Contours of the India - China Bonhomie 

May 16, 2018
8 months

What is the issue?

  • International geo-political situation demands for greater engagement between Indian and China.
  • Wuhan summit has set the tone for the same, which needs to be sustained.

How has the relationship evolved?

  • Early 1950s saw brotherly friendship blossoming between India and China.
  • This led some to even speculate that Indian and China would pilot the post-colonial Renaissance in the developing world.
  • But the 1962 war annulled all such hopes and the border dispute that caused the war continues to linger even today.
  • While the current governments on both sides expressed desires to work together in their initial years, thing withered eventually.
  • Also, border tensions reached a new high in the Doklam Standoff in early 2017.
  • But subsequently, there has been a course reversal as the rhetoric got milder on both sides and positivity grew through sustained engagements.

What are the geo-political aspects of the relationship?

  • Recently, Indian PM Modi and Chinese Premier Xi met for an informal summit at Wuhan.
  • They are said to have discussed various bilateral and international issues in detail to get a better understanding on each other’s perspective. 
  • Notably, this comes in the backdrop of USA’s increasing trade hostility with China, and Mr.Trump’s temporal approach to international relations.
  • Hence, it is clear that Beijing sees India as a strategic partner to counter Trump’s inward looking anti-globalisation plank.
  • Additionally, Beijing is also re-engaging with Japan, South korea and ASEAN to facilitate the emergence of a strong Asian block that furthers globalisation.
  • China is also pushing for the “Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership” (RCEP), which seeks to enhance economic ties in the Asia pacific region.
  • Notably, RCEP has – ASEAN, India, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and China as members (ASEAN + 6).    

What will the domestic political implications for the leaders?

  • Mr. Xi has also emerged as a very popular leader within China.
  • Getting India on board to support China’s multiple international initiatives will add to the polarity of Xi domestically.
  • Such support is also very critical for China if it intends to dictate the global order by replacing the US dominance.
  • For Mr.Modi too, a good equation with China would be domestically positive as investments from China would help in boosting Indian economy.


Source: The Hindu

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