China and India together are a formidable economic power. Due to vested outside interests, the two countries find themselves on opposite ends, though their historic ties and economic interdependence among a host of mutually beneficial reasons can be put into play to improve their ties.
THE THORN IN INDIA’S relationship with China is Pakistan. China comes to Pakistan’s aid economically, politically and militarily, by providing infrastructural, moral, financial and ideological support to the perpetrators of terrorism in India from its soil.
The adversary on our western border has always looked towards China for its survival, especially after the US began withdrawing its aid. China immediately responded in the form of an economic package for road, rail and energy projects in the name of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which revived the crumbling economy of Pakistan. The political leadership of China and Paki-stan have jointly stated that our friendship is higher than the mountains, deeper than the oceans, stronger than the steel, dearer than eyesight, sweeter than honey”.
But time will test this alliance.
What troubles India is the fact that Chinas support is being used to energise a proxy war against India. But, if India needs to deal with this war, it has to change its approach from confrontation to collaboration, by building trust with the neighbour on its northern border.
This innovative, modified approach challenges the narrative propagated by most experts in national security and international relations, that China is the main adversary of India.
Historically, Indians have always believed that the immediate neighbour is your enemy, as professed by the “Rajamandala Theory” in the Indian scholar Kautilya’s Arthashastra, written in 300 BC. The perception of political leadership on both sides is that they do not have one problem; they have a host of issues pending with each other. Against this backdrop – of China’s unrelenting support for Pakistan, and India’s boycott of China’s Belt and Road Initiatives (BRIs), this is an opportune time to put forward an alternative proposition.