So much for 'Chindia' - Macleans.ca
 

So much for ‘Chindia’

Why China and India are not-so-friendly neighbours


 

GURINDER OSAN/AP

When Manmohan Singh warned of China’s “new assertiveness” last week, Asia watchers snapped to attention. The normally sage Indian prime minister accused Beijing of seeking to expand its reach in South Asia. With China muscling for resources and geopolitical clout, India, he warned, had better take heed. The timing of the rare public rebuke was especially provocative, as it came hot on the heels of a series of diplomatic flare-ups between the two giants. Temperatures on the continent are rising in step with the Asian rivals’ growth.

Last month, China denied a visa to an Indian general on the grounds he was based in disputed Jammu and Kashmir. That was retaliation, experts figure, for India’s earlier denial of a visa to a senior Chinese diplomat. China has, for more than a year, been angering India by refusing to issue normal visas to residents of Indian Kashmir. It is also stoking Indian fears of being encircled by a Chinese infrastructure build-up in northern Pakistan, and Indian Ocean port and rail developments in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Last month, India’s excitable media seized on reports that China has stationed as many as 11,000 troops in northern Pakistan, feeding growing fears of the “Chinese dragon.” For now, a planned defence exchange between the two has been halted at New Delhi’s behest.

This diplomatic tit-for-tat is getting a lot of attention because the lineup features the world’s two biggest countries, its two fastest growing economies, and two of its biggest militaries, which boast a combined four million troops, and nukes in both arsenals. To regional analysts, China and India are gearing up for what the Economist recently dubbed the “contest of the century.” To hawks, they’re on the road to war. Not only has China become a key concern for Indian strategists and decision-makers, but Beijing has begun fretting about India’s diplomatic assertiveness and military modernization, says Jonathan Holslag, a Brussels-based scholar of Chinese foreign policy and author of the recent book China and India: Prospects for Peace.

Right now, “the top leadership in each country is well aware of the high costs of a clash,” he says. “But there is huge pressure to respond strongly to alleged provocations and to keep the other’s military power in check.”

Cooler minds, however, point to a long history of economic co-operation, an interdependent relationship cheerily named “Chindia.” The two countries, meanwhile, see eye-to-eye on a range of issues, from development to global finance—especially since Washington backed off its recent push for deeper ties to New Delhi, says Joseph Caron, a former Canadian ambassador to both China and India. Two-way trade, he adds, is booming, and should top $60 billion this year.

Yet they are also rivals for increasingly scarce resources, notably oil and water; the fight for the latter is sure to get ugly, given that many of India’s big rivers rise from Tibet’s rapidly melting glaciers. And their long-standing grudges aren’t going anywhere. Beijing continues its support for India’s foe, Pakistan, while the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, remains happily ensconced in exile in India. Trade, even doves admit with worry, is deeply skewed.

While China exports manufactured goods to India, India, a resource provider—chiefly iron ore—can’t get its products into China. Beyond the massive trade imbalance, many Indians have deep-seated security concerns about the products China’s Internet and telecommunications giants are selling them, says Caron. These fears were reinforced when in April, Canadian researchers exposed the systematic penetration of Indian government computers from locations in China.

Their brief but bloody 1962 war has since faded from memory, but tensions remain over their shared 4,000-km border. In places, there simply is no agreed border, says Caron, now a distinguished scholar with the Vancouver-based Asia Pacific Foundation. China, meanwhile, claims some 90,000 sq. km in India, an area more than twice the size of Switzerland. A lot of its claims are tied to Tibet, which Beijing now considers a “core interest” on par with Taiwan, according to China expert Susan Shirk, a former Clinton administration official. With cross-border incursions recently spiking to one a day, Brahma Chellaney, an expert in strategic studies at New Delhi’s Centre for Policy Research, sees a “perceptible hardening” in China’s stance toward India. In response, India has had to beef up its Himalayan forces, which he considers an “attrition tactic” by the People’s Liberation Army designed to bog down India’s military.

Many of the incursions, however, are bogus. After all, no one knows where the border really falls. Shirk even accuses India of “exaggerating” the Chinese threat. “It’s frustrating to them that China doesn’t take them more seriously.” Caron agrees. China puts itself on the same mat as the U.S., he says, not India. This underlines a big problem, he adds: the Indians don’t know much about China, and vice versa. “They’re close neighbours geographically—but the societies couldn’t be more different,” and their interaction for long years has been minimal, says Caron.

To many Chinese, according to a recent opinion poll, India remains a backward country, teeming with “poor, homeless people,” not a rising giant. Their mutual incomprehension does little to build friendships.

To Caron, there’s nothing new or noteworthy about China and India’s cat-and-mouse game—“they’ve been at it for 300 years.” Certainly none of it signals a march to war. Bad as it may seem, Beijing and Delhi are also sitting down for their 14th round of border talks, and recently orchestrated a joint walkout at the Copenhagen Climate Conference. The outside world’s interest does, however, serve to underscore the immense and growing power of the Asian rivals. Even five years ago, this odd little spat would have drawn a yawn from the West.


 

So much for ‘Chindia’

  1. China has he ablity to take over india within hours. I really feel sorry for India, they have been backstabbed by so many countries. China is way too smart for India. If they fight alot of chinease and indians will loose their lives, but i have to accept China will win the war. 'String of Pearl' is a REAL threat to India.

  2. India is ruled by corrupt leaders, guided by an not- so -smart indvidual, who is not from the soil. and are not patrioticn unlike the chinese

  3. What would the PRC gain from invading and taking over India? People? Got lots and could have lots more in short order. Resources? India has none. Administrative head aches? Got enough already.

    China invading India.. pshah.

    • HA HA………….

      I totally agree. Dont forget they have corrupted leaders as resources.

  4. As global warming becomes worse, India is in for a world of hurt. Tensions with Pakistan over water and climate refugees from Myanmar will exacerbate diplomatic problems with China. I don't think they will go to war, but the two Asian giants will continually have political excuse to so. An important area to watch in the coming years.

  5. India is looking for leap and it is not there. Sorry Hindia :-(

    • Yes, more like Chinafrica, but only economically.

  6. India- a Country Made by the British and just few 100 years old- like the Ill fated Soviet union and like the Ill fated Soviet Union, Indid run by foolish leaders who just don't have the bottle to run a MASSIVE country like the India.
    And, India is the worst and largest HUMAN RIGHTS Violator in terms of so called CASTE SYSTEMS of the HINDUISM which was designed to divide and destroy the Indigenous Indians by Invaders like the White invaders created UNTOUCHABLE in Apartheid South Africa.
    China on the other hand, despite less Human righst violations compare the India, marching towards SUPER POWERDOM while supporting GENOCIDE Incline countries like SUDAN, Srilanka, Iran, etc.
    India soon will implode into pieces like the DEFUNCT Soviet Union SOON.

    • Well said. Stupid and corrupted Indians. Can't get a Commonweath game organised, talking about being a super power.

    • Tou don't have to YELL!!!

  7. ndia- a Country Made by the British and just few 100 years old- like the Ill fated Soviet union and like the Ill fated Soviet Union, India run by foolish leaders who just don't have the bottle to run a MASSIVE country like the India.
    And, India is the worst and largest HUMAN RIGHTS Violator in terms of so called CASTE SYSTEMS of the HINDUISM which was designed to divide and destroy the Indigenous Indians by Invaders like the White invaders created UNTOUCHABLE in Apartheid South Africa.
    China on the other hand, despite less Human righst violations compare the India, marching towards SUPER POWERDOM while supporting GENOCIDE Incline countries like SUDAN, Srilanka, Iran, etc.
    India soon will implode into pieces like the DEFUNCT Soviet Union SOON.

    • Roshan is right. You have no rights to talk about Sri lanka. They are the first country in the world to wipe out terrorists. India got terrirsts in each states :) China is our friend, and continue to be our friend.

      • You dummy.. your rader didn't work.. go and google it.. India supplied defective radars call 'Indra radar".. thats why the terroriests bombed colombo.. thanks to China and pakistan for supplying us with a proper one then we shot down those planes.. India dont have money to feed their own people.. how are they going to supply weapons to Sri lanka? Ok i am going to donate some money to India so they can clean those washroom in Common wealth game? :) hahhaha what a JOKE..

      • Sri Lanka is the first country to elect terrorizing , human rights abusers & murderous thugs as leaders. Rest of the population is just like them too – feeling glorious about having wiped up a small rag tag army conveniently labeled as terrorists.

        • "feeling glorious about having wiped up a small rag tag army conveniently labeled as terrorists" maybe you want to read some news… India coudn't win these 'rag tag army' :) but Sri lankan government did.

          • If not for Indian help, the Indian naval blockade to prevent the LTTE re-supplying and the intelligence as to the LTTE deep sea warehouses from the Indians, Indian tactical advice etc. etc. not to forget that ealier it was the Indians who forced the LTTE not to attack and wipe out the SL army in the Jaffna peninsula and the western squeeze on LTTE networks, the SriLanka government would have eventually lost! But to their credit the Sri Lankan government played its cards very well.
            And India also had its cunning reasons for the substandard radar it gave the Sri Lankan government!!

            Also of course the Indian army was well and truly kicked out of Lanak by the so called 'rag tag army'!

        • Wasn't the great Indian army well and truly kicked out of Lanka by the so called 'rag tag army' some years earlier?

          Why are the indians so scared that they are running behind the 'terrorizing , human rights abusers & murderous thugs as leaders' of SriLanka?

        • Wasn't the great Indian army well and truly kicked out of Lanka by the so called 'rag tag army' some years earlier?

          Why are the indians so scared that they are running behind the 'terrorizing , human rights abusers & murderous thugs as leaders' of SriLanka?

    • Good Roshan. You are true Sri Lankan. For all the help India gave Sri Lanka you are giving them true Sri Lankan greafulness. This is how you say Thank You in Sri Lankese India will never learn. But fools can be dangerous too. Beware. Keep the LIEon flag flying high and tie all the Indians to the trees. Short of rope ask China they will give you. If you help good people you will get good things. If you help bad people you get bad things. India learn it . No body even the Sri Lankans trusts the Sri Lankans. What India is today is because of the handy work of your forign policy advicers. Where are they gone. they are busy building houses with whoes money you know. They say "Isthuuthi Sri Lanka" dont translate they know the meaning. Much more is coming India and welldone Sri Lanka

      • It was India who supported LTTE.. you think we dont know? We know India will start another terrorists in Sri lanka… INdia is jellous that Sri lanka is a rich country..

  8. India will pay a price for what it did to the Tamil in Sri-Lanka. India helped and provided for the genocide of Tamils. Sri-Lanka will never support and trust the bloody Indians anyway. Remm: Indio-Pak war in 1970' the Paki's used SL airports and air space. The Indians need to wake up and smell the coffee, who is the real Sonia Gandi?? and who realyy killed Rajiv Gandi. Corrupt and ept Indian plolitican might have been already bought by the China-man. Chiino's will beat the Indians at their own game and remmeber that they will split India into 19 new countries. __It is pay back to India for the supporting the massacre of Tamils and deprive the Tamils of there own country ( similar to Kuds in Northern Iraq and Southern Turkey. History will repeat itself……………..Naam Thamilar – Thamilan(Eelam)

  9. Srilanka is one of the worst human rights violator in modern history. Srilankan Sinhalese are opportunists, rather dumb people who needed China to win the war against the handfull of LTTE. Caste system, racial discrimination are order of the day in Srilanka.

  10. As an America, I doubt China gives two hoots about India, seriously.

    China's main economic adversaries in Asia is Japan and military adversaries are United States.

  11. India has the support of the US and the EU. Whats worrysome is the union of China and the most despicable Iran. You see Srilanka is trying to coat tail Iran too. The Rajapakksa of Srilanka is accused of war crimes and because of China, Iran, Libya and few other Arab countries it is still floating around as a Parriah state. What India must do is put its neighbours in their rightful place first before it confronts China. Fighting with China is costly but bringing Srilanka, burma and Bangladesh under its command is very easy.

    • Yeh right. Dream on. Look after your poor first before becoming a super power or controlling others. They are parriah states I agree, India is not far behind with its Human right violations, justice system and corrupted leaders. Put your house in order before checking on others.

    • Yes, it is very informative … thanks!

  12. All that for India whose rulers are very secretive and corrupted,also can think only about Nehru’s dynasty guided by “mafia” style leader .They deserve all that intimidation from China for bullying the minority people from neighbouring Sri lanka and crushing their genuine freedom.India should be separated or delegated the power to individual state.Jai Hind!!!!!!!

  13. India is no match for China. It is due to the ineptness of the Indian
    politicians. China walked into Tiebt and ate the whole place. China solves minority probelm by planting the Chinese people among them and overwhelmthem. In India it is too much democracy and free for all. After 1962 drubbing India got from China, India should have increased their defence sepending and fortified the nothern border. India did nothing. Now they are alive to the problem, but it is 50 years too late.

    • India actually increased it's defense spending. But unlike China the money was hooted by corrupt Indian politicians and political parties and the Indian forces were left to deal with makingChappathi.

      • Yes, sadly this is absolutely true!

  14. I want u ppl 2 ans this question
    DOSE CHINA HAVE A AIRCRAFT CARRIER ???
    DOSE CHINA HAVE 4th GENERATION FREIGATES ???
    wanna kno the quality of the chinees navy??? use a chinees phone and uul find out …
    as for their airforce they are still usin mig-19’s and u say India is no match for china???
    now it dosen’t matter who has more boots on ground but who has air supremacy …
    and let me assure u ppl this within 48hrs of a Indo-chinees war india wil have dat ….
    CHINA DOSEN”T STAND A CHANCE AGAINST INDIA…

    • Time to crawl out of your cave dude. You still talking about air supremacy and naval equipment?

      They will take your Airplanes and Frigates and raise you with nukes and ballistic missles.

      PS: I recall laughing @ tv when I saw Indian police responding to that terrorist attack on that hotel with sticks and rifle?? Time for an upgrade there to protect it's own people!

    • You're wrong pal. They don't have aircraft carriers because they dont need them. They play chess while we play checkers. They have missles that destroy aircraft carriers and at 1000th of the cost. They have small subs that can take out large cities with one shot and no one will see them or hear them. China is scary. Be afraid.

  15. well as far as commonwealth is concerned it is such a shame. Nobody wants to accept the failure. i believe the people behind the organisation commitee has to accept the blame and should resign from their respective posts. this would become a good lesson for the future and for other officials.

  16. Give it a coupe decades

  17. China appears strong. No one really knows the problems within china, as we see what their leadership wants us to see.

    I am sure they themselves dont know all the problems inside. The best cure to keep China in check is to induce real information. The concept of communision will not be sustainable as china sees more wealth,entrepreneurs, greed and all the good things of a capitalist society.

    For india this should not be about military warfare but more about inducing the ideology of freedom and democracy, once that creeps into their society, they wont know how to handle the change, as they have never been used to the type of freedom and will keep them occupied with civil issues rather than be a threat to neighbours.

  18. It feels like there's alot of self-pittying by Indians of their homeland, the elites run away when they're able and contributes to the rest of the world, there are plenty of smart Indian business man and scientists working in OTHER countries. Where as in China ther culture is that you contribute to build your home, maintain your family ties and that common 'purpose'.

    Neighbouring countries does not have to be friendly to each other, and there is no chance of war in this modern age, China has more to lose in a war than India, while India offers nothing for China to gain.

  19. people try to destroy india from thousands of years like muslims, british and so on….but they cant, so please sop trying this and hope for best.

  20. Please stop putting us Indians down. We have put on a spectacular opening ceremony for the whole world to see. The games are running smoothly as chairman Suresh Kalmadi predicted. He should be declared a national hero for pull off such amazing feat. All the minor troubles before the games will be soon forgotten before the games end. We will put the Chinese to shame and make the 2008 Olympics looks like child's play. With the success of the CWG, the West will recognize our sports superpower status, which is the envy of China. I am proud to be a Indian. We are more than ready to host the Olympics games. Lets bring it on.