Current chinese activity along the northern frontier of India, and Peking's claims to much of this area, have focused attention on a remote and sparsely populated region whose arid reaches, blanketed by perpetual snow, have never held a central position on the stage of world history. The history of Ladakh, where controversy currently rages over conflicting claims to Aksaichin, the Chang Chenmo Valley, Kurnak Fort, Spangur, and Demchok, has been characterized by instability and turmoil. Squeezed between Tibet, India, Kashmir, and the autonomous Muslim Rajahs of Baltistan, Ladakh as an independent entity suffered a precarious existence.

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