China India relationships
The China India relationship has always been strained although in the past few years there have been efforts to dissipate the animosity between them. There are border disputes that have been there for a long time. Although they have reduced the tension between them, the border disputes are still unresolved. In July 2003, the Indian prime minister made the first visit to china since 1988. The major problem between India and china started when India was defeated in 1962 in a border war. Prior to this war china held a grudge towards India since they had given sanctuary to the Dalai Lama and his followers in 1959 when they fled Tibet due to Chinese terrorism. From then on they had ill feelings towards each other and it was made worse by the disputes about the 2,200-mile common border.
On top of all the border disputes that the two countries have, China made matters worse by assisting Pakistan in the war against India by providing nuclear aid to them when they were fighting India. In 1988 the Indian prime minister made a visit to china and since then the visits have been ongoing. Although they help ensure that the situation does not become worse they have not really aided in mending the severed relationship. In 1988 matters became worse when India started nuclear testing which their defense minister defended by saying that India felt threatened by China and thus the justification of the nuclear testing. Although there have been numerous talks on the border issues, none have been solved.
The major reason for all these disputes is the border ownership problems. Pakistan ceded a part of the Kashmir that India claims to own and this has not been resolved up to now. China has detained Indian surveillance teams even at the time of the prime ministers visit. China maintains friendly relations with Pakistan not only for economic benefit but to also keep India off balance. This makes India view China as a strategic rival especially because of their military advancement compared to India. China has a massive nuclear and missile capability when compared to India.
India has strived to improve their weaponry and is making positive steps towards competing with china in that front. It aimed at testing the Agni III missile, which has been specially made to target the Chinese cities. They have also joined the United States to support its missile defense plan, which China is opposed to. This has led to increased animosity between them especially because China leans towards communism while the United States is purely capitalistic. India has also gone as far as developing the Sagarita, which is a sub-marine launched missile.
On top of the Sagarita, India has invested in early warning and control system. They have imported the airborne warning and control system (AWCS) from Israel. The joining up with United States is mainly because of the reactions that China has towards these defense plans. Although other countries like Beijing do not see India as a major threat, these plans have made them start taking India seriously. The only other leverage that China has over India is the use of Pakistan. Despite this they only allow Pakistan to interfere with china so far and beyond that they oppose them. This is not mostly for the sake of India but because a war between the two countries will politically destabilize them and this will interfere with their economic activities with either country.
Going back in history, one sees that in 1980, India and china were at par economically but by the year 2001, China was far ahead of India. This makes India feel inferior towards China and this interferes with their relations. China has encouraged a lot of foreign direct investment and this has contributed a lot to the growth of the economy. On top of this China had an advantage of 22 years of economic reforms whereas India started their economic reforms in the early 1990s. This means that there can be little competition because India will have to implement major reforms for them to reach the level of China. By the time the two countries entered the twenty first century, China had already developed much more than India in all aspects including the people’s living standards and also economic growth.
By the year 2001, the Chinese poverty levels were not as high as Indians. Only about 18.8 percent of the Chinese citizens lived on less than a dollar a day while in India they were around 44.2 percent. China has also managed to implement the population growth control policies which have slowed down the population and also eased some pressure from the economy India on the other hand has a very high population growth that is not being curbed by any policies and it has been predicted that it will overtake china’s population by the year 2050. This will happen if the rate of population growth maintains at the same pace.
In terms of technical advancements China is far ahead of India. Probably due to the high rates of poverty computer penetration in India has been very low. By 2001, China had a computer penetration of 15.9 per 1000 people as opposed to India’s 4.5 per 1000. Apart from computer advancement, India also has a deficiency when it comes to cell phone use. In India only 6 million people have access to cell phone use as opposed to China’s 150 million people who use cell phones.
India hopes to increase its bilateral trade with China up to around $10 billion. By 2001, they expected to do this in the following five years. So far India has been importing consumer goods together with cloths, cheap toys and television from China. At the same time, Indian plants have been set up in China so that they can be able to compete with them. This expansion of trade between the two countries may lead to further corporation between them. This will benefit both countries but India will be the higher beneficiary because it will be able to acquire cheaper things from China and also get a market to sell its goods in and also a place to set up their plants in China.
Despite all its shortcomings, India can boast of having an advanced software business. In this, it does not view China as competition but rather as a stepping-stone to aid they market their services to others especially those in eastern Asia. In the software related industries, there can be corporation between the two countries. It is the only part that India has an advantage over China and so they are comfortable joining with them on such a venture. The Indian association of the Indian software companies Nasscom is encouraging the move to join China in corporations regarding the software service providers. India has made very bold positive moves in the global software business and so is able to provide those services and hence prefer to join with China which has penetrated more in the consumer base so that they can tap into the consumers who work with China to promote their economy. They will have the advantage of a ready market in China and will not use their resources establishing one.
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