Prologue: Please refer to the news item from BBC by clicking hyperlink above.
Many Finns commenting online welcome the novel idea as a sign of warm neighborly relations. “What a noble idea – we will remember it for a thousand years!” says one person on the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper website. “Makes me smile!” writes another user. “We can have a wonderful celebration if this goes through. And it won’t be a big loss for Norway.”
Not everyone is impressed, though. “Too much paperwork,” one user declares. “We’ll have to renew all the maps, and count all the elks and wolves again.” Perhaps inevitably, one person would like the option to exchange the gift for something a bit more profitable, asking: “Can we swap it for just one oil well?
Human beings and for that matter, all living creatures are territorial. Having our own territory is akin with our identity. History and mankind have essentially lived a life fighting for identity and existence. Identifying, safeguarding, expanding and consolidating, exchanging/losing/winning has been the life cycle.
Despite a trail of cognitive and evolutionary acts, humans have rarely displayed values different than their herd behavior in relinquishing territorial claims. Only few have risen above animal instinct and accommodated others.
Being territorial, is a fundamental trait of asserting and trying to consolidate their stake. Few people from Norway are diametrically opposite, and they are trying to give their piece of land to Finland. Though monumental, land acquisition is often thought as strategically important, even if it is a remotest mountain peak. Reneging
Though rare but Norway’s relinquished its claim over this small piece of land, though an outlier it may serve an example for countries like China, which have been expanding its geographic footprint – politically bullying neighbors, cartographically reclaiming unclaimed land or simply pushing its boundaries recklessly.
Despite being one of the biggest encroacher in recent history, China cannot be singled out. Recent occupation of Saichin glacier by India and Pakistan are another example. However, it has to further work upon evolving another solution to resolve Kashmir.
Barring reactive territorialism (from Pakistan), India has set series of excellent precedence by resolving border issues with neighboring countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal in a peaceful manner. India has shown maturity in resolving land disputes with all neighbors including Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan etc. That does not however, mean it should bullied by Chinese cartographic aggression.
(Updated Feb 3, 2017)