India-China Relations taking a turn and how India can balance out its relationship with US and China

In the past years, India-China relations have kept up decent energy in their improvement, with mutual co-operation as the key factor. The two countries have looked up to keep raising the level of mutual political trust and to promote the development of bilateral cooperation. The present circumstance recommends that co-operation between the two nations should primarily be focused on ‘economic areas of interest’. It has likewise been promoted in the areas of governmental issues, border issues, trade limitations and arrangements, etc. If both countries can embrace their respective responsibilities and help each other in facilitating economically and culturally, a lot can be done.

The focus on economic cooperation is one of the main pillars of the Indo-China relationship. Both of the Asian countries are a good market and attract most of the investors in the world. Being a competitor of each other on the economic front, both the countries are diligent in making sure that the policies that are followed for the trade and other bilateral cooperation, should not affect their stand on the list of economically advanced countries.

The volume of trade that took place between India and China increased from US$100 million in 1988 to whooping US$73.9 billion in the year 2011. [1] China has now become one of the biggest trading partners and likewise, India is also one of the biggest trading partners for China. Being a developing economy with the bottleneck of being largely populated, both the counties face a lot of similar issues in the development perspective.


The then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru’s slogan – “Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai” (in the year 1950), has lost its meaning after the border war that took place in 1962 which happens to be the first and the only confrontation of the military of both the countries. The relations between the nations were deeply affected on the diplomatic front after the war and since 1962, both the counties have shared a continuous sentiment of mistrust.

The present nature of the Indo-China relationship can be explained by the conception of “Balance of Treat” which was proposed by Stephen Walt in the year 1985 in which he modified the already existing theory of “Balance of Power” to provide a better explanation of the alliance systems. [2] The BRICS association has also benefited the relationship between India and China on many fronts.

The significance of the relationship between the US, China and India have been brought into focus in the early 21st century. [3] The U.S.–China–India triangular relationship is a vital Rubik’s Cube. Each country needs the other two in one way or the other for their own benefits which include economic, political or diplomatic. For China, its financial association with the United States is fundamentally critical as its ‘weapon of economic advancement’. For India, their tie with the United States encourages its ascent as an economic power and increases its position in Asia. For China, the United States is the chief vital enemy; for India, it is China. India’s discouragement capacities are China-driven, while those of China’s are U.S.- driven.

From the perspective of India, the government is committed to bridging the gaps in its relationship with China. The then Former Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna said that ‘the government of India will work with China in areas such as trade, investment, cultural exchanges, science, and technology co-operation, where both countries stand to gain from each other. We will continue to engage China in a constructive and forward-looking manner so that both countries can achieve a win-win situation.’ [4]

India has been building associations with the United States, Japan and other center powers in the Asia-Pacific but India needs to do is to cooperate with China economically and open its market if, on the other hand, China is willing to do the same as a part of strategic economic cooperation. Both counties couldn’t find any better strategic and political friends than each other. It will also loosen the political tensions as well as the issue of terrorism in India from the side of Pakistan to a great extent which is also believed to be largely facilitated by China.

In the meantime, India is becoming economically stable. India’s political and military relations with many countries in the Asia-Pacific are becoming better day by day as compared to that with China since it is serving its incredible power aspiration, which makes India to follow motivations to participate and facilitate with elements in the Indo-Pacific. Such associations now help India to position it all the more. According to a report of 2010, more than three hundred thousand military troops have been deployed by China in the POK region, in the response of which Indian Defense Minister A.K. Anthony declared, ‘if they can increase their military strength there, then we can increase our military strength in our own land.’ [5] In the triangular power adjustment game, Beijing fears India’s investment in the U.S.–Japanese control of China. Then again, India fears a Sino-U.S. arrangement that would enable Beijing to control the development of Indian power or prompt U.S. affirmation of the South Asia/Indian Ocean district as China’s range of authority.

Each of the three nations takes advantage of other’s area of interest. Stressed U.S.–China relations make India the “swing state” in the triangle while tensed India–China relations would put the United States in a crucial position. Regardless of whether India goes into a delicate or hard arrangement with the United States (and Japan) will be controlled by Beijing’s eagerness to suit India’s ascent. A noteworthy break in the U.S.–Chinese or Indian–Chinese relations alone will solidify the liquid connections into inflexible arrangements. A prosperous India would checkmate China and delay U.S. power supported by shared interests. Conversely, a weaker, stifled, and detached India would embrace the landing of Sino-driven warfare.

While the People’s Liberation Army may have a disliking for India, that is yet one view. Expanding contact and flourishing the relations can adjust that view and advance improved co-operation. Asia’s ascent is driven by its financial development, and driving it towards China. China and India are both developing major oceanic forces. As they assemble huge naval forces to secure their interests, the two nations are bothering the waters of the Indo-Pacific: the tremendous region extending from Africa to Australia.

Regardless, to accomplish a completely diplomatic relationship, the two nations must exhibit the political will to re-arrange the story that characterizes it. Meanwhile, they should cease from meddling in each other’s internal affairs, for example, the dissents by China against the advancing India-Japan-US relationship. A developing India is the best thing that could happen to a rising China and the other way around.