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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 4, p. 58.

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Tntroduc- THE political horizon of the Government of India lengthens
tory. out far beyond the external frontiers of British dominion. It
maintains the peace and safety of the seas that wash the Indian
coasts; it watches the movement of sea-borne trade and the
commercial tariffs of its neighbours; it studies the course of
events on the borders of Siam, Tongking, China, Russia, and
Persia; it protects the rulers of islands and maritime districts
in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea; and it maintains a
fortified outpost at Aden, surrounded by a belt of protected
territory. Its activities and responsibilities in these more
distant fields of foreign policy will be dealt with in the next
chapter, where also some account will be given of the small
French and Portuguese settlements which still exist in India.
Here attention will be confined to those States or territories
which are not subject to British law, and yet lie within the
outer line that the hand of diplomacy has drawn as the
boundary of India upon the map of Asia. The countries thus
mapped off, whether ruled by single chiefs or tribal organiza-
tions, fall under the general designation of the Native States of
India, although some of them, such as Nepal, differ in the
measure of independence which they enjoy, and in other
material respects, from the principalities of the interior.
Outer The diplomatic line which has been mentioned as including
limits of all the States of which an account is here given, stretches from
the Indian
empire. Gwetter Bay, in the Gulf of Oman, to the Mekong river, near
latitude 22° N. and longitude Io01 E. Its extreme point on
the north is Povalo Schveikovski on the Taghdumbash Pamir,
a little north of 37' N., while its southern limit is Victoria
Point (below io° N.) in the Mergui District of Burma. The
principal conventions with foreign powers which have estab-
lished this international cordon round India are those with
Persia in i87r and 895 : with Afghanistan in 1893 and 1895;
with Russia in I895; with China in S89o, I894, and i897;

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