From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : India china friction points
Mains level : Border security
- The National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), scheduled in October, promises to deliver important outcomes, which will impact not just China but affairs of other nations, neighbour and beyond. A look into India-china Relationship as china has always been hostile towards its neighbours.
- India and China established diplomatic relations on 1st April 1950.
- India was the first non-socialist country to establish relations with the People’s Republic of China and the catchphrase ‘Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai’ became famous.
- Both countries attended the Asian-African Conference in which 29 countries participated in Bandung, Indonesia and jointly advocated the Bandung Spirit of solidarity, friendship and cooperation.
- It has led to the decolonisation of the whole of Asia and Africa and to the formation of a Non-Aligned Movement as the third Way between the Two Blocs of Superpowers.
- The First NAM Summit Conference took place in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in September 1961.
- The border conflict led to a serious setback in bilateral relations.
- China and India restored ambassadorial relations and bilateral ties improved gradually.
- Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited China, initiating the process of normalization of bilateral relations.
- The two sides agreed to look forward and develop bilateral relations actively in other fields while seeking a mutually acceptable solution to boundary questions.
Areas of Cooperation
- In 1993, Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on the India-China Border Areas was signed to bring stability and substance in bilateral ties.
- In 2008, two countries have also extended their strategic and military relations.
- MoU was signed to open an additional route for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through Nathu La.
- India and China have also established a High Level Dialogue Mechanism on Counter Terrorism and Security
- To facilitate exchanges between Indian states and Chinese provinces, States/Provincial Leaders Forum was established
2.Commercial and Economic Relations
- China will establish two Industrial Parks in India and expressed their intention to enhance Chinese investment in India
- India extended e-visa facility to Chinese nationals
- Trade and Economic Relationship are shaped through various dialogue mechanism
- Joint Economic Group led by the Commerce Ministers of both sides
- Strategic Economic Dialogues led by the Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog and the Chairman of National Development and Reform Commission of China
- India and China have entered into an agreement on co-production of movies
- Yoga is becoming increasingly popular in China. China was one of the co-sponsors to the UN resolution designating June 21 as the International Day of Yoga
- India and China signed Education Exchange Programme (EEP), which is an umbrella agreement for educational cooperation between the two countries.
- Chinese students are also annually awarded scholarships to study Hindi at Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, to learn Hindi
- Presently around 35,500 Indians are staying in China, students and working professional form a major part of it.
- PICFA” Pondicherry India China friendship association is an NGO dedicated for developing people-to-people relation between India and China in areas of education, culture and tourism.
What are the recent anti- India moves by China?
- China continues to stake its claim to Arunachal Pradesh as Southern Tibet.
- Beijing recently renamed 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh, following the six it had done in 2017.
- China justifies the renaming as being done on the basis of its historical, cultural and administrative jurisdiction over the area — these old names existed since ancient times which had been changed by India with its “illegal occupation”.
- On January 1, 2022, Beijing’s new land border law came into force, which provides the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with full responsibility to take steps against “invasion, encroachment, infiltration, provocation” and safeguard Chinese territory
What is the present situation of India-China relationship?
- Troops in Ladakh: We have been on tenterhooks since the sanguinary Galwan clash of 2020, and borne a heavy cost for the “mirror-deployment” of 50,000-60,000 additional troops in Ladakh.
- LAC negotiations: Sino-Indian diplomatic parleys having been suspended, the task of LAC negotiations has been foisted on local military commanders.
- Truce for SCO: The 16th successive commanders’ meeting would have seen yet another futile conclusion, but for compulsions of the impending Shanghai Cooperative Organisation, which apparently led to a modest breakthrough. Consequently, the third round of troop disengagement and the creation of another buffer zone has taken place in Siachen, this time in the area of Gogra-Hot Springs.
- Bilateral Trade: The India-China trade is on course to cross USD 100 billion for the second consecutive year as it has gone up to USD 67.08 billion in the first half of this year amid a big surge of Chinese exports.
- “According to the statistics of Chinese competent authorities, bilateral trade volume between China and India stood at USD 125.66 billion in 2021.China remains the largest trade partner of India and for the first time the bilateral trade exceeded USD 100 billion in 2021.
Issue of concerns in India-China relations:
- Belt Road Initiative: India has objected this, since its inception on grounds of violating its sovereignty pointing to China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
- India’s support to China on global issues has not led to Beijing’s reciprocation for instances: China opposed India’s permanent membership to UN Security Council and entry into NSG.
- India faces trade imbalance heavily in some favor of China. In 2017-18, trade deficit has gone wide to US$62.9 billion in China’s favor.
- Two countries failed to resolve their border dispute and steadily established military infrastructure along border areas Indian media outlets have repeatedly reported Chinese military incursions into Indian territory
- China has expressed concerns about Indian military and economic activities in the disputed South China Sea. Same way India is also concerned about rising Chinese activities in Indian Ocean.
- China’s strong strategic bilateral relations with Pakistan and other neighboring countries like Nepal and Bhutan is cause of concern as these countries act as buffer states.
What are the options for India to learn from the past and see what lies ahead in India-China relations?
- Inevitable Race: The prevailing tension on the China-India border is a symptom of the broader strategic competition between the two Asian neighbors.
- Quad grouping: Immediately after the clashes, India leaned toward the Quad a grouping of the United States, Australia, Japan, and India with multiple summit meetings and other engagements. Until that point, India was unwilling to refer to the Quad as the Quad, instead using the cumbersome India-Australia-Japan-United States grouping.
- Equal seriousness: Both sides should treat the military escalation in eastern Ladakh with equal seriousness.
- Armed coexistence: Even after the resolution of the present standoff in eastern Ladakh, both sides may be in a prolonged period of armed coexistence as a new normal. As the forces on both sides are likely to be relatively balanced, it would be advantageous for both to return to the agreements and understandings from 1993 onward and improve upon them. Clarifying the LAC is a crucial step in this effort.
- Address trade imbalance: India has flagged the unsustainable trade imbalance at the front and centre of the relationship, and this has gone unaddressed. China will need to work on resolving the trade deficit with India. At any rate, decoupling will happen selectively, in the same way and for the same reasons that China is choosing to decouple from the United States. A balanced trade and economic relationship might lay a solid foundation for future relations, given the size of both economies.
- Dialogue is necessary: Better understanding of each other’s regional initiatives through open dialogue is important to build trust. The Indo-Pacific vision is as much a developmental necessity for India as the BRI may be to China. Part of building trust must be an open discussion on each other’s intentions in key regions South Asia and the northern Indian Ocean and East Asia and the western Pacific as well as respect for each other’s special positions in the western Pacific and northern Indian Oceans.
- Protect the core interest: The two sides would need to accommodate the legitimate interests of the other side on key partnerships: China’s with Pakistan and India’s with the United States. These may not be desirable, but in the current circumstances neither will give up its partners, and both India and China could talk through a modus vivendi on the red lines of concern.
- The two countries are standing at a crossroads, and this might be the final chance to take the path to coexistence of cooperation and competition. If not, a new phase of antagonistic rivalry may be starting, with the countries sliding into possible confrontation as the strategic periphery of China collides with the strategic backyard of India in the Indian Ocean region.
Q.India and china are the two Asian giants aspiring for regional supremacy and global influence, clash is unavoidable. Discuss how India and china can coexist together.