China-India Relations

Two nuclear-powered neighbours
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Background explainers, news and analysis on relations between China and India, the second and seventh largest economies in the world, covering trade, military, border issues and tensions between Beijing and New Delhi.

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India’s balancing act between the US and Russia has not impacted its tilt towards Washington in the great power rivalry.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s remarks that third parties should be kept out of Sino-India ties and the South China Sea row suggested nations are incapable of taking unilateral decisions.
While the Quad’s move to secure semiconductor supply chains is welcome, India’s focus is less on geopolitics and more on its domestic economy. The transformation to a digital economy will make chips essential, increasing the need for India to secure a home-grown supply.
Greater trust essential between China and India as the latest round of talks between the countries’ military commanders break down.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, an Eurasian alliance, is an ideal platform to handle security and economic concerns starting with Afghanistan and spread of Covid-19
‘One can only hope that both sides will ensure that while weapons may be primed, fingers are nowhere near the trigger,’ writes Shashi Tharoor.
Xi Jinping’s call for Beijing to make friends rather than enemies could apply to an increasingly US-friendly New Delhi, alienated after a year-long border row.
Chinese vaccines are readily available and can be stored at normal temperatures, which suits India and other developing countries. It is in India’s best interests to procure Chinese vaccines, even if it goes against the government’s push for self-reliance.
India’s ties with Russia could become strained as Delhi gets more involved in US-led initiatives, including military exercises. Its neutrality towards Russia could fade if this drift continues, locking it into the Western camp and limiting its autonomy.
Like India, China does not accept arbitration on all disputes and is concerned with foreign military activities in its EEZ. Siding with the US might sell in the short term for India, but expediency seldom pays off in the long run and might backfire.
India, grappling with a coronavirus resurgence, will not be pushed to take the US side against China. Washington’s move towards a cold war with Beijing, amid frosty relations with Moscow, will only drive the two nuclear powers closer.
China has the will and means to help India in its fight. Delhi should set aside its mistrust and accept the assistance on offer, for the good of India as well as that of the region.
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