Czech A "War" Cover from China to India – Postal History
This cover bearing 50th Albanian Anniversary stamps on a First Day Cover dated 28th November 1962 attracted the interest of the Indian censors. The reason for this has nothing to do with the Albanian anniversary! China was to all intents and purposes at war with India. No declaration of war had been made but highly trained mountain troops of the Chinese army attacked India in force and swept through their border troops, mostly conscripts, within a month.

China had defined a border with Nepal and in a give and take settlement had formed boundaries with Burma. But India was different. The border with Tibet had been undefined except for the British Raj claims prior to the Great War and the Mahon-Line which were not accepted by the Chinese! India now claimed vast tracts of land and disputed China' s right to build a new highway which linked southern Tibet with Chinese Turkestan on their land.

The remoteness of the territory is demonstrated by the fact that the Chinese had actually built the Tibetan highway two whole years before the Indian authorities discovered it! It is understood that the Indian Ambassador noticed a new Chinese map delivered to his office was showing the area as Chinese and reported the matter.

Negotiations were getting nowhere and in October 1962 the Chinese launched what they called a "counter-attack" against Indian forces which were advancing into the disputed territory and establishing outposts very close to the flanks for Chinese military positions. India claimed they were restoring the correct international boundary in Ladakh. In a month the Chinese cleared India's forces from more than 35,000 square miles of frontier territory . At the end of November the Chinese announced a unilateral cease-fire and withdrew Chinese soldiers to the 1959 positions held by Chinese forces. It was during this period that mail from China to India was subject to examination.