Published:  01:12 AM, 03 August 2017

India-China relationship

India-China relationship

India and China are the most populous country of the world. Both the countries have civilization, history and heritage. Recently, there is a tension along India- China- Bhutan border. China warns India that it will escalate current border row if Indian troops are not withdrawn from Chinese territory and reminds India about 1962 war. In response to the Chinese statement, defense minister Arun Jetle said the India of 2017 is different of India in 1962. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said India is well equipped to defend itself. After the meeting between Indian PM Norendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, there is a sign of defusion of tension also.            
India and China have civilization of few thousand years. There were communications, connectivity and interactions between the countries from ancient time also. The prime minister of Mauryan Empire Chandragupta and a professor at the famous Taxila University, Chanakya mentions about the silk route in his epic treatise on governance, Arthashastra. Ancient Chinese historian and writer Zhang Qian made references to 'shendu', which is most likely the Sindhu or the Indus valley. From first century onward Buddhist scholars and monks traveled from India to China. Similarly many students of China traveled to India for their learning.

The first establisher of Shaolin temple and a Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma is believed to have traveled from India to China. It is also believed to be the founder of the Zen Buddhism. The Dhyana master Butuo or Buddhabhadra is another master believed to have traveled to China from India. Xuanzang and Yinjing were Chinese students who traveled to Nalanda University in Pataliputra.

Faxian (also called Fa hien in Indian history books) AD (337 - 422) was a Chinese Buddhist scholar who traveled to India by foot. He came to India during the time of Chandragupta II. He traveled to China as well. He wrote his travelogue on his travels to India and Ceylon. Xuanzang (also called Xsuan Tsang) was another Chinese Buddhist scholar who lived from 602 - 664. He was also inspired by the travel and works of Faxian. He too wanted to study about the Buddhist scripts and he made a seventeen years overland journey to India. He wrote the Great Tang records of the western regions.

The travels of both the above scholars are mentioned in Indian history books. Mauryan Empire Ashok visited Lumbini, the birthplace of Goutam Bhuddha and entered Tibbet to advocate peace, tranquility, brotherhood   of Buddhism. Bhuddist scholar of Bengal Atish Diponkar also went to China. India has proved from ancient time also that it is the strong centre of civilization of the world.

After a long struggle against British Colonial Rule, India got independence in1947. India has been declared as Republic in 1950 by democratic constitution, where elected party runs the government in centre and states. In the last seventy years, strong democratic institutions are established there, democratic culture and politics are consistent in centre and states.

After Second World War, many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America became independent from colonization but most countries have exercised autocracy and arbitrariness, democracy stepped out and many countries could not come out from it. India is amongst few countries which continues democracy from dawn and so India is the biggest democratic country in the world having world standard institutions now.                                         

From 1999, politics of India are bipartisan and all the parties in the democratic system have to be pro-people and development oriented. In India, by the democratic process GDP growth was 3% at beginning, later it gradually increased to 4%-5% and reached to above 7% and sometimes it exceeds the figure. After second world war, NAM played an important role between the two super powers. At that time Nehru, Tito, Sukarno and Nasser played an important role in NAM. In South and Southeast Asia India contributed positively and it has been cooperative to the democratic movement and development of South Asian countries. 

The People's Republic of China was formed in 1949 from a country crippled by poverty, internal and external conflict, and has grown into one of today's economic powers. But China can be defined as an authoritarian state and Communist of China is controlling the system of government. After Mao Zedong's death and after a bloodless power struggle, Deng Xiaoping came to the helm to reform the Chinese economy and government institutions in their entirety. Then gradually China's power rests on it, 20 fold rise in economic output over fast forty years.                                       
India - China standoff at Bhutan China India trijunction highlights the imperative to the sensative to the mutual concerns. However, this is not an isolated incident. Somewhats similar development have often roiled the waters on the India China line of actual control (LAC) across around 4,050 kilometers boundary that the two countries share. China has planned strategic links with Pakistan, Iran and all across central Asia incorporating the Gilgit- Baltistan track in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. China plans to link Nepal to Karakoram High Way, in the South as the part of its string of perls strategy of links with regional maritime nations.

China has been functioning nearly all of Srilanka's biggest project including the new sea port at Hamban Tota. Now Hamban Tota is a losing concern so China has taken control by taking lease. This way it is trying to take control over different projects in the name of OBOR in Asia and Africa. Having with special relationship with Pakistan, China seems to miss no opportunity to alienate India- persistently blocking India's NSGs membership and UN resolution on Jaish e Muhammad chief Azher Masud as a terrorist entity.

China overreacts to Dalai-Lama visit to Tawang, who is leading peaceful movement. But it does not display similar sensitivity to India's crucial concern over terror outfits in Pakistan. Reaction has already been expressed against LcT, JcM and Hakkane network and others by US and other countries.  China is in conflict with neighbouring East South Asian countries regarding South China Sea. Even China did not agree with the judgment by an international tribunal in The Hague and has said it will not accept the ruling against it. On the other hand, India implemented Land Boundary Agreement and solved Maritime Boundary problem with Bangladesh accepting the judgment of The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague. Bangladesh and Myanmar solved the boundary problem in the same way. 

India is the fastest growing big economy now. It has been emerged as the economic pole of global growth by surpassing China and it expected to maintain its lead over the coming decade says a new study by Harvard University.  According to Harvard University's Centre for International Development growth projections, India will feature on top of the list of the fastest growing economies till 2025 with an average annual growth of 7.7% for a variety of reasons. India has made inroads in diversifying its export base to include more complex sectors such as chemicals, vehicles and certain electronics.

Different organizations like CITI Group, Shamuel Group and PWC also projected that India will occupy the one of the top leading positions in economy in 2050. Even Shamuel group predicted that it would occupy the number one position due to democracy, innovations and work force. So, in terms of political and economic system, India is in the leading position.     

External affairs minister of India Sushma Swaraj said that" while China is trying to change the status quo in the Doklam tri-junction area, India is well equipped to defend itself.  "We have the law and right on our side," she said about India's position. "As soon as we learned that they are making CPEC a part of OBOR, we registered our protest," the minister said referring to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Swaraj further said that all nations friendly to India are cautious about OBOR and China's motivations.

Further, the maritime drills, known this year as "Malabar 2017," kicked off in India's Chennai and the Bay of Bengal, and mark the first time the three forces have deployed carriers to participate in regional military maneuvers. In addition to focusing on anti-submarine warfare, the US, India and Japan will engage in training on land involving "professional and expert exchanges" in various types of warfare and special operations.

This is the second year that Japan officially joins the annual exercises, which come amid growing tensions between India and China, the latter of which has also challenged the interests of the US and Japan in the Asia-Pacific. The Navy of India said the trilateral drills would strengthen naval bonds between the US, India and Japan. All the political parties in India are supporting the stand of India against China    
Indian PM Modi and Chinese President Jinping shook hands at an informal BRICS meeting in Germany. Despite no signs of a climb-down, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will travel to China next week for a meeting of BRICS - the bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The government of India did not rule out the possibility of a bilateral meeting for him with top Chinese officials. We hope that tension will be defused, peace and progress will be maintained.

The writer, a freedom fighter,  is a former university  professor and ambassador

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