In 1977, former Indian Prime Minister visited China over terriotory disputes. In that meeting, the Chinese referenced a Treaty from 1842 with the Khalsa Raj of Maharaja Ranjit Singh which gave the Khalsa Raj authority to the lands of Ladakh and Tibet. The Khalsa Raj with it’s mighty army was much powerful than the Chinese forces and an agreement was reached to respect the boundaries between the two empires.
The Chinese stated that the Khalsa Raj was it’s own country and any agreements would have to be with the Khalsa Raj.
Here is the translated version of the treaty between the Khalsa Raj and China over the Tibet and Ladakh territory.
“(translation) As on this auspicious day, the 2nd of Assuj, Sambhat 1899 [16th or 17th September A.D. 1842], we the officers of the Lhasa Government Kalon of Sokan and Bakshi Shajpuh, Commander of the Forces, and two officers on behalf of the most resplendent Sri Khalsa ji Sahib, the asylum of the world, King Sher Singh ji and Sri Maharaj Sahib Raja-i Rajagan Raja Sahib Bahadur Raja Gulab Singh ji, the Mukhtar-ud-Daula Diwan Hari Chand and the asylum of vizirs, Vizir Ratnun, in a
meeting called together for the promotion of peace and unity, and by professions and vows of friendship, unity and sincerity of heart and by taking oaths like those of Kunjak Sahib, have arranged and agreed that relations of peace, friendship and unity between Sri Khalsa ji and Sri Maharaj Sahib Bahadur Raja Gulab SIngh ji and the Emperor of China and the Lama Guru of Lhasa will henceforward remain firmly established for ever; and we declare in the presence of the Kunjak Sahib that on no account whatsoever will there be any deviation, difference or departure [from this agreement]. We shall neither at present nor in future have anything to do or interfere at all with the boundaries of Ladakh and its surroundings as fixed from ancient times and will allow the annual export of wool, shawls and tea by way of Ladakh according to old established custom.
Should any of the opponents of Sri Khalsa ji and Sri Raja Sahib Bahadur at any time enter our territories, we shall not pay any heed to his words or allow him to remain in our country.
We shall offer no hindrance to traders of Ladakh who visit our territories. We shall not, even to the extent of a hair’s breadth, act in contravention of the term that we have agreed to above regarding firm friendship, unity and fixed boundaries of Ladakh and the keeping open of the route for wool, shawls and tea. We call Kunjak Sahib, Kairi, Lassi, Zhoh Mahan, and Khushal Choh as witnesses to this treaty.”