is used by all parts in conflict, while the term "South Tibet" is only used by one of the three parties involved (People's Republic of China, but not by the Republic of China and the Republic of India).
6) The current article McMahon Line is much more complete and accurate than the "Arunachal/South Tibet dispute" article. We might simply delete this article as it appears redundant.--Pseudois (talk) 05:35, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Your sixth point is worth further consideration. The current South Tibet dispute article contains very little unique content and that that is can be merged into McMahon Line. That article would warrant a section on "South Tibet" with the material from the current "Description" section so that a reader encountering this phrase could familiarise himself with the term. —  AjaxSmack  19:20, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
@AjaxSmack. 90% of the current description does not refer to the disputed area, but to the middle reach of the Yarlung Tsangpo valley between Saga and Mainling. This description has absolutely no link with the disputed area. Only the last paragraph of this section (2 lines out of 14 on my browser) does refer to the disputed area. The term "South Tibet" does indeed refer to different concepts, and the only solution IMHO is to create a disambiguation page.--Pseudois (talk) 05:58, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
    • The only choices aren't "Arunachal Pradesh dispute" and "South Tibet dispute". If we were going by common name, "Sino-Indian border dispute" would be best (see below), but we would lose more precision. So it's a trade-off between commonality and accuracy. If we wanted to follow BRD, then we should revert to "South Tibet", which was the long-stable name before the "dispute" mess. If you think any information in this article is "wrong", then you are welcome to correct it, but with this dispute over scope, now might not be the best time. As for "Aksai Chin", China does not use this name; in fact it does not recognize India's assertion that it is a part of "Kashmir"; China refers to the territory as a normal part of Hotan County. Shrigley (talk) 19:24, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Sino-Indian border dispute sounds much more appropriate. Of course, that article would then contain more than just the dispute over this particular region. Regarding the point above that China does not dispute the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh, regardless of that it appears that the dispute is commonly known as the Arunachal Pradesh dispute and very rarely known by any other name. When there is a common English name for something, the policy is to use that regardless of correctness (cf., The term most typically used in reliable sources is preferred to technically correct but rarer forms). --regentspark (comment) 22:54, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Comment: Regentspark, you're dodging the the main issue here: this article was originally located at South Tibet, about the disputed territory rather than the dispute itself, until you unilaterally moved it to Arunachal Pradesh dispute and redirected South Tibet to Arunachal Pradesh without any discussion, knowing well that such actions cannot be undone by editors without administrator privileges. This is despite the fact that a similar proposal was officially rejected and a more recent discussion to do the same was again rejected. And you just went ahead and made the move and redirection anyway in a blatant violation of Wikipedia policies, showing tremendous disrespect of your fellow Wikipedians. As an administrator you are undoubtedly aware of the policies you were violating. I urge you to provide us a satisfactory explanation of your actions, and to remedy the situation by moving the article back to its original location at South Tibet. If no satisfactory steps are taken, I would have no choice but to file an official complaint against you on WP:ANI. --Zanhe (talk) 20:00, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
1) I agree with you that there are more choice than "Arunachal Pradesh dispute" and "South Tibet dispute". Please have a look at my proposal below. My comment did refer to the move request and "Arunachal Pradesh dispture" is for sure better than "South Tibet dispute" as per Wikipedia:COMMONNAME and other reasons mentioned above. "Sino-Indian border dispute" or "Sino-Indian territorial dispute" does also sound better to me.
2) Regarding precision, I don't agree with you. Keeping "South Tibet" in the title would be the most confusing title for the readership. Even Chinese authors use the term "South Tibet" to discribe different concepts. The most common use of "South Tibet" has little or nothing to do with the area under dispute, but does simply refer to the geographic area in the southern part of Tibet. I think this edit is from you. It is the best example of the confusion between the (mostly) geographic and the (mostly) political definition of South Tibet. In any case "Arunachal Pradesh dispute" would be more accurate than "South Tibet dispute" as the major part of Arunachal Pradesh is disputed while only a very small part of "South Tibet" (by your geographic definition) is disputed. The most accurate would be to rename the article as "Sino-Indian territorial dispute in the Eastern Himalaya" as I had proposed below.
3) Correction of wrong information: Basically all (but the last two lines) of the "Description" section is wrong. Two sentences in the lead are also completely wrong (the first sentence and the sentence about the Monpa). I did not make the correction as I agree with you that we should first decide what to do with this article before correcting it.
4) Regarding Aksai Chin, you may want to read the article in both English and Chinese WP.--Pseudois (talk) 06:46, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There should be an article entitled South Tibet describing where this word comes from and what it means. Material on the border dispute properly goes under Sino-Indian border dispute. (Thanks for the kind words on McMahon Line, since this article is primarily my work.) IMO, the Sino-Indian War article places undue emphasis on the border dispute. So it contains material that may be removed and used as the nucleus of a new article. When this dispute was most active, the area was called "NEFA". So "Arunachal Pradesh" is not the most natural way to describe the disputed area. The name "South Tibet" is rarely-used in English and quite confusing. Tawang is the only district in the disputed area that could be considered Tibetan. Kauffner (talk) 05:32, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
As you said, "South Tibet" is rarely used in English, and can refer to different concepts:
a) The Southern Part of Tibet (matching quite well with the current "Description" section of the article or to the disputed area). Please check also the reference No 14 given in the article, which basically covers the Yarlung Tsangpo valley between Saga and Mainling (Shigatse, Lhoka and Nyangtri/Nyingchi Prefectures).
b) South Tibet can also only refer to the Yarlung Tsangpo valley between the confluence with the Kyi Chu up to the Tsangpo Cany (covering most of Lhoka and Nyangtri Prefectures but exluding all of Shigatse Prefecture
c) It can also sometimes refer to the the counties (five if I am not wrong) of Lhoka and Nyangtri Prefecture which "include" some territories currently in Arunachal Pradesh
d) It sometimes only refers to the areas of Arunachal Pradesh claimed by China.
I don't think any of these definitions prevail in the litterature, so "South Tibet" should be a disambiguation page; sub-articles (if existing) should have a non-ambiguous title.--Pseudois (talk) 07:14, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Xizang Nan Lu (South Tibet Road) is a well-known road in Shanghai with a large subway station, so even Chinese who have only a sketchy knowledge of Tibet are quite familiar this term. The Chinese also name a lot of stuff "Diaoyutai" -- another one of these Mao-era disputes Beijing keeps alive so that the serfs remain distracted and entertained. Kauffner (talk) 11:50, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Humm, "South Tibet Road" or "Tibet South Road"? :)--Pseudois (talk) 13:02, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
The sign at the station says, "西藏南路 South Xizang Road". But there is also a Xizang Bei Lu (North Tibet Road), so this is probably not relevant after all. Kauffner (talk) 15:35, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
No, it is really Tibet South Road (Xizang Nanlu), or if you prefer the southern part of "Tibet Street". Just follow the street north and you will find Tibet Middle Road (Xizang Zhonglu) and further north Tibet North Road (Xizang Beilu). Nothing to do with South Tibet. Anyway, this is just anecdotal. My main point in all this discussion was that "South Tibet" may refer to different concepts, and that a disambiguation page is necessary as none of the various possible definitions is prevailing over the others.--Pseudois (talk) 15:43, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I did not see your last edit while posting the comment above. All good now (most streets are divided into South-(Central)-North or East-(Central)-West).--Pseudois (talk) 15:48, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
The region is usually given as Zàngnán. The directional follows the noun here as well, so that doesn't tell you anything. After all, Tibet Road can be thought of as either one street with three sections, or as three streets. Kauffner (talk) 04:06, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Let's move beyond this discussion about street naming. What I am not sure is what you mean exactly with "The region"? I think this is the root of many misunderstanding as different editors understand different concepts under the name of "South Tibet". Hence my proposal to make it a disambiguation page (sorry for lobbying so much for my own proposal...)--Pseudois (talk) 05:16, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Proposal: The reason we are in this mess right now is because the administrator RegentsPark moved this page from its original location of South Tibet to Arunachal Pradesh dispute, without seeking consensus and against the outcomes of previous discussions, in a blatant violation of Wikipedia policies. I think the fair and proper way to deal with the issue is to first undo the damage by moving this page back to its original location. Any proposal to move, merge, or redirect the page should be properly started in a new request, a step that RegentsPark should have taken in the first place. Regardless of our personal opinions on the issue at hand, blatant violations of Wikipedia policies should simply not be tolerated, especially when perpetrated by someone who's been trusted by the community with administrator privileges. --Zanhe (talk) 20:42, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Zanhe, why not working all together on a constructive solution? The issue is a bit more complex than you are discribing, as it is now five years that the discussion is going on, and there are almost as many opinions about what "South Tibet" means as editors involved. The litterature is also using the term "South Tibet" with different meanings. I really think that the only reasonable option, considering Wikipedia Encyclopaedic purpose, is to make "South Tibet" a disambiguation page. Please have a look at the 4 possible definitions I proposed above. I have good sources for the definitions a) and b), but would still need reliable sources in English for definition c) and d), so that we can include it in the disambiguation page. Then nothing would stop you to create/update a specific page regarding any of the definitions if you think that the topic is not covered yet. Thank you. --Pseudois (talk) 04:07, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

An attempt to find a neutral solution[edit]

  • Proposal:
I would like to propose a neutral alternative which I think could gain consensus, as the previous/present situation with South Tibet, Arunachal Pradesh dispute and South Tibet dispute is unlikely to gain such consensus.
1) South Tibet dispute and Arunachal Pradesh dispute should be renamed to a neutral title containing both South Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh names, or none of them: such as South Tibet / Arunachal Pradesh dispute, Arunashal Pradesh / South Tibet dispute or Sino-Indian Territorial dispute in the Eastern Himalaya. None of these titles would respect Wikipedia:COMMONNAME, but it would at least respect WP:NPOV. The current title does respect none of them, and is not acceptable by WP standards. If no consensus can be found for a neutral title, then I would favour RegentsPark's option to rever to the more common Arunachal Pradesh dispute. IMHO South Tibet dispute is not acceptable as it is neither neutral nor common, on top of being confusing for the average English reader.
2) South Tibet should become a disambiguation page with links to: a) Arunachal Pradesh (= the areas claimed by the People's Republic of China as part of the current Tibet Autonomous Region and covering most of the current Indian state of Arunashal Pradesh , b) Geography of Tibet (=the southern part of Tibet located between the Himalaya and Transhimalaya mountain ranges) , c) South Tibet / Arunachal Pradesh Dispute (=the territorial dispute regarding areas administered by the Republic of India and claimed by both the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China).--Pseudois (talk) 05:35, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
    • I disagree that "South Tibet dispute" is "confusing", any more than South Africa or North Korea is confusing. I also wonder whether you're drawing an arbitrary line (Himalaya and Transhimalaya) between "northern" and "southern" Tibet, or if you are basing this off of sources. In any case, we're forgetting the purpose of this article. As you mentioned in the above section, McMahon Line and Simla Accord (1914) contain most of the information about the "dispute". This article is not about the "dispute"; it's about the geographically and culturally Tibetan region that is occupied by India, and which has no name other than "South Tibet". Shrigley (talk) 19:24, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
South Africa and North Korea are official names used by governments and other sources. I'm not sure where the term "South Tibet" comes from. Previous discussion on this page showed very few references for it in this sense.
Also, is the disputed territory geographically and culturally Tibetan? I think it is mostly inhabited by so-called Lhobas.—Greg Pandatshang (talk) 03:35, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
@Shrigley: I'm very confused now, as you wrote that "it's about the geographically and culturally Tibetan region that is occupied by India" but at the same time the description you have provided in the article is referring to a totally different geographic area, basically the Yarlung Tsangpo valley between Saga and Mainling. This is a 1200km (900km on a straight line) long region which has nothing to do with "the geographically and culturally Tibetan region that is occupied by India". Can you please define precisely what you mean with "South Tibet", otherwise it would be very difficult to move ahead in the discussion? Thank you.--Pseudois (talk) 07:26, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
PS @ Shrigley: My source for the definition a) - see above- of "South Tibet" is actually your own addition under "Description": "The Gangdisê and Nyainqêntanglha mountain ranges (sometimes referred to as "Trans-Himalaya") separate South Tibet from North Tibet (Chinese: Zàngběi 藏北)". On page 31, the book says: "Like a comparatively sunken between the Himalaya and the Gandise as well as the Nyainqenthangla Mountains, the bottom of the valley...". I hope this will help clarify.--Pseudois (talk) 07:35, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

My suggestion would be that that the useful text in this article should be merged into other relevant articles: about the dispute, merged to McMahon Line and Origins of the Sino-Indian border dispute; about southern Tibet in general, to Tibet; about the cultural and geographic traits of Tawang, to Tawang district; about the cultural and geographic traits of the disputed area in general, to Arunachal Pradesh. South Tibet would become a disambiguation as Pseudois suggested.—Greg Pandatshang (talk) 01:16, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

That sounds entirely reasonable, except that there seems to be little in this article that is not already better covered in those articles. Kanguole 13:38, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Agree to Pseudois's proposal. The retention of the term South Tibet is incorrect due to the ambiguity. The term is hardly known and the article needs to be split to enrich the more relevant articles. AshLin (talk) 08:03, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Agree to Greg Pandatshang's version of the Pseudois proposal. Using both names in the title is probably too cumbersome and, since the article is about a dispute rather than a region, it makes perfect sense to include information about it in the various relevant articles. South Tibet would then, properly, be a disambiguation page. --regentspark (comment) 14:57, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I do also agree with Greg Pandatshang's proposal. Regarding the disambiguation page I proposed, I have now some concerns, as I made a fair amount of research and couldn't find much litterature references about the term "South Tibet" in English, especially for the definitions dealing with the disputed area (most references to South Tibet are dealing with the Southern part of Tibet, essentially covering the Brahmaputra / Yarlung Tsangpo valley). I think that if we don't find reliable literature references for the narrower definition of "South Tibet" ("areas of AP claimed by China"), it will lack sufficient notability for being included in WP and we might simply forget about the disambiguation page and make "South Tibet" a redirect to "Yarlung Tsangpo" (instead of the current redirect to "Arunachal Pradesh"). I still hope that someone can find some good references, so let's keep the proposal open for some more time. I have asked user Shrigley for help to provide references for the definition he has proposed.--Pseudois (talk) 15:21, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
This search finds several instances of the term with that meaning, but always just saying that's what China calls its claim rather than using it directly. (They also all seem to be post-2000.) The geological sense of the term is quite precise, namely the land between the Himalaya and the Bangong suture (apparently South Tibet was a separate microcontinent during the Mesozoic). When biologists use the term, they seem to be talking about the Yarlung Tsangpo valley (which is a similar area). Kanguole 16:12, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, but most of the sources I could check are also quite confused. For example the first reference says that China claims that much of it (AP), called Zangnan (south Tibet) or Shannan (south mountain) district by China, is part of TAR. This is assimilating Shannan (Lhoka) Prefecture with South Tibet, while the largest part of the claimed area do not belong to Shannan but to Nyingchi Prefecture... For other books, "AP = South Tibet", while for other "AP is part of South Tibet". An then we have the slightly more precise geographic/geologic defintion which is fairly well described in this older version of the article.--Pseudois (talk) 16:59, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Response to proposal:

  • From reading the discussion above, I have a feeling that some among us are trying to deny the existence of the very concept of South Tibet. It was even said that it might not be notable enough for WP. But how can a Sri Lanka-sized territory disputed by the world's two most populous countries lack notability? Please folks, don't let your political views cloud your good judgment. FWIW, my own view is that China should drop its claim for South Tibet, and both countries should make the current de facto border permanent, but that doesn't change the reality that the dispute exists.
  • It is often suggested that South Tibet is more or less the same as Arunachal Pradesh and should redirect to AP. However, if you look at this detailed map, AP also includes an undisputed area in the southeast about the same size as the neighboring state Nagaland, while South Tibet also includes a minor portion of Assam. AP covers an area of 83,743 km2, while South Tibet covers 65,000 km2 according to Chinese media (see here, in Chinese, but Google translation does a good job here). The difference is significant, and it's not in anyone's interest to exaggerate the size of the disputed area. In fact, a similar situation exists with the Tibetan region Amdo which has its own article, even though it roughly corresponds to the province of Qinghai. Would you advocate redirecting Amdo to Qinghai?
  • Should South Tibet be made a disambiguation page? I believe not. Although South Tibet is sometimes used loosely in a broader sense, the only well-defined region commonly called South Tibet is this disputed area, so it's clearly the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. If anything, a much stronger case can be made to turn Tibet into a disambiguation page, as a strong competing candidate exists in the form of the well-defined and well-known Tibet Autonomous Region that's commonly shortened to Tibet. Would you support turning Tibet into a disambiguation page? I know I wouldn't.
  • Last but not least, this page had existed under the name of South Tibet for 6 years before RegentsPark moved it without first seeking consensus, as required by Wikipedia policy on controversial topics. Regardless of our personal views on the matter, we should not tolerate such policy violations by an administrator.

--Zanhe (talk) 01:15, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

I don't know what you mean by "deny the existence" of a concept. Clearly, people are aware of the disputed area and so the concept of it exists. Some people call that concept "South Tibet". Some other concepts are also called "South Tibet". Editors have made a variety of comments about these concepts and their naming issues, but I'm not sure which of those you are responding to here.
Amdo is a long-recognized cultural region which exists on a nonpolitical basis regardless of lines drawn on maps. It's like "New England", "the Midwest", or "the Tidewater" in the U.S. On the other hand, "South Tibet" in this sense has nothing in common with itself (and I don't think anybody's ever claimed it has) other than being the tract of land east of Bhutan disputed between China and India; in other words, it is purely a "lines on maps" phenomenon. There's nothing to say about it other than to talk about the dispute.
Can you show sources that show that this territory is commonly called "South Tibet" in English (I'd be curious about the Chinese usage, too)? That is not the impression that one gets from what I've seen of this talk page, or even from reading the article, really.
I agree that RegentsPark's move of this page was reckless, because the existing version of the article was somewhat stable. That said, it hasn't been that stable: there have been significant stretches where this article was a redirect instead, or existed under a different title. It was stable at Arunachal Pradesh dispute for two months recently. I certainly don't see where there's ever been a consensus on this talk page about what to do with this article, if that's what we're looking for.—Greg Pandatshang (talk) 04:07, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Agree about Amdo, but that doesn't change the fact that it mostly overlaps with Qinghai, and most content about Amdo (history, culture, etc.) can easily be incorporated into the relevant sections of the Qinghai article. I'm not saying that should be done, only to illustrate that South Tibet is different enough from Arunachal Pradesh to warrant its own article. Actually there's quite a bit to say about South Tibet. Besides the dispute and the 1962 war, the Chinese source I mentioned above has quite a bit of information about its geography and demographics compiled from the 2001 Indian census, separating the disputed area from the rest of AP. As for the sources, I'll list them below under Pseudois's similar question. --Zanhe (talk) 06:19, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Zanhe, it seems that you haven't read carefully the discussion above. Nobody is disputing the fact that this border dispute deserves to have its due place in Wikipedia. But please provide some English language reliable literature references to support your claim that "the only well-defined region commonly called South Tibet is this disputed area". You can't push your POV if you don't provide sources. And for the record, this page firt existed during 1 year as a redirect to Arunachal Pradesh (actually an option that I don't support), before some editors changed its content without ever providing good references. The conflicts about the content of the South Tibet page have been ongoing since then, and I am trying to propose a constructive solution to overcome these difficulties. I personally think that any claim which is not verifiable and supported by references should simply be ignored. That is the nature of an encyclopaedia.--Pseudois (talk) 04:29, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Actually there is already a source in the article, written by an Indian no less. A couple more here and here from Hindustan Times. Here's an article from Wall Street Journal. A couple from Google books here and here. These should suffice but there are certainly many more. Some other sources use the term Zangnan, which means South Tibet in Chinese. --Zanhe (talk) 06:39, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
The articles you quote above simply report that the Chinese government often refers to Arunachal as "South Tibet". That only proves the existence of the term being used by the Chinese government. Clearly, the term refers to a large portion of the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Therefore, having two articles on the same subject is not a good idea. Even though you may claim that Arunachal and South Tibet are not the same thing, but they essentially refer to the same portion of the land in essence. All other material about the dispute can be found in the articles listed in the Greg's proposal above. — Nearly Headless Nick {C} 07:07, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm also surprised how prevalent the misconception is. As I mentioned above, this state-run Chinese web site says China claims 65,000 km2 of Indian-controlled territory and calls it South Tibet, compared with 83,743 km2 of AP, 30% bigger than that. How can they be the same? Also check out this detailed CIA map, clearly showing most of southeastern AP outside the disputed area, which however includes minor portions of Assam. There obviously is a disconnect between China's actual claim and the media account of it. And the choice we face is whether to help perpetuate the myth that South Tibet equals AP by redirecting South Tibet to AP, or help dispel the confusion by creating a separate article for South Tibet with accurate description of the exact amount of territory under dispute, with the aid of maps and more accurate sources, such as this Economist article which has an interactive map matching the CIA map. If you click on "China's claim" under the map, it clearly labels the disputed area as South Tibet, with a major chunk of AP outside of it. --Zanhe (talk) 20:01, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
That would be 20 percent according to the figures you have provided here. The rest 80% is the same tract of land. It doesn't make sense to create an article separately to describe either the geographical features of the land, which could as easily be included in the Arunachal Pradesh article, or the political idea of "South Tibet", which has been amply explained in the articles that Greg has provided. — Nearly Headless Nick {C} 22:43, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
(83,743 - 65,000) / 65,000 = 29%, so equating South Tibet with AP overstates the size of the disputed area by 29% to be exact. The difference between AP and South Tibet (18,743 km2) is more than 2.5 times the size of Sikkim (7,096 km2), another Indian state bordering China. I'm a little bewildered by your insistence on brushing over such a huge difference when major wars were fought over far tinier pieces of land such as Siachen Glacier. --Zanhe (talk) 00:50, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
A neutral and more reasonable solution would be to just have articles on the districts of the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Those are far smaller in size than "South Tibet" (which is a political, not geographical term). Thanks. — Nearly Headless Nick {C} 05:51, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
You mean turning South Tibet into something like Districts of Arunachal Pradesh? You're joking, right? --Zanhe (talk) 18:12, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── No, every district should have a separate article. And no, I am not joking. — Nearly Headless Nick {C} 18:18, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

But every district of Arunachal already has a separate article, except Longding which is newly created from Tirap district. The issue we're discussing now is what to do with South Tibet. BTW, Longding and Tirap districts are both outside the China-claimed South Tibet. --Zanhe (talk) 18:46, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't know what to make of the fact that no English source I've seen actually refers to this area as South Tibet — they report that other sources (viz "China" or "the Chinese government") call it that.—Greg Pandatshang (talk) 07:45, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
It would've been much easier for us if India offered a competing term for the area under dispute, which would no doubt become the common name for it in English. Unfortunately, India almost always lumps the disputed and undisputed areas together and call the whole thing Arunachal Pradesh, which is a major cause of the confusion that prevails today, leading even many journalists to believe that China claims the entire AP, overstating the claim by 30%. So that leaves South Tibet, however imperfect it may be, the only available name that accurately describes the topic. --Zanhe (talk) 20:14, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Zanhe, you gave 6 references, but none of them do refer to "South Tibet" as per your definition ("the only well-defined region commonly called South Tibet is this disputed area". Here a review of your sources:
Source 1: "South Tibet = AP"
Source 2: "AP is part of South Tibet" (means South Tibet also includes territories not disputed)
Source 3: "South Tibet = AP"
Source 4: "South Tibet = AP"
Source 5: "South Tibet = AP"
Source 6: "South Tibet = AP"
Your sources would actually strongly suggest to keep the current redirect of South Tibet to Arunachal Pradesh. This is actually not the solution I propose, as the geographic/geological definition of "South Tibet" would be lost with such a redirect.--Pseudois (talk) 08:22, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Actually 2 only says Tawang is part of South Tibet, 3 does equate them, but includes a map showing the disputed territory is a little smaller than AP and 6 says "roughly the entire area of Arunachal Pradesh". The difference is explicable as journalistic imprecision. Then again the Chinese ambassador said in 2006 "the whole of Arunachal Pradesh is Chinese territory".[4] But that doesn't change that this is another article about the border dispute and that usage of "South Tibet" in this sense is limited to saying that's what China calls it. Kanguole 09:20, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Regarding No2 my English might not be good enough, but reading to visit Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims to be part of what it calls "south Tibet.", I thought the "which" did refer to AP and not to Tawang. Regarding No6, the book does textually say "is referred to as Arunachal Pradesh by India and South Tibet by China" even though it is correct that the "roughly" is mentioned earlier on that page referring to the claimed area. Ayway, we (me included) are splitting hairs here. I strongly suspect that the Ambassador in his 2006 statement was mislead after reading the WP article, so we shall be very careful in mentioning all possible definitions to prevent further diplomatic clashes, hence the necessity for a disambiguation page... :) --Pseudois (talk) 11:45, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I was only searching for sources to prove that South Tibet is the common term China uses to describe the disputed area, but it appears that some of them are confused with the extent of China's actual claim. I should have just mentioned more accurate sources such as this Economist article which comes with an interactive map that clearly shows the difference between South Tibet and Arunachal. Click on "China's claim" under the map, you'll see the disputed area marked as South Tibet, with a major chunk of Arunachal outside of it. See my reply above to Nearly Headless Nick's comment. --Zanhe (talk) 21:46, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
@Zanhe: Nobody disputes the fact that the People's Republic of China (I don't know how the Republic of China calls it) is (sometimes/often/always/...) using the term "South Tibet" when referring to the disputed area, especially in recent years. Your Economist source is good, as we now have one source (even if only journalistic, and not from the literature) equating "South Tibet" with the disputed areas. Fact remains that "South Tibet" has several other meanings, in particular the geographic/geological definition for which literature is available. The only reasonable option is to make "South Tibet" a disambiguation page, and for the rest to follow Greg's proposal for which a consensus seems to be building up.--Pseudois (talk) 05:05, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
The thing with disambiguation is that other than the disputed area, I can't think of any other well-defined region commonly called South Tibet. As I said earlier, a much stronger case can be made to turn Tibet into a disambiguation page (with Greater Tibet and Tibet Autonomous Region as main entries) than turning South Tibet into one. By the way, someone has already turned South Tibet into a disambiguation page which does not conform to WP dab guidelines at all. --Zanhe (talk) 18:07, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I'll give it a try to make the disambiguation page clearer, as I agree with you that it is not very clear in its current form.--Pseudois (talk) 05:50, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Here are a few more sources that use South Tibet to refer to the disputed area. Any sources (and it's primarily low-quality Indian newspapers which do this) which ascribe territorial claims to China that the government itself has never pursued, automatically disqualify themselves as reliable enough to define "South Tibet".

  • Borderlines. (2004). New Delhi: Binalakshmi Nepram. "The People's Republic of China does not recognise the state [of Arunachal Pradesh] itself nor its northern boundary, the McMahon Line. Instead, China calls the area South Tibet (Zangnan), and splits the area nominally among six border counties of Tibet"
  • Guo, Rongxing. (2006). Terrorial Disputes and Resource Management: A Global Handbook. New York: Nova Science Pub Inc. p.51 "At present, Arunachal Pradesh is a state administered by India. However, China claims that much of it, called Zangnan (south Tibet) or Shannan (south mountain) district by China, is part of the Tibet autonomous region."
  • Kissinger, Henry. (2011). On China. New York: Penguin Press. p.88 "China claimed the imperial boundaries along the southern foothills of the Himalayas, encompassing what China considered "South Tibet" but which India administered as the state of Arunachal Pradesh."
  • Pan, Junwu. (2009). Toward a New Framework for Peaceful Settlement of China's Territorial and Boundary Disputes. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p.1 "The initial cause of the conflict was a disputed region of the Himalayan border in Arunachal Prdaesh, known in China as South Tibet."
  • Malone, David M. (2011). Does the Elephant Dance?: Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy. New York: Oxford University Press. p.234 "Potential controversy lay in two areas—the eastern sector (56,000 square miles), which the Indians called the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), and which the Chinese viewed as South Tibet; and the western sector (13,000 square miles)..."
  • Bisht, Ramesh Chandra. (2008). International Encyclopaedia of Himalayas. New Delhi, India: Mittal Publications. p.29 "China does not recognize the state of Arunachal Pradesh, nor the McMahon Line. The PRC regards most of the territory administered by Arunachal Pradesh as Chinese territory occupied by India, and splits the area nominally among six border counties of the Tibet Autonomous Region (from west to east) Cona, Lhünzê, Nang, Mainling, Mêdog, and Zayü. The name South Tibet is often used by Chinese websites to refer to the disputed region."
  • Curtis, Lisa. "U.S.-India Relations: The China Factor." Backgrounder published by the Heritage Foundation, no. 2209 (November 25, 2009). p.3 "China claims portions of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet and does not recognize the McMahon Line established in 1914 by the British and Tibetan representatives."

Despite the bold text and grandoise declarations that there is "only one reasonable option", there is no alternative definition of "South Tibet" that is defined, common, and distinct enough to have its own article. Therefore, there is no reason to have a disambiguation article. If authors use "south Tibet" as a referent to something other than the dispute, it's probably out of casual ignorance to some southern part of "Tibet". But there's no agreement on how to split Tibet into northern and southern sections, so there's no article to point readers to if confusion was a genuine concern.

Also, as Zanhe sagely points out, there is no agreement about what constitutes "Tibet" itself, but that doesn't stop us from having an article on the region. Actually, there's no similar problem of definitions for "South Tibet", because since even those sources which erroneously report on the size or extent of "South Tibet" agree that it's the portion of Indian-controlled territory claimed by China, and the extent of the official claim by the Chinese government has not changed since 1914.

There absolutely must be an article on the subject of "South Tibet". It's a useful, concise way of referring to the disputed area on the eastern sector of the Sino-Indian border. Articles unrelated to this border dispute cannot handle detailed digressions on how this claim fits into Indian administrative divisions. We don't have to treat the territorial claim or the name uncritically. Since we have discovered, for better or worse, that most English sources qualify "South Tibet" by saying that that's a term used "in China" or "by China", we can adopt similar language in our article.

There's also no problem that this article has content in common with other articles. From the Indian viewpoint, the territory of South Tibet is a subset of the territory of Arunachal Pradesh. As with any other subset (like Sichuan vs. China), this requires differences in focus and weight. From Chinese sources, the natural features of South Tibet can be discussed in context of Tibet as a whole. Obviously, this article has more room to cover the border dispute too, especially focusing on the Chinese claim.

To sum up: there is no true ambiguity about "South Tibet" as a proper noun. The term refers to the area which China claims from India, and China has not been ambiguous about the extent of the claim. There is no other defined region named "South Tibet" to point readers to, so a hatnote, much less a disambiguation page, is not useful or necessary. South Tibet is a useful, discrete term and concept to describe the disputed area which has no other name. The larger subdivision into which the Indian government has subsumed South Tibet may be "Arunachal Pradesh" today, but it could have a completely different name and set of borders tomorrow. Pointing readers to "Arunachal Pradesh" is not a "neutral solution" but an anachronistic, ill-fitted, and Indocentric rubric under which to place this topic. Shrigley (talk) 22:28, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

What you have stated above may justify an article on the use of the political term "South Tibet", much like the article on "East Turkestan". But nothing more, nothing less. Yet given the wider context surrounding the dispute, South Tibet should be a disambiguation page. — Nearly Headless Nick {C} 23:10, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Comparatively, there aren't enough sources that discuss the term "South Tibet", but we could refocus this article to be on the territorial claim rather than on the area. We should step back and not be fixated about the name; this is not a naming dispute since there's no competing word to describe the same concept as South Tibet. Also, disambiguation is not some sort of caution tape that a reader must pass through in order to warn them that "not everybody agrees about this topic!". It's about distinguishing between articles with the same title. There's just not another article or concept covered on Wikipedia called "South Tibet", so disambiguation is not needed. Shrigley (talk) 00:00, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
@Nearly Headless Nick: East Turkestan is a good analogy that you used. South Tibet should exist as a counterpart article to Arunachal Pradesh, just like East Turkestan is to Xinjiang, Tibet is to Tibet Autonomous Region, and Amdo is to Qinghai. One describes a concept, the other the reality on the ground. Even if you disagree with the concept, denying its existence is counterproductive. The key, of course, is to describe the concept objectively in an NPOV way. --Zanhe (talk) 05:04, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't think "concept" is a useful category for discussing these articles. East Turkestan is an article about a name and its usage. Tibet and Amdo are articles about cultural regions. The disputed eastern Himalayan area is not a cultural region, but "South Tibet" is a name. Wikipedia generally tends not to have separate articles on alternate names; these articles exist only when we have a lot of notable material about the name. I would be fine with having an article about the term "South Tibet" if we had solid material discussing its usage, but we don't.—Greg Pandatshang (talk) 05:51, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
1) Thanks for adding these sources. After 5 years of discussions on this talk page we do now finally have a few English sources (in addition to Zanhe Economist source) for which "South Tibet = the disputed areas".
2) Nevertheless, several of your sources are also ambiguous, referring to another definition of South Tibet, or simply giving wrong information, here just two examples: a) Malone (2011): the eastern sector (56,000 square miles), which the Indians called the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), and which the Chinese viewed as South Tibet. 56,000 square miles = 145,000 km2, but the whole of Arunachal Pradesh is only 83,743 km2, and the Chinese claims are apparently about 65'000km2; so your source might include some other territories when speaking about South Tibet; b) Guo (2006): At present, Arunachal Pradesh is a state administered by India. However, China claims that much of it, called Zangnan (south Tibet) or Shannan (south mountain) district by China, is part of the Tibet autonomous region. "Zangnan (south Tibet) or Shannan (south mountain) district": Shannan does not refer to the disputed areas, but to the prefecture of Lhoka/Shannan, which only includes 2 out of 6 counties of disputed territory.
3) In your opposition to make "South Tibet" a disambiguation page, you are sytematically ignoring the more geographic/geological defintions of South Tibet, for which literatures references have been provided in the article and in the talk page since several years.
4) I made a google scholar search for "South Tibet", and checked the first 50 links. ALL 50 OF THEM do refer to the broader geographic/geological definition(s), NONE is referring to the disputed areas.Google books give similar results.
5) Your own edits of the article (at the time it was still named "South Tibet") do show some additions referring to the southern part of Tibet (roughly the Yarlung Tsangpo valley), and not to the disputed areas, check here and here
6) There was a period where the article "South Tibet" was clearly defining the concept of "South Tibet" as being the middle reach of the Yarlung Tsangpo valley and neighboring areas. This version of the article was sourced.
7) I simply don't understand your insistance in denying that there is also a broader geographic/geological definition for South Tibet.--Pseudois (talk) 05:45, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Redirect to Sino-Indian border dispute[edit]

In order to move ahead with some more constructive tasks, can we redirect the South Tibet dispute and Arunachal Pradesh dispute articles to Sino-Indian border dispute? Any useful information included in the present article and not yet contained in the Sino-Indian border dispute and/or other relevant articles can simply be incorporated in the other articles as per Greg's proposal.--Pseudois (talk) 07:06, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

I think a separate article should exist for each of the two main areas (Aksai Chin, and whatever we want to refer to this dispute as), since they are the result of separate processes. The Sino-Indian article should serve as an overview of all disputes, while each major disputed area gets its own subarticle. (talk) 12:35, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Moving ahead[edit]

Based on Mike's RM closing comment, here below a proposal for moving ahead:

Current situation: The following articles related to the Sino-Indian border dispute and related geographic/administrative divisions do exist, either independently or as a redirect: Arunachal Pradesh, South Tibet, Arunachal Pradesh dispute, South Tibet dispute, Sino-Indian border dispute, Origins of the Sino-Indian border dispute, Simla Accord (1914), McMahon Line, Sino-Indian War, North-East Frontier Agency, Geography of Tibet, Yarlung Tsangpo River, South Tibet Valley, Brahmaputra River, Tibet, Tibet Autonomous Region, Districts of Arunachal Pradesh, Tawang district, Lhoka (Shannan) Prefecture, Nyingchi Prefecture, Demographics of Arunachal Pradesh. The list is not exhaustive and does not include all districts/county pages, as well as the various articles on the different ethnic groups populating the area.

Since its creation, the article South Tibet has witnessed many changes: Initially a redirect to Arunachal Pradesh, it was later modified to reflect either the more "geographic/geological definition" or the more "political" definition, and recently narrowed and moved to Arunachal Pradesh dispute and South Tibet dispute. The talk page shows that no consensus was ever found for any of the version of the article, both in terms of content and naming. Repeated concerns have been raised regarding the accuracy and quality of the content of the article in its different versions.

The purpose of this section is not to restart a discussion regarding the different arguments given by the different editors (please do it in another section if you wish so), but to simply assess whether there is a consensus/majority supporting the proposal initially proposed by Pseudois, later refined by Greg Pandatshang and with some later modification reflecting other editors' suggestions.

Proposal: South Tibet should remain as an article mentioning the different definitions of the concept of South Tibet (similar to a disambiguation page), without entering into the details of each definition. Both Arunachal Pradesh dispute and South Tibet dispute should either become a redirect to Sino-Indian border dispute or possibly become a redirect to a new article focusing on the Arunachal Pradesh / South Tibet border dispute only (thus not including Aksai Chin) if sufficient content is existing for such article. The title of this new article should be as neutral and specific as possible, thus it should neither be South Tibet dispute nor Arunachal Pradesh dispute. Useful text in the current version of this article should be incorporated into other relevant articles.

Summary of the proposal:

  • South Tibet article remains in a similar format to the current page (either a disambiguation or a set index page).
  • Arunachal Pradesh dispute and South Tibet dispute become a redirect towards Sino-Indian border dispute or towards a newly created article focusing only on the Arunachal Pradesh / South Tibet dispute.
  • By voting "support", it means that you roughly agree with the proposal.
  • By voting "oppose", it means that you rather disagree with the proposal, support another proposal or think that more discussion is needed before we can move ahead.--Pseudois (talk) 04:14, 15 February 2012 (UTC)


  1. Support. --Pseudois (talk) 04:15, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  2. Support. -- AshLin (talk) 04:52, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  3. Support. prashanthns (talk) 05:13, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  4. Support -- Tinu Cherian - 06:34, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  5. Support this proposal after the discussion above. — Nearly Headless Nick {C} 08:19, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  6. Support, except that we already have an article on this dispute (McMahon Line). Perhaps that needs renaming. Kanguole 09:52, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  7. Support. "South Tibet" as a full article separate from "Arunachal Pradesh" is a POV fork, the two need to be combined but the latter needs to be edited so that it is not as slanted towards the Indian POV. I have some sympathies with the comments about dealing with the two border disputes separately, but perhaps that can be adequately addressed with a suite of articles consisting of "Arunachal Pradesh", "Aksai Chin", "Sino-Indian border dispute", and then main articles on any specific war where warranted. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 14:27, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  8. Support. I think this is a sensible proposal. The current situation is at odds with policy since neither South Tibet nor South Tibet dispute are the English language names for either the territory or the dispute in question. The judicious use of indirects and disamb pages suggested above takes care of that quite well. If we find there is enough material for separate articles, or if the historical and other contextual natures of the various disputed territories are different, then we can split them up into separate articles (with appropriate English language titles). --regentspark (comment) 15:09, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  9. Support. The title 'Sino-Indian border dispute' seems to be a sensible neutral title. Regarding Kanguole's point about the McMahon Line, maybe the McMahon Line could be a section within the Sino-Indian border dispute article. PhilKnight (talk) 16:04, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  10. Support I think the proposal is good.Samitus mallicus 09:12, 17 February 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Samitus mallicus (talkcontribs)


  1. Oppose partially. There needs to be a separate article from the general Sino-Indian article, otherwise, the proposal looks good. Arunachal Pradesh-South Tibet dispute is a possibility for the companion article to Aksai Chin. (talk) 07:20, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  2. Oppose partially. There should be an article for each of the two disputed areas between India and China: Aksai Chin and South Tibet. A new well-sourced, NPOV South Tibet article needs to be written in similar fashion to the existing Aksai Chin article. Support the redirect part of the proposal. --Zanhe (talk) 08:18, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  3. Oppose. No collection of sources has been presented which consistently define "South Tibet" in an alternative way to the area disputed by China and India in the eastern sector. Maybe the words "south" and "Tibet" come together in a sentence to describe the southern part of "Tibet" (a territory itself not clearly defined), but "South Tibet", when it refers to the capitalized singular unit, only means this disputed territory. Therefore, there is no need for a disambiguation page, disambiguation-like page, or for any other obfuscation. I don't think "moving forward" - i.e., change for the sake of change - by itself is a compelling enough rationale for such a proposal. It's worth repeating that "South Tibet" is not equivalent to "Arunachal Pradesh", the latter being India's recent name for a larger territory. Shrigley (talk) 21:07, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  4. Generally Oppose.In favor of a more detail South Tibet article,I oppose to merge and redirect South Tibet to other related but different pages such as Arunachal Pradesh or South Tibet dispute whatever it is.The main reason is that South Tibet is not Geographically identical to Arunachal Pradesh so it's no use to redirect a geographic name South Tibet to a political division Arunachal Pradesh.AFAIK,In China,the geographic area of South Tibet is de jure managed by many counties,such as Mêdog County,so it is just and fair to compare administrative division Arunachal Pradesh to an article including Mêdog County,Cona County and so on.--Ksyrie(Talkie talkie) 03:40, 26 February 2012 (UTC)


  • You will have to specify clearly what you mean by "South Tibet article remains". Does it mean it remains as it exists right now (as a disambiguation page) or did you mean reverting back to the version which existed before this dispute? Thanks. — Nearly Headless Nick {C} 07:56, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
I was meaning in a similar form to how it exists now, including the different posssibles definitions. I did not dare to mention the term "disambiguation page", as one editor mentioned that it was a "Set Index" and not a disambiguation page. I will edit the above proposal to clarify the meaning, and hope this will be OK for the persons who have already voted.--Pseudois (talk) 08:07, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Regarding Kanguole and remarks, a possibility would be to redirect Arunachal Pradesh dispute and South Tibet dispute to a renamed McMahon Line article. It would probably be better not to use the terms "Arunachal Pradesh" and "South Tibet" in the title, as both names are recent inventions that did not exist during the first decades after the dispute started.--Pseudois (talk) 10:48, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  • My recollection is that the Indian borders were determined in the early 20th century by joint commissions, which were sent out to determine de facto allegiance, on the basis of who paid taxes where. The Chinese government was very weak, and would not (or even could not effectively) enter into the requisite agreements. The British therefore found it necessary to deal with the de facto sovereign at Lhasa, rather than the ultimate sovereign in Peking (as it was then called). Modern doctrine is that a polity either is or is not sovereign. 100 years ago, there were areas between the two. Tibet was under the theoretical soverenignty of China, but in practice Tibet was completely self-governing, so that China had no means of enforcing any agreement that it made. This situation continued until the 1950s. Peterkingiron (talk) 10:52, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your input. Would you recommend to rather keep the McMahon Line and the dispute article whatever we call it as two distinct articles (possibly moving chapter 1.3 into the "dispute" article), or to merge the whole into one single article, as the McMahon Line is actually doing?--Pseudois (talk) 11:17, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
McMahon Line should stay an article, regardless of whether the dispute is dealt with in it or another article. The line is notable in itself, and there should be an article on it. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 14:28, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
It's difficult to imagine an article dealing with the dispute without a comprehensive coverage of the historical and legal background. That is, it's difficult to separate the dispute from the validity of the McMahon Line as a border. Kanguole 14:51, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Response to PalaceGuard: Thank you for the comments above. In the same manner, the article on Xinjiang should also clearly mention the disputed region of Aksai Chin with a similar weight. — Nearly Headless Nick {C} 14:43, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Xinjiang is 1,660,001 km2, while Aksai Chin is 37,244 km2 (2.2% of Xinjiang's land area, and 0% of its population). Arunachal Pradesh is 83,743 km2, while South Tibet is 65,000 km2 (77.6% of Arunachal's land area, and 69.1% of its population)[1]. Plus, Arunachal has very little recorded history and separate identity in relation to the territorial conflict compared to Xinjiang. The comparison is unreasonable. Shrigley (talk) 21:07, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
The article on Arunachal Pradesh is the article on the Indian state, not China. You think a piece of land the size of Switzerland is insigificant? — Nearly Headless Nick {C} 11:39, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  1. ^ Approximated since Indian administrative divisions don't clearly delineate between the Tibetan and non-Tibetan areas within Arunachal; took population of Arunachal minus Anjaw, Changlang, Lohit, and Tirap districts.
Nearly Headless Nick, I feel you are approaching this from far too combative a position than is warranted. Wikipedia is not a soapbox nor a warehouse for soapboxes. Aksai Chin should be mentioned in Xinjiang if it is a notable aspect of it, and not mentioned if it isn't. Similarly, the Chinese claims should be mentioned in Arunachal Pradesh if it is a notable aspect of it, and not mentioned if it isn't.
That Arunachal Pradesh is about the Indian administrative divison does not mean that it is not relevant to it that most if it is actively claimed by another country. To draw an analogy, it is relevant to the article on the moon landings that people claim that they didn't happen; similarly, it is relevant to the article on the Loch Ness monster that people claim that it does not exist. The deciding question for whether it should appear in an article is whether it is a notable aspect of it, not whether it accords with the POV of the article in queston. Because if you follow the latter criterion, you end up with a POV fork. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 14:20, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I think there is a difference between the Aksai Chin situation and the Arunachal Pradesh situation that is worth bearing in mind. China claims a part of AP, does so reasonably aggressively, and this is well covered in the news. India claims Aksai Chin but does not do so aggressively. I'd say that the presence of a dispute (on a part of Arunachal Pradesh) should figure in the AP article while the Aksai Chin dispute merits a line or two in the Xinjiang article at best. --regentspark (comment) 14:47, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Admin comment - I have been following this discussion since I closed the previous one. It sincerely appears you are generating consensus around a reasonable solution. As it appears now, no actual admin intervention is necessary to execute the proposed solution, other than an admin endorsing the consensus in this discussion. If the redirects of the dispute titles to the sino-indian dispute article are made, editors must ensure that the South Tibet dispute content is properly merged or contained in the sino-indian dispute article and not lost. I intend to allow this discussion to continue through the end of week. It is inevitable that some will not be happy with every aspect of the emerging consensus, but unfortunately, all we can ask is that editors move through these discussions civily and providing as much unemotional, policy based rationale as possible for their positions. Pseudois should be commended for sheparding this discussion to this point. --Mike Cline (talk) 21:25, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Reply to PalaceGuard008 (comment moved by Pseudois from the poll section): Your POV fork remark is wide off the mark. China disputes 65,000 km2 of territory (mostly in Arunachal, but also includes bits of Assam) which it calls South Tibet, while Arunachal covers 83,743 km2. The difference is significant. See discussion above. --Zanhe (talk) 17:52, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Sources for the different definitions of South Tibet (the list does not pretent to be exhaustive. All sources have been collected from the article page and talk page, no additional research):
1) South Tibet = Southern part of Tibet (roughly Yarlung Tsangpo valley)
a) Reference mentioned since April 2007: Yang Qinye, Zheng Du: Tibetan Geography (China Interncontinental Press 2004), ISBN 7-5085-0665-0, p. 30f.; Zheng Du, Zhang Qingsong, Wu Shaohong: Mountain Geoecology and Sustainable Development of the Tibetan Plateau (Kluwer 2000), ISBN 0-7923-6688-3, p 312; Zàngnán 藏南 (South Tibet) territorial definition on a website of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (Chinese); China's Tibet - Facts and Figures: Topography (New Star Publishers / China Tibet Information Center); South Tibet Valley (China Tibet Information Center).
b) Google scholar search for "South Tibet" show similar definition for all first 50 hits (all 50 articles about "South Tibet" do refer to natural science, none to politics)
2) South Tibet = Lower middle-reach of Yarlung Tsangpo valley
Reference added on 1 January 2011 (the reference was added by user Shrigley, although the text was not referring to the definition of South Tibet which is given in another part of the book by the author): Dorje, Gyurme (1999). Footprint Tibet Handbook. Footprint Books. p. 684.
3) South Tibet = Territories administered by India and claimed by China
Several references given in February 2012 by users Zanhe and Shrigley (see talk page above)
4) South Tibet = Arunachal Pradesh
May references given by different editors since several years until February 2012 (see talk page above)--Pseudois (talk) 07:11, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Dorje, p. 684 is about the South Tibet microcontinent that collided with North Tibet along the Bangong suture, i.e. an early version of 1). 4) is a journalistic approximation of 3). But certainly almost all the uses of "South Tibet" in Google books refer to 1), and 3) is not used directly in English, only as China's term for its claim. Kanguole 11:25, 16 February 2012 (UTC)


As per discussion and poll results, both Arunachal Pradesh dispute and South Tibet dispute have been redirected to Sino-Indian border dispute. The South Tibet page does reflect the various possible definitions. Pseudois (talk) 20:01, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

I've reverted this, as I really am not clear that this discussion has ended as anything other than no-consensus given the large time period since the last comments were made.
It seems from various comments that a consensus was apparently reached in February but I don't understand why such an apparently simple change wasn't done at that time.
What am I missing, is it just a screwup that it wasn't done then? If so feel free to revert me. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:16, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
As you wrote, a certain consensus was reached in February. I haven't been active between February and July, and I guess other editors involved in the discussion didn't bother to make the change earlier. As a sign of respect for your fellow editors, it would be appreciated if you could use the talk page before making such kind of reverts.Pseudois (talk) 06:47, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
When you blindly reverted my edits on another article it doesn't exactly make the blanking of this article with a very similar edit summary appear in a good light - and I had to look at your edit history as you claimed your edits were "per talk" to check that you hadn't made any talk page contributions I had missed. I did afterwards very quickly bring the edits up on the talk page here to be addressed. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:52, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Lets be clear that I do understand why this wasn't done before and it seems fine. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 08:08, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

An insertion of 6th Dalai Lama to South Tibet[edit]

After many attemps to list 6th Dalai Lama,who is born in South Tibet,in this article.I found someone attentively remove the appearance of 6th Dalai Lama in this article.Can you give any reason to justify the removal?As Tibetan tradition,all The Dalai Lama are elected within the region of Tibet,so it's natural to name this area as some part of Tibet,not an Indian name.--Ksyrie(Talkie talkie) 03:57, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

  • I don't know why this information was removed at that time, but this is not very relevant anymore, as there is now a large consensus that South Tibet should be similar to a disambiguation page. In any case both concepts of Arunachal Pradesh and South Tibet are recent inventions are did not exist at the time of the 6th Dalai Lama.--Pseudois (talk) 11:53, 26 February 2012 (UTC)