China-India Relations: dawn of a new era

China and India are earnestly working towards easing their border tensions. Both countries concluded Tuesday the 14th round of border talks with a joint call to “seek a fair and reasonable solution acceptable to both sides,” according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement, reported China daily.

Half of a century has passed since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and India. But the bilateral ties between the two ancient civilizations have experienced countless ups and downs. At the same time, both countries are counted among the world’s emerging powers; while their relations sometimes reach lowest ebbs.

China-India relations

According to China daily, Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Indian National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon co-chaired the two-day talks in Beijing. “Dai and Menon had an in-depth exchange of views on how to properly solve the China-India boundary issue to safeguard peace and tranquility along the border,” the paper said, quoting a  statement issued after the two- day talks.

During the talks, both sides agreed that they will take into consideration the overall China-India relations and the two people’s fundamental interests while making efforts to achieve a fair and reasonable solution.

Moreover, on a  broader issue of China-India relations, Dai and Menon reviewed the all-round and rapid growth of bilateral relations since the beginning of the century, agreeing to make concerted efforts to boost the bilateral strategic cooperative partnership that benefits the two countries.

For the past years, the two Asian giants have had complicated feelings towards each other. Conditional love socialized with inexpressible dislikness, occasional trust intertwined with constant doubts and suspicions. Now, the situation is quite changing. The two governments are both eager to reach out to each other.

China-India relations have been tense ever since a bor­der dispute led to a full- scale war in 1962 and armed skir­mishes in 1967 and 1987. Several rounds of talks held over more than a quarter of a century (since 1981) have failed to resolve the disputed claims. Agreements on maintaining peace and calmness on the disputed border were signed in 1993 and 1996. An agreement on the guiding principles for settlement was concluded in 2005.

China and India’s strategic cultures require both to regain the power and status their leaders consider appropriate to their country’s size, population, geographical position, and historical heritage. For more than half a millennium, Asia has not seen the two giants economi­cally and militarily powerful at the same time. That time seems to be fast approaching, and it is likely to result in sig­nificant new geopolitical realignments. The emergence of China and India as economic giants undoubtedly will throw a huge new weight onto the world’s geopolitical balance soon.

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