PREVIEWPART I - Introduction.PART II - Background.PART III - Sino-Indian Relations.PART IV - Factors Influencing Relations.PART V - Understanding Border Dispute.PART VI - Change in Perception wrt Each Other.PART VII - Latest in Indo-China Relations.
BACKGROUND Diplomatic Recognition. India accorded diplomatic recognition to the peoples Republic of China on December 30, 1949. The Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) made China independent through a revolution in 1949. Accords Signed. The relations between India and China in the 1950’s were very cordial and peaceful. In 1954, the Chinese Premier, Mr Zou, En Lai visited India which led to the signing of two Accords as follows :- First Accord.India recognised Tibet as an integral part of China and considered it to be an autonomous region of China.
BACKGROUND Second Accord. The declaration of Panchsheel in the Joint Communiqué. The Panchsheel enshrines the five principles of co-existence as follows :- Respect for Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of all States. Non-aggression. Non-interference in Territorial affairs. Equality and Mutuality. Peaceful Co-existence.
BACKGROUND Wars. In the late 1950’s China, occupied small portions of territory along the Indo-Tibet Frontier. In 1962, India and China fought a war which resulted in China occupying sizeable portions of the India territory in the West (Ladakh) and in the East (Arunachal Pradesh). Parliamentary Resolution. The Indian Parliament passed a resolution in 1962, pledging to wage an unending struggle till the complete recovery of Indian territory from China and it also forbade cessation of any occupied territory to China as part of any border settlement.
SINO-INDIA RELATIONS Normalisation of Relations. In the 1980’s more efforts were made to normalise the relations. The real break- through in the relations between the two countries came during the path-breaking visit undertaken by Mr. Rajiv Gandhi in 1988. Detente. The 1990’s saw the beginning of the ‘detente’ in the context of changing equations in the global scenario. China’s President, Mr.Jiang Zemin visited India in Nov 1997. This was the first ever visit by a Chinese Head of State to India.
SINO-INDIA RELATIONS Deterioration in Relations. There had been deterioration in Sino-Indian relations after the conduction of nuclear tests by India. China adopted a brazenly partisan attitude by terming India’s nuclear tests as “outrageous” but describing Pakistan’s nuclear tests an only “regrettable”. Senior officials in the government of India articulated the “China threat”. Normalisation of Relations. In Apr 1999, China restarted an official dialogue with India. The Joint Working Group (JWG) was convened in Beijing after 11 months delay because of China’s refusal to set dates. The visit by the (then) External Affairs Minister of India, Mr. Jaswant Singh, to China in June 1999, followed by the President, Mr. Narayanan’s visit in early 2000, helped in the normalisation of bilateral relations.
FACTORS INFLUENCING SINO - INDIA RELATIONS Sino-Pak Defence Relations. The overt and covert military assistance provided by China to Pakistan is the biggest impediment in improving Sino-Indian relations. The Sino-Pakistan collusion in the nuclear field is seen as China’s long term strategy in gaining supremacy in Asia. Sikkim. China has not acknowledged Sikkim’s integration with India. China is the only country that does not accept Sikkim’s merger with India even though India has recognised China’s sovereignty over Taiwan.
FACTORS INFLUENCING SINO - INDIA RELATIONS Boundary Disputes. The non-resolution of Aksai Chin and other boundary disputes. China has laid claim to 90,000 square kms of Arunachal Pradesh. Analysts feel that by not resolving the boundary disputes China wants to keep India under strategic pressure. Military Bases in Tibet and Myanmar. China has built military bases in Tibet and Myanmar which are seen by India as a threat to its national security.
BORDER DISPUTE Shimla Conference. The 4060 km long Sino-Indian border has been the bone of contention between the two countries. The border dispute goes back the Shimla Conference of 1914 when the representatives of British India, Tibet and China met. It was decided in the conference that :- Tibet was an autonomous country. The McMahon Line would be the boundary between India and Tibet. Chinese sovereignty of some sort would extend over Tibet.
BORDER DISPUTE Agreement Not Signed by China. At the 1914 Conference the representatives of India and Tibet signed the agreement, China did not, thereby disputing the McMahon Line. Mc Mahon Line. The Indo-China-Tibet boundary or the McMahon Line in the East and the boundary (Aksai Chin) along Ladakh in the West remained a boundary by usage and understanding. The result was that the precise boundary was not demarcated, leading to border skirmishes in 1962 and the Chinese penetration into the Sumdurung Chu Valley of Arunachal Pradesh in 1986.
BORDER DISPUTE India’s Position. The border in the West should remain at the 1959 position thereby implying that it does not recognise China’s claim over Aksai Chin. The northern borders of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim correspond to the McMahon Line and hence the boundary. India also holds that China is in Possession in Indian territory which it occupied during the 1962 conflict. The territory west of Karakoram within Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) belongs to India and has been illegally ceded by Pakistan to China.
BASIC TENETS OF CHINA’S POLICY TOWARDS INDIA Promote the socio-economic development and prosperity of both India and China. Maintain peace and stability regionally and globally. Strengthen multiplicity at the international level. Enhance the positive factors globalisation. Both sides are committed to developing their long-term constructive and cooperative partnership on the basis of the principles of Panchsheel, mutual respect and sensitivity for each other’s concerns and equality.
BASIC TENETS OF CHINA’S POLICY TOWARDS INDIA Widening International Cooperation. Reaffirming that China did not pose a threat to India, importance of Sino- Indian cooperation in the changed international situation. Enhancing Mutual Understanding . Emphasis on the need to simultaneously address the outstanding differences and find new areas of cooperation. An Assurance That China Stands for Peace and Stability in the Subcontinent. China is willing to cooperate with India in countering terrorism to ensure regional security and stability.
LATEST TRENDS Promote the socio-economic development and prosperity of both India and China. Maintain peace and stability regionally and globally. Strengthen multiplicity at the international level. Enhance the positive factors globalisation. Both sides are committed to developing their long-term constructive and cooperative partnership on the basis of the principles of Panchsheel, mutual respect and sensitivity for each other’s concerns and equality.
LATEST TRENDS Both sides agree to qualitatively enhancing the bilateral relationship at all levels and in all areas while addressing differences through peaceful means in a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable manner. The differences should not be allowed to affect the overall development of bilateral relations.
LATEST TRENDS High – Level Exchanges. Both sides agreed to hold regular high-level exchanges between the two countries. Bilateral Trade. Welcomed the positive movement of bilateral trade and economic cooperation in recent years and shared the belief that continued expansion and intensification of India-China economic cooperation is essential for strengthening bilateral relations.
LATEST TRENDS High – Level Exchanges. Both sides agreed to hold regular high-level exchanges between the two countries. Bilateral Trade. Welcomed the positive movement of bilateral trade and economic cooperation in recent years and shared the belief that continued expansion and intensification of India-China economic cooperation is essential for strengthening bilateral relations. Joint Study Group. The two sides will setup a compact Joint Study Group (JSG) composed of officials and economists to examine the potential complementarities between the two countries in expanded trade and economic cooperation.
LATEST TRENDS Boundary Issue. The two sides exchanges views on the India-China boundary question and expounded their respective positions. They reiterated their readiness to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution through consultations on equal footing. The two sides agreed that pending an ultimate solution, they should work together to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas, and reiterated their commitment to continue implementation of the agreements signed for this purpose, including the clarification on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The two sides agreed to each appoint a Special Representative to explore from the political perspective of the overall relationship the framework of a boundary settlement.
LATEST TRENDS Tibet. The Indian Side recognises that Tibet Autonomous Region is part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China and reiterates that it does not allow Tibetans to engage in anti- China political activities. The Chinese side expresses its appreciation for the India position and reiterates that it is firmly opposed to any attempt and action aimed at splitting China and bringing about independence of Tibet. The India side recalled that India was among the first countries to recognise that there is one China and its one China policy remains unaltered. The Chinese side expressed its appreciation of the Indian position.
LATEST TRENDS Sino-Indian Naval Exercise. India and China held their first-ever joint naval exercises off Shanghai from November 10 to 14, 2003 in which an Indian destroyer of Godawari Class and a corvette from the Visakhapatnam-based Eastern Naval Command participated. Trade. An immediate goal is to double the existing two-way trade volume of about $5 billions within the next few years.