10/06/19 | ‘Sino-India Relations: Can China And India Co-Exist In Peace In The 21st Century?’

 By Centre for Land Warfare Studies
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  1. The speaker mainly gave a historical perspective of China concentrating on its imperial past and the wars it fought. The issues highlighted by the speaker are covered in the succeeding paragraphs.
  2. Sino-Indian relations in the future would be characterised by “uneasy peace” which may flare up into armed confrontation. The flashpoints would be:-
  • Territorial and boundary disputes
  • Tibet
  • Indian Ocean Region and South China Sea
  • China’s relations with Pakistan.
  1. The dispute between India and China arises not just from the boundary issues, but also from the recognition that both countries seek.
  2. China’s concept of world-order is derived from the ancient days when the entire world paid tributes to China.
  3. China’s idea of cooperation is premised on being the bigger actor in the relationship. It is not looking for cooperation in which the actors are equals.
  4. The interdependence between China and other countries is asymmetric. Hence, it is not real ‘interdependence’, but interconnection.
  5. China follows a pattern of reassuring and unnerving its neighbours.
  6. The national identity of China is based on the Han Chinese identity.
  7. Right from the days of imperial rule to this day, China has always been a unitary state.
  8. The Party controls the state through embedding its units in the organisational structure of the state in all areas of governance and exercising control over the education system and propaganda to promote the party’s ideology. The judiciary works to strengthen the Party’s control over the state.
  9. The Standing Committee of the Politburo is filled with Xi loyalists.
  10. According to the Power Transition Theory, conflict arises between a rising power and a reigning power when the power gap between the two starts reducing.
  11. India needs to build its armed forces, manufacturing capabilities, industrial base, logistics structure, etc. (Comprehensive National Strength) even as it goes for external balancing with countries like the US, Japan, etc.
    India needs a strong national party and elite consensus on such issues. It also needs an effective deterrence.
  12. We need to talk to China from a position of strength. That is the only language it understands.
  13. India should concentrate more on the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor.
  14. Sino-Russian ties are deepening partly because of American sanctions on Russia and both China and Russia are opposing American dominance. Influence of the US seems to have diminished in Asia as the present US President seems more focused on bilateral trade and diplomacy and not on military alliances.
  15. The personal traits of Chinese leaders have a bearing on Chinese policies.
  16. India would take decades to match the present Chinese economy even if the Chinese economy completely stops growing now.
  17. The US still remains the only country that can project power in a very short duration in any theatre.