Essay On Indo Sino Relations

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. Although the relationship has been friendly, there are some border disputes and a very high economic competition between the two countries. 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.

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.[1] During the 19th century, China's growing opium trade with the East India Company triggered the First and Second Opium Wars.[2][3] During World War II, India and China both played a crucial role in halting the progress of Imperial Japan.[4]

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.[5] In early 2017, the two countries clashed at the Doklam plateau along the disputed Sino-Bhutanese border.[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]. Apart from trade and commerce, there are some other areas of mutual interest on which China and India have been cooperating of late. In the words of Rejaul Karim Laskar, a scholar of Indian foreign policy, "Currently, the two countries are cooperating on a range of international like trade, climate change and reform of the global financial order, among others, to promote common interest".[10]

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.[11] Both countries have steadily established military infrastructure along border areas.[11][12] Additionally, India remains wary about China's strong strategic bilateral relations with Pakistan,[13] while China has expressed concerns about Indian military and economic activities in the disputed South China Sea.[14]

In June 2012, China stated its position that "Sino-Indian ties" could be the most "important bilateral partnership of the century".[15] However, India did not respond that initiative from China in equal terms, as Indian media often displayed a noisy and belligerent stand against China.[16] 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.[17] In November 2012, the bilateral trade was estimated to be $73.9 billion.[18]

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.[19] 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.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22]

Geographical overview[edit]

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 comparison[edit]

Republic of IndiaPeople's Republic of China


Area3,287,240 km² (1,269,210 sq mi)9,640,821 km² (3,704,427 sq mi)
Population density452/km²[23]148/km²[24]
CapitalNew DelhiBeijing
Largest cityMumbaiShanghai
GovernmentFederal republic, parliamentary democracySocialist, one-party state
Current leaderNarendra ModiXi Jinping
Official languagesHindi, 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 religionsHinduism (79.8%), Islam (14.2%), Christianity (2.5%), Sikhism (1.9%) Buddhism (0.8%), Jainism (0.4%) other religions (0.6%)[25] 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 trillionUS$11.22 trillion
GDP (nominal) per capita (2016)US$1,850US$8,113
GDP (PPP) (2016)US$9.49 trillionUS$21.26 trillion
GDP (PPP) per capita (2016)US$7,153US$15,424
Human Development

Index (2015)

0.624 (medium)0.738 (high)
Foreign exchange

reserves (Sept 2016)

US$402 millionUS$3,185,916 million


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

Early history[edit]

Both countries were having a good relation in history.[26]

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


Main article: Hinduism in China

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.[27] Hindu influences were also absorbed in the country through the spread of Buddhism over its history.[28] 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;[29][30] evidence of Hindu motifs and temples, such as in the Kaiyuan Temple, continue to be discovered in Quanzhou, Fujian province of southeast China.[31] A small community of Hindu immigrant workers exists in Hong Kong.Tamil Hindu Indian merchants traded in Quanzhou during the Yuan dynasty.[32][33][34][35] Hindu statues were found in Quanzhou dating to this period.[36]


Main article: Chinese Buddhism

Main article: Silk Road transmission of Buddhism

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.[37][38] 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 BuddhistKushan Empire into the Chinese territory of the Tarim Basin.[39]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.[40]

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 .[42]


King Kumara of Assam had the Tao Te Ching translated into Sanskrit in the seventh century CE.[43]

Astronomy and mathematics[edit]

Indian astronomy reached China with the expansion of Buddhism during the Later Han (25–220 CE).[44] Further translation of Indian works on astronomy was completed in China by the Three Kingdoms era (220–265 CE).[44] 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.[44] 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.[44] 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.[45] 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.[46]Gautama Siddha introduced Indian numerals with zero (〇) in 718 in China as a replacement of counting rods.[47][48] 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.[49][50] 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.[51][50] 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.[52][50] 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.)[53][50] 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


  • 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.[54][50]


Indianmedicine 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 [55][56][57][58]Accupunture may have origin in ancient India[59][60][61][62][63][64][65] 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.[66][67] Kashyapa Samhita specially deals with pediatrics, gynecology, and obstetrics[68] Another Indian medical work Kumara Tantra of Ravana, which mainly deals with children diseases was translated into Chinese.[69] According to book of sui and Book of Tang eleven Indian medical works were translated into Chinese.[70] Indian monk introduced surgery in China. before arrival of Buddhism surgical techniques were unknown within china[71][72] 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[73]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).[74][75][76] 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.[77] Formula for lung diseases were imported from India in Tang dynasty.Indian ophthalmologist practiced medicine in China.[78]Liu Yuxi wrote a poem about Indian Brahman who was expert in removing cataract with golden needle.[70] 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.[79][80][81] Sun Simiao mention many Indian surgical techniques for treatment of cataracts, glaucoma and other eye diseases[82][79] wang tao also incorporate Indian idea on medicine[83][79]Ishinpō of Tanba Yasuyori records over ninety articles attributed to Indian physician jivaka[84]


In India idea of alchemy can be trackback before Buddhism in Veda.[85] It is possible that idea of Indian alchemy Rasayana penetrated China before arrival of Buddhism [85]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.[86][87] some Indian alchemy practitioners were commonly appearing in Chinese capital and coastal cities [88] Indian alchemist Narayanswamin was captured in Chinese court because he had knowledge of an elixir of life.[89][90] Emperor Kao Tsung sent a monk to bring alchemist Lokaditya from Kashmir of India, who remained in Chinese court.[91][92] 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.[92] Book of Sui records availability of Indian alchemical works by Nagarjuna.[93]


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.[94][95] In the 6th century, a musician from Kucha named Sujiva introduced Indian Heptatonic scale to Chinese music, which is traditionally pentatonic.[96][97] 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.[94]


Indian architecture has had an influence on Chinese architecture. The Chinese pagoda had its origin in India.[98][99] The earliest pagoda in Konan Province, built in the second century, is considered an example of Indian influence on Chinese architecture.[100] The Chinese pagoda was influenced by Indian architecture. The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda clearly reflects Indian influence.[101]

Martial arts[edit]

Main article: Origins of Asian martial arts

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.[102] The religious figures from Dharmic religions also figure in the movement and fighting techniques of Chinese martial arts.[103] 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.[104] Similarly, the 108 pressure points in Chinese martial arts are believed by some to be based on the marmam points of Indian varmakalai.[105][106]

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.[107] 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."[108]

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,[109] Xu Zhen and Matsuda Ryuchi.[110] The oldest known available copy of the Yi Jin Jing was published in 1827[110] 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.[111]

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.[112] 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.[112]

Incense clock[edit]

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.[113][114] 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.[113][114] To explain this, Edward Schafer asserts that incense clocks were probably an Indian invention, transmitted to China.[113]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.[114]


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.[116] 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 epicMahabharata (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.[117]

Middle Ages[edit]

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 dynasties[edit]

Main article: Relationship of the Cholas with the Chinese

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).[118]

Under Rajaraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola, the Cholas had strong trading links with Chinese Song Dynasty.[119][120][121] The Chola navy conquered the Sri Vijaya Empire of Indonesia and Malaysia and secured a sea trading route to China.[119]

Many sources describe Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen school of Buddhism in China, as a prince of the Pallava dynasty.[122]

Tang and Harsha dynasties[edit]

See also: China–Nepal_relations § Nepal.2C_Tibet_and_China

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.[45] 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 dynasty[edit]

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.[123][124][125]桑哥 Sangha was a Tibetan.[126] Tamil Hindu Indian merchants traded in Quanzhou during the Yuan dynasty.[127][128][129][130][131] Hindu statues were found in Quanzhou dating to this period.[132]

Ming dynasty[edit]

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 War[edit]

Main article: Sino-Sikh war

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.[133]

British India[edit]

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 independence[edit]

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.


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..

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.[134]

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.[135]

In 1954, India published new maps that included the Aksai Chin region within the boundaries of India.[136] 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.


Sino-Indian War[edit]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and President Xi Jinping of China, during the latter's state visit to India, September 2014.
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.)
Depiction of Indian monk Bodhidharma by Yoshitoshi, 1887
Main gate of the Shaolin temple in Henan.
Xiangqi, or Chinese chess, which, like Western Chess is believed to be descended from the Indian chess game of chaturanga.[115] The earliest indications reveal the game may have been played as early as the third century BCE.
Founding of the Sino-Indian Friendship Association on May 16, 1952 in Beijing.

MBA admissions are in full swing and GDs are being conducted by various B schools thus we at are presenting you various GD topics as study material so that you must be successful. 

Today you will read :  India – China   Relations 


India and China are the two most populous countries of the world. Both have maintained consistently an impressive economic growth since they liberalized their economies. China started economic liberalization in 1978, whereas India followed liberal economic policies since 1991.


India gained independence in 1947, while China emerged as a new nation after the communist revolution in 1949. While India moved on the path of democracy and mixed economy and followed a policy of non-aligned movement in international affairs, China adopted communist economy and an authoritarian political system.


In 1950’s India supported Chinese membership of United Nations in place of Taiwan and both raised the slogan of ‘Hindi Chini Bhai-Bhai’ under the Panchsheel agreement signed in 1954. The five principles of Panchsheel- respect for each others, sovereignty and territorial integriry, non-aggression, non interference in the internal affairs of each other equality and mutual benefit and peaceful co-existence.


However in late 1950’s difference arose between the two countries over the status of Tibet. As a large number of Tibetan refugees came to India and Tibetan exile government was formed in India, China considered this as an unfriendly act and launched a full scale war against India in 1962.


China captured 36000 sq mile territory in Aksai chin area of Jammu and Kashmir which she has not vacated so far. China is also claiming another 90,000 sq km. Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh. It did not recognize McMohan line as the valid boundary between the two countries.


The boundary question has emerged s a most complex issue between the two countries inspite of various rounds of negotiations in two phases this problem remains unresolved and a bone of contention between the two. Though both countries have agreed to an apolitical framework to solve this problem, yet China appears to have developed cold feet towards this problem as was visible during the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to India in December 2010.


What is more surprising is that China has objected to the visit of Indian prime Minister to Arunachal Pradesh as she considers it to be a disputed territory. It is a normal practice in China that Arunachal Pradesh is shown as Chinese territory in the Chinese maps.


It is true that Indo-china trade has improved in recent years as China has emerged as the largest trading partners of India. Presently the trade volume between the two countries has reached to the tune of USD 60 billion but India suffers a trade deficit of USD 20 billion with China, the cheap Chinese electronic goods have flooded Indian markets, which have become a cause of concern for India. This may prove detrimental to Indian industry and employment in India in the long run. India has been consistently raising the issue of trade deficit with China.


Like bilateral engagement the regional engagement between the two in South Asia, South East Asia and Africa is far from satisfactory. While Pakistan and China have developed strategic partnership, the latter is providing huge technological and military assistance to Pakistan which raises eyebrows in India. The Pakistani nuclear programme and missile development cannot succeed without Chinese technological assistance. 


Pakistan provided China with much needed access from POK to Gwader port in India Ocean. China is developing Pakistan’s Gwader port and has gained direct access to Gulf of Aden. Similarly, China has gained access to Hambankota sea port in Sri Lanka and is taking interest in the development and use of Chittagong port in Bangladesh.


China has close military relations with the military rulers of Myanmar and has an eye on its natural resources. In order to counter balance Chinese influence in Myanmar, India has also changed her policy and actively engaging with Myanmar’s military junta.


Chinese influence in Nepal has grown up in recent years with the rise of Maoists in Nepal. Maiost leader, Pushp Kamal Dahal, is highly critical of India and has shown keen interest in developing close relations with China. Thus, in entire South Asia, China has followed actively the policy of encirclement of India, which has serious strategic and security implication for India.


Another regional area of strategic competition between the two is Africa. Though, India has enjoyed close relations with the African countries during the Cold War, China has gained ample influence in the region in last 20 years or so. Besides capturing African markets, Chinese investment and technological support in Africa has risen considerably in recent years. 


The Red Dragon has also taken steps to exploit natural resources (oil) from Africa. Though, China appears to have gained edge economically viz-a-viz India in Africa. India still enjoys soft power advantage in the form of goodwill in Africa.


In brief, India and China are engaged in strategic competition in South Asia, South-East Asia and Africa, but the ongoing Chinese policies in South Asia may take the form of rivalry as it involves deeper security and strategic interests of India.


In the past twenty years or so, China has emerged as a manufacturing hub of the global economy, whereas India has achieved significant global place in information technology and service sector. Both have assumed greater role in the global affairs and management of global economy.


Both are the leading members of the G-20 grouping, which is emerging as a global economic management group and is poised to replace rich nation club- G-8. As members of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa) both are predicted to achieve status of leading global economies by the year 2050, surpassing the US and European Union.


The combined population of the two countries is one-third of the global population. Goldman Saachs, which gave the idea of BRICS, predicts that both China and India are likely to emerge as the two largest consumers of energy resources.


China is a permanent member of the Security Council while India is a potential claimant of permanent membership in near future. Both have demonstrated to play a crucial role in the global climate change negotiations as well as well as international trade negotiations. Infact, the entire debate on the notion of ‘Rise of Asia’ or Asian century revolves around the rise of India and China in global affairs.


While China has been a long player in South East Asia as a member of ASEAN + three (China, Japan, and South Korea), India has also gained a foothold in South East in last decade under her ‘Look East Policy.’ Many observers say that India should avail the economic opportunity offered by her for India’s economic benefit, while at the same remaining watchful about her security concern.


It should be noted that inspite of much hype, both India and China are not yet the global powers. At the most they are emerging global players as both are mainly preoccupied with the internal and regional issues. Thus, their global world view is greatly influenced by immediate problems at hand.


The most significant strategic complication arises with the deepening strategic partnership between the US and India. The peaceful nuclear cooperation deal between India and the US was not appreciated by China as it ended the global nuclear isolation of India, without signing the NPT. Also the US a resident power in South East Asia is encouraging the greater role for India in East Asia.


The strategic partnership between India and China is viewed by China as a balancing act against her economic and military rise. Thus, the US has emerged as a crucial factor in Indo- China strategic engagement.


In the long run the global strategic equations are not likely to favour China, although it is a rising economic power and is making developments in infrastructure, sports, technology, manpower, military etc. The US, western countries and countries of the South East Asia may keep an arm length distance with China due to her authoritarian political system, lack of democracy, human rights and secrecy enveloped in its military affairs. Thus, inspite of her impressive economic growth China is not in the good books at the regional and global level, but India is better placed in this respect.


To conclude, the nature of bilateral and regional issues between India and China leads to the result that both countries are not likely to move in a synergic and cooperative manner. Their engagement may be either competitive or conflicting or a mixture of both in the near future. 


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