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China–India relations, also called Sino-Indian relations or Indo-China relations, refers to the bilateral relationship between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of India. The modern relationship began in 1950 when India was among the first countries to end formal ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan) and recognize the PRC as the legitimate government of Mainland China. China and India are the two most populous countries and fastest growing major economies in the world. Growth in diplomatic and economic influence has increased the significance of their bilateral relationship. Currently, ties between the two nuclear armed countries have severely deteriorated due to a military standoff in Bhutan.[1]

China-India relations
Map indicating locations of India and China

India

China
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and President Xi Jinping of China, during the latter's state visit to India, September 2014.

Cultural and economic relations between China and India date back to ancient times. The Silk Road not only served as a major trade route between India and China, but is also credited for facilitating the spread of Buddhism from India to East Asia.[2] During the 19th century, China's growing opium trade with the East India Company triggered the First and Second Opium Wars.[3][4] During World War II, India and China both played a crucial role in halting the progress of Imperial Japan.[5]

Relations between contemporary China and India have been characterised by border disputes, resulting in three military conflicts — the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Chola incident in 1967, and the 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish.[6] However, since the late 1980s, both countries have successfully rebuilt diplomatic and economic ties. In 2008, China became India's largest trading partner and the two countries have also extended their strategic and military relations.[7][8][9]

Despite growing economic and strategic ties, there are several hurdles for India and the PRC to overcome. India faces trade imbalance heavily in favour of China. The two countries failed to resolve their border dispute and Indian media outlets have repeatedly reported Chinese military incursions into Indian territory.[10] Both countries have steadily established military infrastructure along border areas.[10][11] Additionally, India remains wary about China's strong strategic bilateral relations with Pakistan,[12] while China has expressed concerns about Indian military and economic activities in the disputed South China Sea.[13]

In June 2012, China stated its position that "Sino-Indian ties" could be the most "important bilateral partnership of the century".[14] However, India did not respond that initiative from China in equal terms, as Indian media often displayed a noisy and belligerent stand against China.[15] That month Wen Jiabao, the Premier of China and Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India set a goal to increase bilateral trade between the two countries to US$100 billion by 2015.[16] In November 2012, the bilateral trade was estimated to be $73.9 billion.[17]

According to a 2014 BBC World Service Poll, 33% of Indians view China positively, with 35% expressing a negative view, whereas 27% of Chinese people view India positively, with 35% expressing a negative view.[18] A 2014 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center showed 72% of Indians were concerned that territorial disputes between China and neighbouring countries could lead to a military conflict.[19]

The President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, was one of the top world leaders to visit New Delhi after Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister of India in 2014.[20] India's insistence to raise South China Sea in various multilateral forums subsequently did not help that beginning once again, the relationship facing suspicion from Indian administration and media alike.[21]

Contents

Geographical overviewEdit

 
Map of Eastern and Southern Asia.

(The border between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of India over Arunachal Pradesh/South Tibet reflects actual control, without dotted line showing claims.)

China and India are separated by the Himalayas. China and India today share a border with Nepal and Bhutan acting as buffer states. Parts of the disputed Kashmir region claimed by India are claimed and administered by either Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Gilgit and Baltistan) or by the PRC (Aksai Chin). The Government of Pakistan on its maps shows the Aksai Chin area as mostly within China and labels the boundary "Frontier Undefined" while India holds that Aksai Chin is illegally occupied by the PRC.

China and India also dispute most of Arunachal Pradesh. However, both countries have agreed to respect the Line of Actual Control.[citation needed]

Country comparisonEdit

  Republic of India   People's Republic of China
Population

1,337,364,960[22]

1,386,301,390[23]
Area 3,287,240 km² (1,269,210 sq mi) 9,640,821 km² (3,704,427 sq mi)
Population density 452/km²[22] 148/km²[23]
Capital New Delhi Beijing
Largest city Mumbai Shanghai
Government Federal republic, parliamentary democracy Socialist, one-party state
First leader Jawaharlal Nehru Mao Zedong
Current leader Narendra Modi Xi Jinping
Official languages Hindi, English, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Marathi, Meitei, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Maithili, Dogri, Santali, Bodo and Urdu (See Languages with official status in India) Standard Chinese (Mandarin), Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur, Zhuang (See Languages of China)
Main religions Hinduism (79.8%), Islam (14.2%), Christianity (2.5%), Sikhism (1.9%) Buddhism (0.8%), Jainism (0.4%) other religions (0.6%)[24] see also Religion in India >10% each: non-religious, folk religions and Taoism, Buddhism. <10% each: Islam, Christianity, Bon. See also Religion in China
GDP (nominal) (2016) US$2.45 trillion US$11.22 trillion
GDP (nominal) per capita (2016) US$1,850 US$8,113
GDP (PPP) (2016) US$9.49 trillion US$21.26 trillion
GDP (PPP) per capita (2016) US$7,153 US$15,424
Human Development

Index (2015)

0.624 (medium) 0.738 (high)
Foreign exchange

reserves (Sept 2016)

US$386,539 million US$3,185,916 million
Military

expenditures

US$45.785 billion (2.5% of GDP) US$166.107 billion (2012) (2.0% of GDP)
Manpower Active troops: 1,325,000 (2,142,821 reserve personnel) Active troops: approximately 2,285,000 (800,000 reserve personnel)

Early historyEdit

Both countries were having a good relation in history.[25]

India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.

— Hu Shih, quoted in Consolation of Mind (2004). by H. K. Suhas, p. 111

HinduismEdit

Hinduism is practiced by a minority of residents of China. The religion itself has a very limited presence in modern mainland China, but archaeological evidence suggests the presence of Hinduism in different provinces of medieval China.[26] Hindu influences were also absorbed in the country through the spread of Buddhism over its history.[27] Practices originating in the Vedic tradition of ancient India such as yoga and meditation are also popular in China.Hindu community, particularly through Tamil merchant guilds of Ayyavole and Manigramam, once thrived in medieval South China;[28][29] evidence of Hindu motifs and temples, such as in the Kaiyuan Temple, continue to be discovered in Quanzhou, Fujian province of southeast China.[30] A small community of Hindu immigrant workers exists in Hong Kong.Tamil Hindu Indian merchants traded in Quanzhou during the Yuan dynasty.[31][32][33][34] Hindu statues were found in Quanzhou dating to this period.[35]

BuddhismEdit

Buddhism shaped Chinese culture in a wide variety of areas including art, politics, literature, philosophy, medicine, and material culture.Buddhism entered Han China via the Silk Road, beginning in the 1st or 2nd century CE.[36][37] The first documented translation efforts by Buddhist monks in China (all foreigners) were in the 2nd century CE, possibly as a consequence of the expansion of the Buddhist Kushan Empire into the Chinese territory of the Tarim Basin.[38] Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk traditionally credited as the transmitter of Chan Buddhism to China, and regarded as its first Chinese patriarch.During the early period of Chinese Buddhism, the Indian early Buddhist schools recognized as important, and whose texts were studied, were the Dharmaguptakas, Mahīśāsakas, Kāśyapīyas, Sarvāstivādins, and the Mahāsāṃghikas.[39]

 
Depiction of Indian monk Bodhidharma by Yoshitoshi, 1887

Bodhidharma was an Indian Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th or 6th century. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Chan Buddhism to China, and regarded as its first Chinese patriarch. According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the monks of Shaolin Monastery that led to the creation of Shaolin kungfu. In Japan, he is known as Daruma. Ancient Indian universities like nalanda, taxila attracted many Chinese students .[40][41]

Astronomy and mathematicsEdit

Indian astronomy reached China with the expansion of Buddhism during the Later Han (25–220 CE).[42] Further translation of Indian works on astronomy was completed in China by the Three Kingdoms era (220–265 CE).[42] However, the most detailed incorporation of Indian astronomy occurred only during the Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE) when a number of Chinese scholars—such as Yi Xing— were versed both in Indian and Chinese astronomy.[42] A system of Indian astronomy was recorded in China as Jiuzhi-li (718 CE), the author of which was an Indian by the name of Qutan Xida—a translation of Devanagari Gotama Siddha—the director of the Tang dynasty's national astronomical observatory.[42] During the 8th century, the astronomical table of sines by the Indian astronomer and mathematician, Aryabhatta (476-550), were translated into the Chinese astronomical and mathematical book of the Treatise on Astrology of the Kaiyuan Era (Kaiyuan Zhanjing), compiled in 718 CE during the Tang Dynasty.[43] The Kaiyuan Zhanjing was compiled by Gautama Siddha, an astronomer and astrologer born in Chang'an, and whose family was originally from India. He was also notable for his translation of the Navagraha calendar into Chinese.[44] Gautama Siddha introduced Indian numerals with zero (〇) in 718 in China as a replacement of counting rods.[45][46] In 3rd-century C.E, the Matanaga avadha was translated into Chinese.although the original is believed to date earlier. It gives the lengths of monthly shadows of a 12-inch gnomon, which is the standard parameter of Indian astronomy.The work also mentions the 28 Indian nakshatras.[47][48] In the beginning of the second century, Sardulakarnavadana was translated into Chinese several times, This work contains the usual Sanskrit names of the 28 nakshatras. starting with krttika.[49][48] From the 1st century onward Lalitavistara was translated into Chinese several times. It is in this work that the famous Buddhist centesimal-scale counting occurs during the dialogue between Prince Gautamaand and the mathematician Arjuna. The first series of counts ends with tallaksana (= 1053), beyond which eight more ganana series are mentioned.Atomic-scale counting is also mentioned.[50][48] The Mahaprajnaparamita Sastra (of Nagarjuna, second century) was translated into Chinese by Kumarajiva in the early fifth century.16 The astronomical parameters mentioned in this translation are comparable to those given in the Vedanga Jyotisha.Indian system of numeration appeared in the Chinese work Ta PaoChi Ching (Maharatnakuta Sutra), translated by Upasunya (in 541 c.e.)[51][48] The Chinese translations of the following works are mentioned in the Sui Shu, or Official History of the Sui Dynasty (seventh century):

  • Po-lo-men Thien Wen Ching (Brahminical Astronomical Classic) in 21 books.
  • Po-lo-men Chieh-Chhieh Hsien-jen Thien Wen Shuo (Astronomical Theories of

Brahman.a Chieh-Chhieh Hsienjen) in 30 books.

  • Po-lo-men Thien Ching (Brahminical Heavenly Theory) in one book.
  • Mo-teng-Chia Ching Huang-thu (Map of Heaven in the Matangi Sutra) in one

book.

  • Po-lo-men Suan Ching (Brahminical Arithmetical Classic) in three books.
  • Po-lo-men Suan Fa (Brahminical Arithmetical Rules) in one book.
  • Po-lo-men Ying Yang Suan Ching (Brahminical Method of Calculating Time)

Although these translations are lost, they were also mentioned in other sources.[52][48]

MedicineEdit

Indian medicine penetrated into the Chinese world between 4th and 8th centuries. Ayurveda has strong influence on traditional Chinese medicine. Ayurveda has greatly influenced traditional Chinese medicine during its formation [53][54][55][56]Accupunture may have origin in ancient India[57][58][59][60][61][62][63] Indian medical knowledge of internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology and dentistry was brought in China. Kashyapa Samhita was translated into Chinese during the Middle Ages.[64][65] Kashyapa Samhita specially deals with pediatrics, gynecology, and obstetrics[66] Another Indian medical work Kumara Tantra of Ravana, which mainly deals with children diseases was translated into Chinese.[67] According to book of sui and Book of Tang eleven Indian medical works were translated into Chinese.[68] Indian monk introduced surgery in China. before arrival of Buddhism surgical techniques were unknown within china[69][70] Indian monks and translator themselves had a good command of medical skills.An Shigao translated an Indian medical work into Chinese which dealt with 404 diseases[71] Yijing (monk) went to India and brought back some 400 Buddhist translated texts which includes many medical works like Arsaprasamanasutra (A classic on curing all hemorrhoid-related diseases).[72][73][74] Yijing highlight India's superior medical knowledge, he praise the practise of Fasting among Indian, which can cure imbalance of body in matter of a Day.In China he Introduced hygiene practised in India.[75] Formula for lung diseases were imported from India in Tang dynasty.Indian ophthalmologist practiced medicine in China.[76] Liu Yuxi wrote a poem about Indian Brahman who was expert in removing cataract with golden needle.[68] Influence of Buddhists four element theory is clearly seen in Tao Hongjing writings. Indian medicine has a profound influence on Physician Sun Simiao's medical work. In his work, he attributes many formulae to jivaka of India.[77][78][79] Sun Simiao mention many Indian surgical techniques for treatment of cataracts, glaucoma and other eye diseases[80][77] wang tao also incorporate Indian idea on medicine[81][77] Ishinpō of Tanba Yasuyori records over ninety articles attributed to Indian physician jivaka[82]

AlchemyEdit

In India idea of alchemy can be trackback before Buddhism in Veda.[83] It is possible that idea of Indian alchemy Rasayana penetrated China before arrival of Buddhism [83]Kalangi Nathar was an Indian ascetic who is supposed to have visited China to spread knowledge of alchemy, varma kalai(similar to acupuncture), yoga. kalangi Nathar called his disciple Bogar to come to China to continue his mission. According to Tamil texts sage Bogar went from Tamil Nadu to China and taught about enlightenment and alchemy to Chinese.[84][85] some Indian alchemy practitioners were commonly appearing in Chinese capital and coastal cities [86] Indian alchemist Narayanswamin was captured in Chinese court because he had knowledge of an elixir of life.[87][88] Emperor Kao Tsung sent a monk to bring alchemist Lokaditya from Kashmir of India, who remained in Chinese court.[89][90] In exchange for knowledge concerning transmutational and Elixir Alchemy Chinese submitted a Sanskrit translation of the Tao Te Ching to the king of Kämarüpa (Assam)India.[90] Book of Sui records availability of Indian alchemical works by Nagarjuna.[91]

MusicEdit

With the introduction of Buddhism, Indian music was introduced in China via Central Asia. In the 3rd century, famous Chinese lyrist Li Yannian (musician) on the basis of music of north India and mid-Asia composed 28 new lyrics used to encourage army to protect the borders.[92][93] In the 6th century, a musician from Kucha named Sujiva introduced Indian Heptatonic scale to Chinese music, which is traditionally pentatonic.[94][95] A well-known family of pipa players that included Cao Miaoda were descended from Cao Poluomen whose name Poluomen (婆羅門) means Brahmin or Indian.[92]

ArchitectureEdit

Indian architecture has an influence on Chinese architecture.Chinese pagoda had its origin in India.[96][97] The earliest Pagoda in Konan Province, built in the second century, is shown as an example of Indian influence on Chinese architecture.[98] Chinese pagoda was influenced by Indian architecture.Giant Wild Goose Pagoda clearly reflects Indian influence.[99]

Martial artsEdit

Indian martial arts may have spread to China via the transmission of Buddhism in the early 5th or 6th centuries of the common era and thus influenced Shaolin Kungfu. Elements from Indian philosophy, like the Nāga, Rakshasa, and the fierce Yaksha were syncretized into protectors of Dharma; these mythical figures from the Dharmic religions figure prominently in Shaolinquan, Chang quan and staff fighting.[100] The religious figures from Dharmic religions also figure in the movement and fighting techniques of Chinese martial arts.[101] Various styles of kung fu are known to contain movements that are identical to the Mudra hand positions used in Hinduism and Buddhism, both of which derived from India.[102] Similarly, the 108 pressure points in Chinese martial arts are believed by some to be based on the marmam points of Indian varmakalai.[103][104]

The predominant telling of the diffusion of the martial arts from India to China involves a 5th-century prince turned into a monk named Bodhidharma who is said to have traveled to Shaolin, sharing his own style and thus creating Shaolinquan.[105] According to Wong Kiew Kit, the Monk's creation of Shaolin arts "...marked a watershed in the history of kungfu, because it led to a change of course, as kungfu became institutionalized. Before this, martial arts were known only in general sense."[106]

 
Main gate of the Shaolin temple in Henan.

The association of Bodhidharma with martial arts is attributed to Bodhidharma's own Yi Jin Jing, though its authorship has been disputed by several modern historians such as Tang Hao,[107] Xu Zhen and Matsuda Ryuchi.[108] The oldest known available copy of the Yi Jin Jing was published in 1827[108] and the composition of the text itself has been dated to 1624. According to Matsuda, none of the contemporary texts written about the Shaolin martial arts before the 19th century, such as Cheng Zongyou's Exposition of the Original Shaolin Staff Method or Zhang Kongzhao's Boxing Classic: Essential Boxing Methods, mention Bodhidharma or credit him with the creation of the Shaolin martial arts. The association of Bodhidharma with the martial arts only became widespread after the 1904–1907 serialization of the novel The Travels of Lao Ts'an in Illustrated Fiction Magazine.[109]

The discovery of arms caches in the monasteries of Chang'an during government raids in 446 AD suggests that Chinese monks practiced martial arts prior to the establishment of the Shaolin Monastery in 497.[110] Moreover, Chinese monasteries, not unlike those of Europe, in many ways were effectively large landed estates, that is, sources of considerable wealth which required protection that had to be supplied by the monasteries' own manpower.[110]

Incense clockEdit

The incense clock (simplified Chinese: 香钟; traditional Chinese: 香鐘; pinyin: xiāngzhōng; Wade–Giles: hsiang-chung; literally: "fragrance clock") is a Chinese timekeeping device that appeared during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and spread to neighboring countries such as Japan. The clocks' bodies are effectively specialized censers that hold incense sticks or powdered incense that have been manufactured and calibrated to a known rate of combustion, used to measure minutes, hours, or days. Although popularly associated with China the incense clock is believed by some to have originated in India, at least in its fundamental form, if not function.[111][112] Early incense clocks found in China between the 6th and 8th centuries CE all seem to have Devanāgarī carvings on them rather than Chinese seal characters.[111][112] To explain this, Edward Schafer asserts that incense clocks were probably an Indian invention, transmitted to China.[111] Silvio Bedini on the other hand asserts that incense clocks were derived in part from incense seals mentioned in Tantric Buddhist scriptures, which first came to light in China after those scriptures from India were translated into Chinese, but holds that the time-telling function of the seal was incorporated by the Chinese.[112]

AntiquityEdit

 
Xiangqi, or Chinese chess, which, like Western Chess is believed to be descended from the Indian chess game of chaturanga.[113] The earliest indications reveal the game may have been played as early as the third century BCE.

The first records of contact between China and India were written during the 2nd century BCE. Buddhism was transmitted from India to China in the 1st century CE.[114] Trade relations via the Silk Road acted as economic contact between the two regions.

China and India have also had some contact before the transmission of Buddhism. References to a people called the Chinas, are found in ancient Indian literature. The Indian epic Mahabharata (c. 5th century BCE) contains references to "China", which may have been referring to the Qin state which later became the Qin Dynasty. Chanakya (c. 350-283 BCE), the prime minister of the Maurya Empire refers to Chinese silk as "cinamsuka" (Chinese silk dress) and "cinapatta" (Chinese silk bundle) in his Arthashastra.

In the Records of the Grand Historian, Zhang Qian (d. 113 BCE) and Sima Qian (145-90 BCE) make references to "Shendu", which may have been referring to the Indus Valley (the Sindh province in modern Pakistan), originally known as "Sindhu" in Sanskrit. When Yunnan was annexed by the Han Dynasty in the 1st century, Chinese authorities reported an Indian "Shendu" community living there.[115]

Middle AgesEdit

 
The Shaolin Monastery in Dengfeng, Henan, China.

From the 1st century onwards, many Indian scholars and monks travelled to China, such as Batuo (fl. 464-495 CE)—first abbot of the Shaolin Monastery—and Bodhidharma—founder of Chan/Zen Buddhism—while many Chinese scholars and monks also travelled to India, such as Xuanzang (b. 604) and I Ching (635-713), both of whom were students at Nalanda University in Bihar. Xuanzang wrote the Great Tang Records on the Western Regions, an account of his journey to India, which later inspired Wu Cheng'en's Ming Dynasty novel Journey to the West, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. According to some, St. Thomas the Apostle travelled from India to China and back (see Perumalil, A.C. The Apostle in India. Patna, 1971: 5-54.)

Tamil dynastiesEdit

 
Chola Empire under Rajendra Chola c. 1030 C.E.

The Cholas maintained good relationship with the Chinese. Arrays of ancient Chinese coins have been found in the Cholas homeland (i.e. Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Pudukkottai districts of Tamil Nadu, India).[116]

Under Rajaraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola, the Cholas had strong trading links with Chinese Song Dynasty.[117][118][119] The Chola navy conquered the Sri Vijaya Empire of Indonesia and Malaysia and secured a sea trading route to China.[117]

Many sources describe Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen school of Buddhism in China, as a prince of the Pallava dynasty.[120]

Tang and Harsha dynastiesEdit

During the 7th century, Tang dynasty China gained control over large portions of the Silk Road and Central Asia. Wang Xuance had sent a diplomatic mission to northern India, which was embroiled by civil war just following the death of Emperor Harsha (590–647). After the murder of 30 members of this mission by the usurper claimants, Wang fled, and returned with allied Nepali and Tibetan troops to back the opposition. With his forces, Wang captured the capital, while his deputy Jiang Shiren (蒋师仁) captured the usurper and sent him back to Emperor Taizong (599-649) in Chang'an as a prisoner.

During the 8th century, the astronomical table of sines by the Indian astronomer and mathematician, Aryabhatta (476-550), were translated into the Chinese astronomical and mathematical book of the Treatise on Astrology of the Kaiyuan Era (Kaiyuan Zhanjing), compiled in 718 CE during the Tang Dynasty.[43] The Kaiyuan Zhanjing was compiled by Gautama Siddha, an astronomer and astrologer born in Chang'an, and whose family was originally from India. He was also notable for his translation of the Navagraha calendar into Chinese.

Yuan dynastyEdit

A rich merchant from the Ma'bar Sultanate, Abu Ali (P'aehali) 孛哈里 (or 布哈爾 Buhaer), was associated closely with the Ma'bar royal family. After a fallout with the Ma'bar family, he moved to Yuan dynasty China and received a Korean woman as his wife and a job from the Emperor, the woman was formerly 桑哥 Sangha's wife and her father was 蔡仁揆 채송년 Ch'ae In'gyu during the reign of 忠烈 Chungnyeol of Goryeo, recorded in the Dongguk Tonggam, Goryeosa and 留夢炎 Liu Mengyan's 中俺集 Zhong'anji.[121][122][123] 桑哥 Sangha was a Tibetan.[124] Tamil Hindu Indian merchants traded in Quanzhou during the Yuan dynasty.[125][126][127][128][129] Hindu statues were found in Quanzhou dating to this period.[130]

Ming dynastyEdit

 
Stele installed in Calicut by Zheng He (modern replica)
 
Chinese fishing nets in Kochi, Kerala, India.

Between 1405 and 1433, Ming dynasty China sponsored a series of seven naval expeditions led by Admiral Zheng He. Zheng He visited numerous Indian kingdoms and ports, including India, Bengal, and Ceylon, Persian Gulf, Arabia, and later expeditions ventured down as far as Malindi in what is now Kenya. Throughout his travels, Zheng He liberally dispensed Chinese gifts of silk, porcelain, and other goods. In return, he received rich and unusual presents, including African zebras and giraffes. Zheng He and his company paid respect to local deities and customs, and in Ceylon they erected a monument (Galle Trilingual Inscription) honouring Buddha, Allah, and Vishnu.

Sino-Sikh WarEdit

In the 18th to 19th centuries, the Sikh Confederacy expanded into neighbouring lands. It had annexed Ladakh into the state of Jammu in 1834. 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.[131]

British IndiaEdit

The British East India Company used opium grown in India as export to China. Britain used their Indian sepoys and the British Indian Army in the Opium Wars and Boxer Rebellion against China. The British used Indian soldiers to guard the Foreign concessions in areas like Shanghai. The Chinese slur "Yindu A San" (Indian number three) was used to describe Indian soldiers in British service.

After independenceEdit

On 1 October 1949 the People’s Liberation Army defeated the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party). On 15 August 1947, India became an independent British dominion and became a federal, democratic republic after its constitution came into effect on 26 January 1950.

Jawaharlal Nehru based his vision of "resurgent Asia" on friendship between the two largest states of Asia; his vision of an internationalist foreign policy governed by the ethics of the Panchsheel (Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence), which he initially believed was shared by China. Nehru was disappointed when it became clear that the two countries had a conflict of interest in Tibet, which had traditionally served as a buffer zone, and where India believed it had inherited special privileges from the British Raj.

1950sEdit

India established diplomatic relations with the PRC on 1 January 1950, the second non-communist nation to do so.

Mao Zedong viewed Tibet as an integral part of the People's Republic of China. Mao saw Indian concern over Tibet as a manifestation of interference in the internal affairs of the PRC. The PRC reasserted control over Tibet and to end Lamaism (Tibetan Buddhism) and feudalism, which it did by force of arms in 1950. To avoid antagonizing the PRC, Nehru informed Chinese leaders that India had no political ambitions, territorial ambitions, nor did it seek special privileges in Tibet, but that traditional trading rights must continue. With Indian support, Tibetan delegates signed an agreement in May 1951 recognizing PRC sovereignty but guaranteeing that the existing political and social system of Tibet would continue..

 
Founding of the Sino-Indian Friendship Association on May 16, 1952 in Beijing.

In April 1954, India and the PRC signed an eight-year agreement on Tibet that became the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (or Panchsheel). Although critics called the Panchsheel naive, Nehru calculated that India's best guarantee of security was to establish a psychological buffer zone in place of the lost physical buffer of Tibet.

It is the popular perception that the catch phrase of India's diplomacy with China in the 1950s was Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai, which means, in Hindi, "Indians and Chinese are brothers" While VK Krishna Menon was the Defence Minister in 1958, Nehru had privately told G. Parthasarathi the Indian envoy to China to send all communications directly to him bypassing Menon, due to his communist background and sympathy towards China.[132]

Nehru sought to initiate a more direct dialogue between the peoples of China and India in culture and literature. Around that time, the famous Indian artist (painter) Beohar Rammanohar Sinha, who had earlier decorated the pages of the original Constitution of India, was sent to China in 1957 on a Government of India fellowship to establish a direct cross-cultural and inter-civilization bridge. Noted Indian scholar Rahul Sankrityayan and diplomat Natwar Singh were also there, and Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan paid a visit to PRC. Between 1957 and 1959, Beohar Rammanohar Sinha not only disseminated Indian art in PRC but also became skilled in Chinese painting and lacquer-work. He also spent time with great masters Qi Baishi, Li Keran, Li Kuchan as well as some moments with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai. Consequently, up until 1959, despite border skirmishes, Chinese leaders amicably had assured India that there was no territorial controversy.[133]

In 1954, India published new maps that included the Aksai Chin region within the boundaries of India.[134] When India discovered that China built a road through the region, border clashes and Indian protests became more frequent. In January 1959, PRC premier Zhou Enlai wrote to Nehru, pointing out that no government in China had accepted as legal the McMahon Line, which in the 1914 Simla Convention defined the eastern section of the border between India and Tibet.

In March 1959, the Dalai Lama, spiritual and temporal head of the Tibetan people, sought sanctuary in Dharmsala, Himachal Pradesh. Thousands of Tibetan refugees settled in northwestern India. The PRC accused India of expansionism and imperialism in Tibet and throughout the Himalayan region. China claimed 104,000 km² of territory over which India's maps showed clear sovereignty, and demanded "rectification" of the entire border.

1960sEdit

Sino-Indian War [135][page needed]Edit

Border disputes resulted in a short border war between the People's Republic of China and India on 20 October 1962.[135][page needed] The border clash resulted in a defeat of India as the PRC pushed the Indian forces to within forty-eight kilometres of the Assam plains in the northeast and occupied strategic points in Ladakh, until the PRC declared a unilateral cease-fire on 21 November and withdrew twenty kilometers behind its contended line of control.

At the time of Sino-Indian border conflict, the Communist Party of India was accused by the Indian government as being pro-PRC, and a large number of political leaders were jailed. Subsequently, CPI split with the leftist section forming the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in 1964. CPI(M) held some contacts with the Communist Party of China in the initial period after the split, but did not fully embrace the political line of Mao Zedong.

Relations between the PRC and India deteriorated during the rest of the 1960s and the early 1970s as China–Pakistan relations improved and Sino-Soviet relations worsened. The PRC backed Pakistan in its 1965 war with India. Between 1967 and 1971, an all-weather road was built across territory claimed by India, linking PRC's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan; India could do no more than protest.

The PRC continued an active propaganda campaign against India and supplied ideological, financial, and other assistance to dissident groups, especially to tribes in northeastern India. The PRC accused India of assisting the Khampa rebels in Tibet.

Sri Lanka played the role of chief negotiator to withdraw the Chinese troops from the Indian territory. Both countries agreed to Colombo's proposals.[136]

Later conflictsEdit

In late 1967, there were two more conflicts between Indian and Chinese forces at their contested border, in Sikkim. The first conflict was dubbed the "Nathu La Incident", and the other the "Cho La Incident".

In September 1967, Chinese and Indian forces clashed at Nathu La. On 11 September, Chinese troops opened fire on a detachment of Indian soldiers tasked with protecting an engineering company that was fencing the North Shoulder of Nathu La. This escalated over the next five days to an exchange of heavy artillery and mortar fire between the Indian and Chinese forces. Sixty-two Indian soldiers were killed.[137]

Soon afterwards, Indian and Chinese forces clashed again in the Chola incident. On 1 October 1967, some Indian and Chinese soldiers had an argument over the control of a boulder at the Chola outpost in Sikkim (then a protectorate of India), triggering a fight that escalated to a mortar and heavy machine gun duel.[138] On 10 October, both sides again exchanged heavy fire. While Indian forces would sustain eighty-eight troops killed in action with another 163 troops wounded, China would suffer greater casualties, with 300 killed and 450 wounded in Nathu La, as well as forty in Chola.[139]

1970sEdit

In August 1971, India signed its Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Co-operation with the Soviet Union. The PRC sided with Pakistan in its December 1971 war with India. Although China strongly condemned India, it did not carry out its veiled threat to intervene on Pakistan's behalf. By this time, the PRC had replaced the Republic of China in the UN where its representatives denounced India as being a "tool of Soviet expansionism."

India and the PRC renewed efforts to improve relations after Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's Congress party lost the 1977 elections to Morarji Desai's Janata Party. In 1978, the Indian Minister of External Affairs Atal Bihari Vajpayee made a landmark visit to Beijing, and both countries officially re-established diplomatic relations in 1979. The PRC modified its pro-Pakistan stand on Kashmir and appeared willing to remain silent on India's absorption of Sikkim and its special advisory relationship with Bhutan. The PRC's leaders agreed to discuss the boundary issue, India's priority, as the first step to a broadening of relations. The two countries hosted each other's news agencies, and Mount Kailash and Mansarowar Lake in Tibet, the mythological home of the Hindu pantheon, were opened to annual pilgrimages.

1980sEdit

In 1981, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, Huang Hua made a landmark visit to New Delhi.[140] PRC Premier Zhao Ziyang concurrently toured Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

In 1980, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi approved a plan to upgrade the deployment of forces around the Line of Actual Control. India also undertook infrastructural development in disputed areas.[141][142]

In 1984, squads of Indian soldiers began actively patrolling the Sumdorong Chu Valley in Arunachal Pradesh. In the winter of 1986, the Chinese deployed their troops to the Sumdorong Chu before the Indian team could arrive and built a Helipad at Wandung.[143] Surprised by the Chinese occupation, India's then Chief of Army Staff, General K.Sundarji, airlifted a brigade to the region.[142][144]

Chinese troops could not move any further into the valley and were forced to away from the valley.[145] By 1987, Beijing's reaction was similar to that in 1962 and this prompted many Western diplomats to predict war. However, Indian foreign minister N.D. Tiwari and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi travelled to Beijing to negotiate a mutual de-escalation.[142]

India and the PRC held eight rounds of border negotiations between December 1981 and November 1987. In 1985 the PRC insisted on mutual concessions without defining the exact terms of its "package proposal" or where the actual line of control lay. In 1986 and 1987, the negotiations achieved nothing, given the charges exchanged between the two countries of military encroachment in the Sumdorung Chu Valley. China's construction of a military post and helicopter pad in the area in 1986 and India's grant of statehood to Arunachal Pradesh (formerly the North-East Frontier Agency) in February 1987 caused both sides to deploy troops to the area. The PRC relayed warnings that it would "teach India a lesson" if it did not cease "nibbling" at Chinese territory. By the summer of 1987, however, both sides had backed away from conflict and denied military clashes had taken place.

A warming trend in relations was facilitated by Rajiv Gandhi's visit to China in December 1988. The two sides issued a joint communiqué that stressed the need to restore friendly relations on the basis of the Panchsheel. India and the People's Republic of China agreed to achieve a "fair and reasonable settlement while seeking a mutually acceptable solution" to the border dispute. The communiqué also expressed China's concern about agitation by Tibetan separatists in India and reiterated that anti-China political activities by expatriate Tibetans would not be tolerated. Rajiv Gandhi signed bilateral agreements on science and technology co-operation, establish direct air links, and on cultural exchanges. The two sides also agreed to hold annual diplomatic consultations between foreign ministers, set up a joint committee on economic and scientific co-operation, and a joint working group on the boundary issue. The latter group was to be led by the Indian foreign secretary and the Chinese vice minister of foreign affairs.

1990sEdit

Top-level dialogue continued with the December 1991 visit of PRC premier Li Peng to India and the May 1992 visit to China of Indian president R. Venkataraman. Six rounds of talks of the Indian-Chinese Joint Working Group on the Border Issue were held between December 1988 and June 1993. Progress was also made in reducing tensions on the border via mutual troop reductions, regular meetings of local military commanders, and advance notification about military exercises. In July 1992, Sharad Pawar visited Beijing, the first Indian Minister of Defence to do so. Consulates reopened in Bombay (Mumbai) and Shanghai in December 1992. During

In 1993, The sixth-round of the joint working group talks was held in New Delhi but resulted in only minor developments. Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and Premier Li Peng signed a border agreement dealing with cross-border trade, cooperation on environmental issues (e.g. Pollution, Animal extinction, Global Warming, etc.) and radio and television broadcasting. A senior-level Chinese military delegation made a goodwill visit to India in December 1993 aimed at "fostering confidence-building measures between the defence forces of the two countries." The visit, however, came at a time when China was providing greater military support to Burma. The presence of Chinese radar technicians in Burma's Coco Islands, which border India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands caused concern in India.

In January 1994, Beijing announced that it not only favored a negotiated solution on Kashmir, but also opposed any form of independence for the region. Talks were held in New Delhi in February aimed at confirming established "confidence-building measures", discussing clarification of the "line of actual control", reduction of armed forces along the line, and prior information about forthcoming military exercises. China's hope for settlement of the boundary issue was reiterated.

In 1995, talks by the India-China Expert Group led to an agreement to set up two additional points of contact along the 4,000 km border to facilitate meetings between military personnel. The two sides were reportedly "seriously engaged" in defining the McMahon Line and the line of actual control vis-à-vis military exercises and prevention of air intrusion. Talks were held in Beijing in July and in New Delhi in August to improve border security, combat cross-border crimes and on additional troop withdrawals from the border. These talks further reduced tensions. [146]

There was little notice taken in Beijing of the April 1995 announcement of the opening of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in New Delhi. The Centre serves as the representative office of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and is the counterpart of the India-Taipei Association located in Taiwan. Both institutions share the goal of improving India-ROC relations, which have been strained since New Delhi's recognition of Beijing in 1950.

Sino-Indian relations hit a low point in 1998 following India's nuclear tests. Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes declared that "“in my perception of national security, China is enemy No 1.…and any person who is concerned about India’s security must agree with that fact",[147] hinting that India developed nuclear weapons in defence against China's nuclear arsenal. In 1998, China was one of the strongest international critics of India's nuclear tests and entry into the nuclear club. During the 1999 Kargil War China voiced support for Pakistan, but also counseled Pakistan to withdraw its forces.

2000sEdit

 
Indian and Chinese officers at Nathu La. Nathu La was re-opened in 2006 following numerous bilateral trade agreements. The opening of the pass is expected to bolster the economy of the region and play a key role in the growing Sino-Indian trade.

In a major embarrassment for China, the 17th Karmapa, Urgyen Trinley Dorje, who was proclaimed by China, made a dramatic escape from Tibet to the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. Chinese officials were in a quandary on this issue as any protest to India on the issue would mean an explicit endorsement on India's governance of Sikkim, which the Chinese still hadn't recognised. In 2003, China officially recognised Indian sovereignty over Sikkim as the two countries moved towards resolving their border disputes.

In 2004, the two countries proposed opening up the Nathula and Jelepla Passes in Sikkim. 2004 was a milestone in Sino-Indian bilateral trade, surpassing the US$10 billion mark for the first time. In April 2005, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Bangalore to push for increased Sino-Indian cooperation in high-tech industries. Wen stated that the 21st century will be "the Asian century of the IT industry."Regarding the issue of India gaining a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, Wen Jiabao initially seemed to support the idea, but had returned to a neutral position.

In the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit in 2005, China was granted an observer status. While other countries in the region are ready to consider China for permanent membership in the SAARC, India seemed reluctant.

Issues surrounding energy has risen in significance. Both countries have growing energy demand to support economic growth. Both countries signed an agreement in 2006 to envisage ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to placing joint bids for promising projects.

In 2006, China and India re-opened Nathula pass for trading. Nathula was closed 44 years prior to 2006. Re-opening of border trade will help ease the economic isolation of the region.[148] In November 2006, China and India had a verbal spat over claim of the north-east Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. India claimed that China was occupying 38,000 square kilometres of its territory in Kashmir, while China claimed the whole of Arunachal Pradesh as its own.[149]

In 2007, China denied the application for visa from an Indian Administrative Service officer in Arunachal Pradesh. According to China, since Arunachal Pradesh is a territory of China, he would not need a visa to visit his own country.[150] Later in December 2007, China reversed its policy by granting a visa to Marpe Sora, an Arunachal born professor in computer science.[151][152] In January 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited China to discuss trade, commerce, defence, military, and various other issues.

Until 2008 the British Government's position remained the same as had been since the Simla Accord of 1913: that China held suzerainty over Tibet but not sovereignty. Britain revised this view on 29 October 2008, when it recognized Chinese sovereignty over Tibet through its website.[153][154][155] The Economist stated that although the British Foreign Office's website does not use the word sovereignty, officials at the Foreign Office said "it means that, as far as Britain is concerned, 'Tibet is part of China. Full stop.'"[156] This change in Britain's position affects India's claim to its North Eastern territories which rely on the same Simla Accord that Britain's prior position on Tibet's sovereignty was based upon.[157]

In October 2009, Asian Development Bank formally acknowledging Arunachal Pradesh as part of India, approved a loan to India for a development project there. Earlier China had exercised pressure on the bank to cease the loan,[158] however India succeeded in securing the loan with the help of the United States and Japan. China expressed displeasure at ADB.[159][160]

2010sEdit

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao paid an official visit to India from 15–17 December 2010 at the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.[161] He was accompanied by 400 Chinese business leaders, who wished to sign business deals with Indian companies.[162]

In April 2011, during the BRICS summit in Sanya, Hainan, China[164] the two countries agreed to restore defence co-operation and China had hinted that it may reverse its policy of administering stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir.[165][166] This practice was later stopped,[167] and as a result, defence ties were resumed between the two countries and joint military drills were expected.

It was reported in February 2012 that India will reach US$100 billion trade with China by 2015.[168] 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.[169]

In the 2012 BRICS summit in New Delhi, India, Chinese President Hu Jintao told Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that "it is China's unswerving policy to develop Sino-Indian friendship, deepen strategic cooperation and seek common development" and "China hopes to see a peaceful, prosperous and continually developing India and is committed to building more dynamic China-India relationship".[170] Other topics were discussed, including border dispute problems and a unified BRICS central bank.

In response to India's test of an Agni-V missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to Beijing, the PRC called for the two countries to "cherish the hard-earned momentum of co-operation".[171]

A three-week standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in close proximity to each other and the Line of Actual Control between Jammu and Kashmir's Ladakh region and Aksai Chin was defused on 5 May 2013,[172] days before a trip by Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid to China; Khurshid said that both countries had a shared interest in not having the border issue exacerbate or "destroy" long-term progress in relations. The Chinese agreed to withdraw their troops in exchange for an Indian agreement to demolish several "live-in bunkers" 250 km to the south in the disputed Chumar sector.[173]

 
The BRICS leaders in China, 2016

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made his first foreign visit to India on 18 May 2013 in a bid to increase diplomatic co-operation, to cement trade relations, and formulate border dispute solutions.[174][175]

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, a northeast Indian state that China recognizes as "South Tibet", in late November, 2013 and in his speech calling the area an "integral and important part of India" generated an angry response from Beijing.[176] Foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang's statement in response to Mukherjee's two-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh was "China's stance on the disputed area on the eastern part of the China-India border is consistent and clear.[177]

In September, 2014 the relationship took a sting as troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have reportedly entered two kilometres inside the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Chumar sector.[178] The next month, V. K. Singh said that China and India had come to a "convergence of views" on the threat of terrorism emanating from Pakistan.[179]

In more modern times, China and India have been working together to produce films together, such as Kung Fu Yoga starring Jackie Chan.[180] However, disruptions have risen again due to China building trade routes with Pakistan on disputed Kashmir territory.[181]

2017 Doklam standoffEdit

On 16 June 2017 Chinese troops with construction vehicles and road-building equipment began extending an existing road southward in Doklam, a territory which is claimed by both China as well as India's ally Bhutan.[182][183][184][185][186][187] On June 18, 2017, around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers, entered Doklam to stop the Chinese troops from constructing the road.[188][189][190][191] Among other charges, China accused India of illegal intrusion into its territory across mutually agreed China-India boundary and violation of its territorial sovereignty and UN Charter,[192] while India accused China of changing status quo in violation of a 2012 understanding between the two governments regarding the tri-juction boundary points and causing security concerns, widely understood as at its strategic Siliguri Corridor.[193][194] India media reported that on 28 June Bhutan issued a demarche demanding China to cease road building in Doklam and to maintain status quo.[195]

The Minister of External Affairs of India Sushma Swaraj said that if China unilaterally changes status-quo of tri-junction point between China-India and Bhutan then it poses a challenge to the security of India.[196]

On 24 July 2017, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters that it is very clear who is right and who is wrong in the standoff in Doklam, and that even senior Indian officials have publicly said that Chinese troops have not intruded into Indian territory.[197][198] The US expressed concern in mid July 2017.[199][200][201][202] China repeatedly said that India's withdrawal was a prerequisite for meaningful dialogue.[203][204][205] On July 21, 2017, the Minister of External Affairs of India Sushma Swaraj said that for dialogue, both India and China must withdraw troops. Sushma Swaraj also said that the road constructed by China is a threat to Indian security.[206]

On August 2, 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China published a document entitled, 印度边防部队在中印边界锡金段越界 进入中国领土的事实和中国的立场 (Indian border forces cross the border between China and India...The facts...and the position of China), claiming that Indian border forces have illegally crossed the border between China and India and detailing China's position on the matter.[207][208][209][210] The document says China notified India regarding its plan to construct road "in advance in full reflection of China’s goodwill". The Ministry of External Affairs of India refused to confirm or deny the statement when asked that if India received notification?[211][212]

On August 28, China and India have reached a consensus to put an end to the border stand-off. Both China and India agreed to withdraw troops from Doklam.[213]

Bilateral tradeEdit

China is India's largest trading partner.

Chinese imports from India amounted to $16.4 billion or 0.8% of its overall imports, and 4.2% of India's overall exports in 2014. The 10 major commodities exported from India to the China were:[214][215]

  1. Cotton: $3.2 billion
  2. Gems, precious metals, coins: $2.5 billion
  3. Copper: $2.3 billion
  4. Ores, slag, ash: $1.3 billion
  5. Organic chemicals: $1.1 billion
  6. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $958.7 million
  7. Machines, engines, pumps: $639.7lmillion
  8. Plastics: $499.7 million
  9. Electronic equipment: $440 million
  10. Raw hides excluding furskins: $432.7 million

Chinese exports to India amounted to $58.4 billion or 2.3% of its overall exports, and 12.6% of India's overall imports in 2014. The 10 major commodities exported from China to India were:[215][216]

  1. Electronic equipment: $16 billion
  2. Machines, engines, pumps: $9.8 billion
  3. Organic chemicals: $6.3 billion
  4. Fertilizers: $2.7 billion
  5. Iron and steel: $2.3 billion
  6. Plastics: $1.7 billion
  7. Iron or steel products: $1.4 billion
  8. Gems, precious metals, coins: $1.3 billion
  9. Ships, boats: $1.3 billion
  10. Medical, technical equipment: $1.2 billion

See alsoEdit

Sino-Indian relationsEdit

Border disputesEdit

ReferencesEdit

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Further readingEdit

  • YaarovVertzberg, The Enduring Entente: Sino-Pakistan Relations 1960-1980, New York: Praeger, 1982.
  • Hongyu Wang, ‘Sino-Indian Relations: Present and Future’, Asian Survey 35:6, June 1995.
  • Liping Xia, ‘The Evolution of Chinese Views Toward Cbms’, in Michael Krepon, Dominique M. McCoy, and Matthew C.J. Rudolp (Eds.), A Handbook of Confidence-*Building Measures for Regional Security, Washington, DC: Henry L. Stimson Center, 1993.
  • Weimen Zhao and Giri Deshingkar, ‘Improving Sino-Indo Relations’ in Michael Krepon and Amit Sevak (eds.), Crisis Prevention, Confidence Building, and *Reconciliation in South Asia, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995.
  • Ling Zhu, ’China-Pakistan Alliance against India’, UPI Asia.com, September 9, 2008, in Jagannath P. Panda, Dragon Looks South: Current Drives in China’s South *Asian Neighbourhood Policy, in China and its neighbours (ed. Srikant Kondapalli, Emi Mifune), Pentagon Press, New Delhi 2010.

External linksEdit