- India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border. But more than half a century after the 1962 war, China is positioning to send its troops across the border in Doklam. This shows the evolution of the relation between the two countries over the years and when Asia is being in focus the regional powers are having a complex relationship.
Reasons for contention between India and China which is increasing hostility are:-
- The main reason has been a systematic build up of negative images of how each side viewed the other’s foreign policies along with a collapse in geopolitical trust.
- For India, China’s attempt to raise its economic and political profile in the subcontinent was seen as an encroachmenton, and an affront to, Indian authority in the neighbourhood.
- For China, India’s pursuit of deeper military engagement with the former’s main strategic rivals the U.S. and Japan was viewed as a serious challenge to its future security.
- India being part of Quad
- China aggressive approach in South China sea and push for OBOR initiative. Along with that the growing proximity between China and Pakistan and Chinese investment in CPEC corridor.
- China’s growing affinity with India’s neighbours like Srilanka, Maldives, Nepal caused insecurity for India.
- China’s reluctance in helping India be a part of Nuclear suppliers group.
- China has rejected India’s assertion at the UN to make Masood Azhar a global terrorist
- India recently slapped an anti-dumping import duty on 93 Chinese imports, mostly in the steel sector. It is considering further restrictions in telecom and power. These are seen by some as a sign of an impending trade war between China and India.
- Huge trade imbalance of almost $50 billion in favour of China reflects India’s lack of competitiveness and, to some extent, passive trade and wrong exchange rate policies.
- Unfair tariffs imposed on Indian goods in China.
If India and China are hostile complications would arise :-
- Neither side has been able to extract any concessions or improve the terms of their bilateral interactions.
- On a range of issues the Nuclear Suppliers Group membership, Pakistan-sponsored terror and hydrological cooperation being the most prominent India failed to receive any give from China.
- With India’s boycott of the BRI, China too found itself confronting not only the only major holdout against its flagship international initiative but also its most suspicious and non-cooperative neighbour in Asia.
- An adversarial relationship with China brings no advantages and amplifies security problems that India can neither solve on its own nor address with the assistance of external powers who have shown little inclination to deflect Chinese influence in the subcontinent and its littoral.
- India-China friction enhances Pakistan’s ability to shape Beijing’s South Asia hand .
- A contentious India-China relationship alsoreduces India’s bargaining leverage vis-à-vis the U.S. and Japan
- Few economic actors will enter the fray ifthe forecast for bilateral ties is one of uncertainty and turbulence.
Why these countries need to cooperate with each other and benefits there of:-
- Despite their differences with China both the U.S. and Japan truly value their interdependence with China. Sino-American cooperation on the Korean nuclear question and efforts to transform North East Asian geopolitics is just one example.
- Japan, with a $300 billion trading relationship with China, too wants to ensure it remains engaged with the world’s second largest economy. Recently, Japan has even endorsed the prospect of a case-by-case cooperation with the BRI.
- Finally, India is also recognising that the promise of economic cooperation with China can only translate into meaningful outcomesif there is overall geopolitical stability.
- AIIB and BRICS bank:-
- India joined the $100-billion Chinese led Asia Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) as the second-largest shareholder. India and China are also equal shareholders of the Shanghai-based $50-billion BRICS Bank and a $100-billion contingency reserve arrangement (CRA). India recently joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a gathering of China, Russia and Central Asian countries.
- India has given positive signals on the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) road corridor that links Kolkata to Kunming through Bangladesh and Myanmar.
- Trade and economy:-
- As of the end of 2017, China had invested $8 billion in India, and India has become one of the most important overseas infrastructure cooperation markets and investment destinations for Chinese companies.
- One way to reduce the trade imbalance would be to get more Chinese firms to invest and manufacture in India. This would also support the ‘Make in India’ campaign.
- History shows that when these two giants maintained understanding and peace, both gained enormously. When they are in confrontation, that created a very pessimistic environment in regional peace and order.