According to loverists.com, the current definition of the shape and boundaries of the state territory is the result of a centuries-old process of formation, but the results of the pressure exerted by the Russian and Japanese expansion to the north and north-east and of the English and French to the south are reflected on current Chinese claims. Some of the borders resulting from the agreements imposed by the neighboring powers have never been accepted by the Chinese; others, although recognized, are considered susceptible to change.
In the latter category of borders are those with Hong Kong, Mongolia and long stretches of the border with the Soviet Union. The mountain borders with Pakistan and Nepal, the borders with North Korea and Vietnam are defined by agreements entered into by the current government. The most lively territorial contestation coincides with the political differences that China has with its two major neighbors, the Soviet Union and India. The origin of the dispute around the Himalayan border is based on the treaty signed between the British government of India and some Tibetan delegates in 1914; according to this treaty, about 90,000 km 2 of territory and some strategic value crossings were to be included in India, within the line which, after the name of the British negotiator, was called McMahon line. Today this line is not recognized by the Chinese government, which states that the aforementioned Tibetan delegates did not represent the Chinese state, which has always been considered formally sovereign in Tibet. During the first years of the People’s Republic, when the policy of non-alignment brought China closer to India, no territorial claims were exercised; on the other hand, a real armed conflict arose after China consolidated its possession of Tibet and broke away from Soviet international politics, which supported India. The ideological conflict with the Soviet Union has translated into territorial claims between the two states. The two main contested areas are to the west, in Hsinchiang, the valley of the Ili River, a tributary of Lake Balklash, and to the north-east the border of the Amur and its Ussuri tributary.
The communist government slightly reduced the number of provinces, but at the same time created other territorial entities which gave China a rather complex internal distribution system. The autonomous regions and the popular communes are completely new, and the municipalities also have renewed characteristics. Although there is action to decentralize a part of state authority, nevertheless the current policy, formally declared by the Chinese government, is to give the country a close unity. The five autonomous regions have the same prerogatives as the provinces and the two municipalities, with some greater administrative autonomy; they differ in the ethnic composition of the population, made up of peoples who are largely non-Chinese (or Han). The first autonomous region was Inner Mongolia, already endowed with its autonomy since before the proclamation of the current republic. The Hsinchiang-Uighur (October 1955), Kuanghsi-Chuang (May 1958) and Ninghsia-Hui (October 1958) regions were proclaimed autonomous one after the other. The most recent of the autonomous regions is the Tibetan one, established in September 1965, after a military occupation of 14 years, which at the beginning had left some autonomy to the local theocratic government. Chinese immigration has been sensitive and has created some changes. The Chinese have eliminated the archaic forms of exploitation exercised by the feudal lords and monasteries against a vast category of real serfs; on the other hand theinflux after 1959, the year of the failed anti-Chinese revolt and the flight of the Dalai Lama, it subverted ethnic relations and prevented the formation of an independent state.