6 The term rubezh, for example, is never used to refer to a real border with another nation. Its use is practically limited to expressions fixed as za rubezhom (foreign). Table 1: Overview of the Chinese semantic landscape for the term “border”8 Xinjiang is a recurring weakness in almost all Chinese quarrels. The Lop Nor46 nuclear test plant and most of China`s strategic missile forces, the second artillery, are stationed in this region. Xinjiang has become so important that China has again become involved in a dispute with Kazakhstan, this time over the distribution of water from two of its rivers in the region. This region has been the reason why China has negotiated its border disputes with the Central Asian nations, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Indeed, China settled its dispute with Kazakhstan within six months of a major US exercise to maintain its control of the steppes. In contrast, Tibet, which had no major economic importance before and was only seen as a platform for a future attack on India, is viewed differently. Tibetan assimilation in mainland China remains a distant dream for Beijing, despite the region`s infrastructural and economic development and the settlement of Hans. This imperative (for China) has great potential for future conflicts with India, as Chinese behavior is likely to become more powerful and presumptuous over time, the symptoms of which are now visible in a number of controversial areas.
In 1951, China and Mongolia established trade relations.