The Chinese began building a road from Xinjiang to Tibet which spanned approximately 100 miles through Aksai Chin, which was the start of many skirmishes between the two nations. When China (PRC) took control in 1950, Tibet declared its independence and China responded by invading Tibet. To India, this was further aggravation in Sino-Indian relations and a threat towards its government. As the Tibetan rebellion spread, China launched a full-scale assault on Tibet in 1959, squelched the rebellion, and took full control of the region. India immediately offered the Dalai Lama and thousands of other Tibetan refugees political asylum. China saw this gesture as a direct attack on its government.
These combined factors abruptly ended the decade-long honeymoon period between the two countries. When China took over control of Tibet, India became increasingly uneasy about China’s encroachment and sent troops to the disputed borders to protect its claims. China did the same. There were continued arguments and attempted negotiations over the border. Between 1960-62 there was a steady buildup of troop patrols on both sides in Aksai Chin and NEFA. A number of small skirmishes took place where each side lost lives, but no compromise could be reached. On October 20, 1962 China and India went to war.