The people’s Republic of china was established in 1949 and as a matter of fact India was the first Non-communist country to set up an embassy in China. India and China jointly expounded the Panchasheel. But after the 1962 war the political and bilateral relation reached to halt. The reasons behind the Indo-Chinese war is a matter of detail and one can write a complete book on that matter. Again ambassadorial relation was established in 1976 and official trade was started again in 1978. After that each party tried to take the relation on the old track by different ministerial visits and Memorandum of Understandings. Even in 1984 both countries signed the Most Favoured Nations Agreement. In Indian subcontinent there was always a tension between India and China because of some incidents related to Arunachal Pradesh Border issue and Marine border issue and as a result the road of friendship was never a smooth one.
In 2000 India-China bilateral trade was merely 2.92 billion dollar. In 2010 trade grew to 61.7 billion dollar, and as number itself are speaking the story of rapid growth of bilateral trade between two big neighbours which hold a large segment of world market. The bilateral trade is still growing fortunately because of potential and proximity of market. China has maintained its position as India’s largest trading partner with two-way trade reaching a historic milestone and both countries have vowed to reach US$100 billion by 2015. Looking from India’s context trade relation is more profitable to China and it is totally asymmetric in broad sense, as we are providing raw material to them and they are exporting high end products. Its fine that we had a very bitter experience with china in past years but trade and business is totally a different issue. We can see many relevant examples to support this theory in the form of relation between china and Japan & relation between US and China.
Presence of China cannot be undermined in the Asia because of aggressive nature of its army and due to recent dispute in China sea with ASEAN countries. In same manner from a long time PRC is also engaged with Japan and US on different matters. These moves by PRC also worries India in many contexts but at same the time giving a chance to play a major role in peace establishment in the region. China is also a big competitor for India and recent examples are its involvement in different sectors in different countries. India had recently promised to invest in Myanmar during our PM’s visit in different projects and fields related to infrastructure but China is already controlling the most of Infrastructure development projects there. Similar example is Afghanistan where many Chinese companies are already going with their projects and money and giving a tough competition to our companies.
There was time when the economic growth of India was ahead of China but with the help of rapid Industrialization and export lead economy China speed ahead and it did so embarking on a race to become a world power soon. There are many things on which India can learn lesson from china, of course we also did great job but what is the meaning of better when best is expected and we also have things to boast of (like democracy!!!!). Rapidly growing economic ties are fast taking precedence in strategic calculations between both countries.
Both countries came together to declare 2012 as the year of India-China friendship and cooperation and identified a five point agenda for bettering bilateral relation. China’s and India’s economies have also started to show signs of slowing, which, in India’s case, has been a sharp decline. This slowing down economy makes broadening economic co-operation increasingly attractive politically and economically to both countries. While strategic rivalry is a different issue between the two powers and may be continue to exist and possibly escalate in some areas, these initiatives are positive first steps in improving understanding and ushering in the prospect of long-term stability between them and are highly required.