If the year 2017 was any indication, the state of the relations between the two most powerful economies of Asia was certainly not on good terms. China and India saw the closest escalation to war in over half a century with the standoff at the Indo-Chinese border, and the other conflicts such as the Tibetan issue and the growing Chinese-Pakistan friendship did nothing to calm down the nerves of both countries. Is it really impossible for the countries to cooperate together to develop Asia?
To answer the question, as well as to understand the nature of China India relations, it should first be understood that both countries have a significant pride in their respective statuses as cradles of the Asian civilization. In fact, the two countries are amongst the first of the five dominant civilizations of the early world: the Hwang-Ho River (Yellow River) Civilization, and the Indus River Civilization. Each goes back to over thousands of years, and have significantly influenced the birth and development of neighbouring nations in their respective geopolitical regions. It is no wonder that each nation sees itself as the next pillar of Asia: they have the history, a large territory, an equally large population, and are in the process of developing their political and economic spheres in order to achieve the title of a superpower.
In terms of international relations, China has aggressively begun to find more allies around the world, especially in Africa. The South Asian nations have also become the targets of the Chinese courtship, a move which has most definitely angered India more than once. However, it can be seen that in terms of relations with the Global North, India fares better. For example, real China US news show that relations with the US are terser for China than they are for India. As the present superpower, the US finds China more problematic than India, and this is not simply because China is far closer to catching up to the United States: politically and economically, India has a far more favourable stance with which the US can ally itself (i.e. India is a liberal democratic nation that follows capitalism, much like the US does).
Whilst the Belt and Road initiative continues to be a subject of displeasure for India, it should be noted that relations between the two have significantly calmed down since the end of 2017, and are headed in a more positive direction at present. Not to add, the two countries have decided to firmly take the lead in the global initiative to combat global warming and promote eco-technologies. These areas of cooperation show that the two nations, despite their differences, are indeed capable of working together where necessary.Read More »