India’s neighbours – China

In my last post, by oversight, my finalized draft about China got unincluded. My young friend Sandeep, (another Gupta for you, Conrad!) has pointed out this omission, and I hasten to make amends. Rather than incorporate it in the original post, I have decided to just post about it separately here.

India shares a fairly long border with China. While India has not overtly or covertly shown any hegemonic ideas, we certainly would like to have a “significant presence” in our neighbourhood. Quite whether China has any hegemonic ambitions is what we read in our press by international commentators.

Following some arbitrary demarcation of borders before the British left India, China has had a dispute on some border areas in our West and North East. This dispute resulted in a short war in 1962 with humiliating results for India. Our much respected Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru died a broken man following this. Since then, the relationship has been rather frosty though since 1994, talks have begun between the two sides and are reputedly making ‘satisfactory’ progress.

Another cause for bad relationship between the two countries is the presence of a community of refugee Tibetans led by the Dalai Lama in India. About this, my readers know perhaps more than I but, the Chinese, obviously do not like it that India has given refuge to these people.

Since the mid 1990s, trade and commerce have been rising between the two countries and both are very important trading partners to each other. This gives hope that with the expected resolution to the border dispute, relations will improve to normal to the mutual benefit of both countries.

China is perceived to be a friend of Pakistan and an enemy of India. The Indian press calls the relationship rather cheekily as ‘Pakistan’s all weather friend, China’. Till this perception is removed by more open and friendly contacts with each other, the relations cannot but rather be frosty. With recent developments in Pakistan causing much alarm in Beijing too, quite how events will unfold is anybody’s guess.

Recently, when Pakistan sought financial help, China did not extend any, nor did it support Pakistan in the IMF. India on the other hand did and won some brownie points in the Pakistani media and some elements of the Pakistani establishment.

For a more detailed report, please see this.

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