India China Relationship

India and China have its long history of relationship since ancient times. It is not only the economical tires but both countries also share cultural and religious relations. Since ancient times the different dynasties from among the nation are trading among themselves.

China shares the second largest border with India after Bangladesh. It shares around 3488km of border. The border between the nation’s is not fully demarcated thus disputes related to demarcation of boundary along borders and the demarcation process is in progress.


  • After Proclamation of independence on 1st October 1949 buy peoples Republic of China India become the second non communist nation To recognise it on 30th December 1949.
  • On 7th October 1950 the army of people’s Republic of China invaded the  tibitian Kingdom and and took control over Lhasa. On may 1951 the governor of Tibetian kingdom was forced to concede full suzerainty over Tibet.
  • Panchalsheel agreement of 1954:

It is signed to foster good relations amount following five principles, these are

  1. Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
  2. Mutual non aggression.
  3. Equality and mutual benefit.
  4. Non interference in each other’s internal affairs.
  5. Peaceful coexistence.
  • On 1st April 19 55 India  signs a protocol  over to China handling all controls communication services in Tibet
  • On November 1956 the Chinese foreign advisor zhou enlai visit India for  second time as a good will gesture.
  • In December 1988 PM Of India Rajiv Gandhi visits China and an agreement was signed to set up a joint working group on boundary questions and a joint group on economic relations, trade science and technology. By the 1990s our relations improved and in 1991 the Chinese premier Li Peng visits India after a gap of 31 years and pledges to resolve the boundary disputes through bilateral consultations.
  • As a step forward the Indian prime minister P. V. Narsimha Rao visits China, signs an agreement on border peace and tranquility and to setup India-China expert group of diplomatic and military officers for rapid resolution of disputes.
  • In November 1996 Chinese president Jiang Zemin visits India, signs agreement on Confidence Building Measure (CBM) in the military field along the line of actual control (LAC)
  • 23 June 2003, the Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visit China which makes the beginning of the special representatives framework on border negotiations.
  • By 2010s China becomes the largest trading partner of India.
  • As a disputed area of Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan, China started issuing stapled visa for natives of J&K.
  • In 2017, China welcomes India for full membership to Shanghai cooperation organization (SCO).


  • Since independence India is pursuing pacifist foreign policy with mutual respect and recognition. Aftermath of signing pachsheel agreement, China claims a portion of India’s northern frontier on its official map which India strongly condemns as it is completely violation of Panchsheel agreement. 
  • After annexation of Tibet India decided to give political asylum to Dalai Lama, which China objected as infringement in internal affairs.
  • Again in 1959 Zhou Enlai as a spokesperson of China claims more than 40,000 sq miles of area in imaging territory both in Ladakh and NEFA. China refuses to accept the Mc Mohan line, and further claims 50,000 square miles of area in Sikkim and Bhutan, zhou enlai states that China was not a signatory to the 1842 Peace Treaty between British India and England
  • in 1961 China refuses to discuss border disputes along Sikkim and Bhutan border and illegally occupies over 12000 square miles of area known as aksai chin in the western sector of the sino-Indian border.
  • In November 15-18 , 1962 there was a massive attack by Chinese intruders and overran Rezang La and the Chusul airport. Further on 21 November 1962 China unilaterally declares ceasefire along entire border and announces withdrawal of its troops to position 20 km behind the LAC. 
  • On 10th December 1962 India  accepts the Colombo proposal which is a three point ceasefire formula put forward by China as follows-
  1. Both parties would respect the Line of Actual Control(LAC).
  2. The armed forces would withdraw 20km from this LAC.
  3. Talks between the prime minister of both nations to seek a friendly settlement.

On 2nd March 1963 Pakistan ceded 5080 square kilometer of area which is in between Kashmir and Xinjiang, in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) to China.


Dhoklam is 269 sq kilometre sparsely populated area in western Bhutan. China in 2017 attempts to construct a road in this area which constitutes tri-junction between the three countries near the siliguri corridor which led to 73 day long military standoff between the two countries

Bhutan has no diplomatic ties with China and coordinates its relations with Beijing through New Delhi agreed by signing ‘Treaty of Friendship’ 1949.

India’s stand was that the road construction project threatens it’s access to corridor while China question the role in this issue which concerns only China and Bhutan. Further India sighting 2012 agreement on Dhoklam, according to which the dispute to be resolved jointly between India and cons through negotiation.

With the August 28,2017 disengagement while the crisis has been decided for the time being but possibility of future flare up cannot be ruled out.


Galwan valley lies in the Aksai chin area of union territory Ladakh. The name Galwan valley comes from Galwan river flowing through this valley. The recent standoff started among two nations when china starts claiming entire Galwan valley upto pont of confluence of river shyok and river galwan. In past china have never claimed this area. This trigger started when India completed consrruction of Darbuk-Shyok-Daulet Beg Oldie (DSDBO) road which is strategically important for full time access to Karakoram pass. China seeks to access this road to cut off communication to forward posts of indian military. Recent military clashes were observed at


 At the beginning of 21st century the trade among two countries in the year 2000 is $3 billion, however it reached all time high in the year 2011 at $78.9 billion. Thus the growing trade deficit with China is a matter of concern. Since last three years, the bilateral trade has registered robust two-digit growth. For the year 2018, bilateral trade increased by 13.34 % year-on-year to reach US$ 95.7 billion, however India’s exports just increase by US$ 18.83 billion registering positive growth of 15.21 %  consequently after 3 years’ continuous decline and growth of 39.11% in 2017. the trade deficit between the two countries is increasing year on year consequently.

Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA)-on 18 July 1994  India and China signed the DTAA and the Agreement came into force on 21 November 1994.  Both the countries have agreed to revise the DTAA and process completed in May 2018.

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The relationship between India-China are shaped and influenced by perceived and task competition that can turn into conflict and need to be managed. Recent decades have seen the emergence of idea, such as the string of pearls, a term convert by US based academics, which refer to the network of Chinese military and commercial facilities and relationships along its sea lines of communication which travels through several important choke points such as strait of Malacca, Red Sea, gulf of Aden etc.

To counter growing Chinese military presence India is coordinating with several countries such as formation of QUAD, conducting Malabar exercise, India-Japan-Australia trilateral.

Metal chain and iron curtail:- naval analyst Zhang Ming recently proclaimed that the islands of India’s Andaman and Nicobar archipelago could be used as a metal chain to block Chinese access to the strait of Malacca

String of Flowers: since 2015, agreements have been signed by India to develop infrastructure on Agalega islands in Mauritius and Assumption island of Seychelles.

They add to an Indian listening post on Madagascar off the cost of Africa, commissioned in 2007 to monitor activities of foreign navies in the Indian ocean region (IOR). These are Termed as the emergence of an Indian ‘string of flowers’ to counter China’s ‘string of pearls’.

Trans boundary Rivers:  Brahmaputra is a major trans boundary river between India and China and Bangladesh which originates in Tibet as Yarlung Tsangpo near lake mansrovar. It enters India through Pongyab pass in Arunachal Pradesh. India, China and Bangladesh don’t have any joint treaty for the management of Brahmaputra.

India and China in 2006 set up an expert level mechanism to discuss interaction and cooperation on sharing flood season hydrological data, emergency management and other issues regarding trans border rivers.  Hydrological data of the River is shared by China, under a MoU signed in October 2013 during monsoon Season Between 15 May and 15 October. The data is mainly of the water level of the river to alert downstream countries in case of flood. There are several hydropower dams built by China on the river Brahmaputra, which is known as Yarlung Zangbo(Tsangpo) in Tibet. However China says the damsv don’t store or divert water and they will not be against the interest of downstream country. But in recent years, particularly in northeastern India, concerns are also growing that China could suddenly release a huge amount of water.

Multilateral cooperation:

Anti piracy operation in guild of Aden and Horn of Africa

BCIM corridor for promoting regional connectivity through Bangladesh-India-China-Myanmar (BCIM) corridor

BRICS multilateral cooperation in the issues of common concern is promoted at this forum which also includes Russia, Brazil and South Africa eg the NDB as alternative to the Bretton Woods institutions

SCO Shanghai corporation organisation

AIIF Asian infrastructure Investment Bank


As per Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious project, the One Belt One Road initiative focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation among Asian countries, Africa, China and Europe. OBOR emphasis on enhancing land as well as maritime routes which are significant for China since it aims to boost domestic growth in the country.

Experts assures  that OBOR is also a part of China’s strategy for economic diplomacy to counter  China’s exclusion from G7, OBOR policy might just provide China an opportunity to continue its economic development. The main reason behind India’s opposition towards OBOR is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a part of OBOR.  Infringes the sovereignty of our nation as CPEC passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

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