Indo China Relations
Indo China relations refer to the bilateral relationships between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of India.
- Cultural and Economic times date back to ancient times.
- Silk Road was a major trade route and also helped in the spread of Buddhism from India to East Asia.
- Sino-Sikh War – The Sikh Confederacy annexed Ladakh into the state of Jammu in 1934. In 1841, they invaded Tibet and overran parts of western Tibet. Chinese forces defeated the Sikh army in December 1841, forcing the Sikh army to withdraw, and in turn entered Ladakh and besieged Leh, where they were in turn defeated by the Sikh Army. At this point, neither side wished to continue the conflict. The Sikhs claimed victory. as the Sikhs were embroiled in tensions with the British that would lead up to the First Anglo-Sikh War, while the Chinese was in the midst of the First Opium War. The two parties signed a treaty in September 1842, which stipulated no transgressions or interference in the other country’s frontiers.
- During the British Raj opium from India was exported to China.
- 1950’s brought about the modern relations between a free India and free China.
- Tibet Issue – Indian concern over Tibet was seen by the Chinese as an interference in the internal affairs of People’s Republic of China.
- In April 1954, India and the PRC signed an eight-year agreement on Tibet that became the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (or Panchsheel)
- In 1959, the Dalai Lama sought sanctuary in Dharamashala for which China accused India for expansionism and Imperialism in Tibet.
- Territorial disputes also started during this decade when China refused to acknowledge the McMohan line.
- Border disputes led to a short border war in 1962 where India faced a crushing defeat.
- During this decade, the bilateral relations between India and China suffered as the Pak- China relations flourished.
- In August 1971, India signed its Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Co-operation with the Soviet Union, and the United States.
- China sided with Pakistan during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
- Bilateral relations between the countries further deteriorated as the shadows of war loomed large on both the nations, only for peace terms to be negotiated by the Indian Prime Minister who visited Beijing.
- India and the PRC held eight rounds of border negotiations between December 1981 and November 1987
- In 1993. The sixth-round joint working group talks were held in New Delhi but resulted in only minor developments.
- The two sides also were reported as “seriously engaged” in defining the McMahon Line and the line of actual control vis-à-vis military exercises and prevention of air intrusion
- Sino-Indian relations hit a low point in 1998 following India’s nuclear tests. Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes declared that “China is India’s number one threat”, hinting that India developed nuclear weapons in defence against China’s nuclear arsenal.
- In 2004, the Sino-Indian bilateral trade surpassed the US$10 billion mark for the first time.
- In 2006, China and India re-opened Nathula pass for trading after 44 years.
- Territorial disputes continued as India claimed that China is occupying Indian territory in Kasmir while China claimed whole of Arunachal Pradesh to be its own.
- In October 2009, Asian Development Bank formally acknowledging Arunachal Pradesh as part of India, approved a loan to India for a development project there.
- Bilateral trade between the two countries reached US$73 billion in 2011, making China India’s largest trade partner, but slipped to US$66 billion in 2012.
Recently, there has been talk about including India into NSG which has been backed by U.S but was opposed by China.
Relationships over the years have improved but India and China share interests in many fronts where agreement of one means the dissension of the other.