Indo-China Relations in 2020
The two nations had partnered their growth since the dawn of human history. Precisely, this relationship is a never-ending saga. Friendship, as well as wars, both have been an integral part of this relationship. In terms of war, the Qin dynasty of China has been described as part of Mahabharata- The great war, and the friendship includes the spread of Buddhism, the primary religious belief in China, from India to the east.
Moreover, The opium war, fought between China and British India, was the beginning of British rule in China. Other than this, the Sino-Sikh war of the 1840s is another anecdote of the relationship. On the other hand, the two nations are exchanging knowledge, trading and sending diplomats to each other since 350 B.C.E. And there’s a well-documented record of it in both civilizations.
It isn’t easy to make any shorthand conclusions about the twos. What’s more, appreciable is trying to understand the evolution of ‘the new normal’ between the two.
How it began?- Unfolding past
How to ambush the events might seem to anyone, but they didn’t pop-up in a single day. The nearest end of the yarn of events goes back to November 2019, when the Union of India released its map after the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir.
The new map took Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Aksai-Chin into consideration as an integral part of Indian territory. As a result, The Chinese government opposed this map, claiming Aksai-Chin as their part, based on a treaty signed between the two nations in 1993. Additionally, India’s deliberate objection and denial of China’s strategic Belts and Road Initiative project with its neighbors added more to it.
Moreover, India’s closeness to the United States, Japan, France, Israel, et al. (and other) nations who are galvanized by the Chinese expansionist ideology of hegemony over neighbors and nibbling their land. Also, China needed a new ground for the world to focus on instead of blaming China for corona-virus and its National Security Bill, which took away the independence of Hong Kong.
Face-off – Bittering brawls and bonds
The continuous discord between the two nations for a much more extended period resulted in the escalation of tensions along the Line of Actual Control (L.A.C.). Although, as stated earlier, this was the result of a large number of actions taken. These periodic niggles made China feel losing its hegemony over India. India’s effort to build Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie (DSDBO) road peaked the concerns of losing advantages in the region by the Chinese military, which later filliped to apprehend the former.
The Chinese idea of perpetrating the other seems to have backfired by the way India responded to it. In earlier stances, China seemed to have nibbled Indian land through devious techniques. But, strong opposition this time gave an unprecedented response while being naïve about Chinese strategies. The multiple clashes and the mayhem, which took the lives of 20 soldiers from our part, gave a bold and brazen message to the opponent. However, it was for the first time since 1975 agreement that such an incident took place.
The ‘disputed road,’ which is of strategic importance to India, continued to grow even in the state of turmoil. The road would prove to be of great significance in maintaining national sovereignty and integrity.
Breaking borders- Balancing borders– Away from borders
When two destructively weaponized nations come at the brink of war, weapon war is the last option, present at the infinite end. The battles here are fought on diplomatic, economic, and cyber grounds. We, too, have landed on the same horizon.
Firstly, Diplomatic moves have begun to stir each other. India’s access to gain support from Western allies, Australia, Taiwan, USSR, and Japan has left China deserted to face multiple platforms. It has caused China to guard it’s land and sea borders single-handedly as allies are trying to break down China’s attempt to become a superpower. Diplomacy between the two nations has changed in tackling each other as previous attempts have failed.
Secondly, both nations have retaliated, imposing economic barriers. China won’t have banned Indian firms and newspapers. India responded to China according to World trade organizations’ guidelines by banning their construction projects, increasing taxes, increasing quality measures to better standards, asking for self-reliance(Atma nirbhar) in manufacturing goods, and banning 59 Chinese apps having an abundant source of income from its Indian users. Moreover, the boycott china movement has enraged people and industries to look for Indian alternative to the Chinese contemporaries. The choice of people has no implications for W.T.O., which can benefit Indian industries to nurture here. As a result, other nations, too, have given thought of banning Chinese technologies, the U.S. being first.
As the world will come out of recession, India can act as a pivotal leader in the global economic ecosystem. Moreover, by providing better habitat to the global giants, India can become a self-sufficient global export hub with a vision of sustainable development.
Indo-China Relations in 2020: Conclusion- Winking Wisely
Dealing with China hadn’t been an easy game for us and won’t be. Chinese reticent state needs to be decoded into the fine language by the experts. It would make us wary of the Chinese moves and act on its debilities. Belligerent responses should have no prospect. Curbing china at international grounds for its arrogant decrees and building ourselves capable of resolving our issues unaided without any apprehension should be taken into concern.
Economically, we can backlash china but not immediately. If we do so, our economy may collapse. As a result, the unavailability of the raw material for manufacturing. All of our items have Chinese links, directly or indirectly. In the long go, we can rebuild ourselves into a self-sufficient, sustainable, eco-friendly industry. There needs to be a well-planned arrangement for doing this. It asks for a powerful will from both government and citizens.
Modernized weapons, artilleries can’t be an all alone solution. Wars have changed their form. The virtual war with cyber-attacks is needed to be answered by a special cyber army with best bred of code maniacs. They would provide us the immediate retreat to an insurgency against us.
Lastly, for the cause of peace, the two countries can look for varied versions of relations, but they won’t be ‘normal’ now onwards; instead, a ‘new normal’ would come into existence. 2020 dramatically changed the relationship between the two neighbors, and in broad terms, it won’t be feasible for them to establish a similar ecosystem again. The long trail of events that brought the circumstances and their post effects needs to be analyzed vis-à-vis bilateral relations between the two. Although the seeds for germination of ‘quo status ante’ are hard to germinate on cold deserts, even then, that’s the only way.
As said, there would be a ‘new normal’ between two countries; lesser resilient, lesser resistant.
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