Religion, history, trade, population and proximity have defined India and China’s long term relationship. These ties should be the common ground on which they can collaborate to find their place as among the superpowers of the world.
“You can change friends but not neighbours” —Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Former Prime Minister of India
India and China are separated not just by the Himalayas, but a recent past tainted by war, conflicts and border disputes. India accepted Chinas suzerainty over Tibet in 1951. The two countries share a vast land border, with Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar acting as buffer states in other areas. Due to territory under Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, parts of which were ceded to China by Islamabad, India does not have a direct access to Tibet and Afghanistan. The Chinese are now building a road through these areas as a part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which infringes on the sovereignty of India.
From time immemorial, India and China have been trading partners. Despite the recent troubled times, post the 1962 war, the trade has continued to grow, of mutual benefit, though tilted in China’s favour. China is on the path of becoming not just the Asian power but a world superpower.