INDIA-CHINA: HIGHLIGHTS OF 2012
In September, 2012, it was President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who came together to proclaim this year to be the one of India-China friendship and cooperation (ICEC, 2012). During such a first move in terms of strategic economic dialogue, both nations agreed to open up their markets further, in order to promote regional trade and development. Today, China is India’s largest trading partner; whereas India is within the top ten of China’s trading partners. Bilateral trade between China and India has been US$80 billion in 2012. Leaders of both countries have proposed, with confidence, the goal of increasing bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015 (Kalha, 2012).
Pesident Jintao visited New Delhi in March 2012, to review the bilateral ties along with the boundary issues between the two nations. A positive outlook was seen building up, since the Chinese President noted that as the two largest developing nations and major Asian powers, both the nations face important development opportunities, China-India relations have a great potential for further development. He also stated that China was willing to see a more peaceful, developed and prosperous India. He put down a five-point proposal to promote China-India relations by, increasing mutual political trust, deepening practical cooperation and expanding mutual benefits in areas of infrastructure, IT and environmental protection, expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges, work for peace and stability and lastly, expand cooperation in international affairs. To deepen mutual trust and cooperation, Prime Minster Dr. Singh stated that India is ready is to maintain high level contacts with China along with mentioning that fact that India was prepared to resolve border security issues peacefully. Earlier in August 2012, the first visit by a Chinese Defence Minister in eight years was marked by General Liang Guanglie’s trip when he met his counterpart AK Antony, to deliberate on bilateral military issues with the hope of launching another set of joint military exercises (Daniel and Williams, 2012).
Since 2012 marked exactly half a century since the Sino-Indian war that brought about Chinese victory and both India and China have continued to have tussles over their high-altitude frontiers ever since. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) has been a matter of dispute between the two nations since 2007 (Joshi, 2012). The border dispute issue along with activities being embraced by both nations towards military cooperation, China-India relations saw renewed vigour across 2012. Several efforts on the defence front have been taken up, even as 2013 unfolds itself. The fact is that a long stretch 4000 kms is shared between India and China and this geography cannot be changed, even though the leaders of both the countries have looked at the optimistic side of the same, agreeing to the fact that there is enough space for both in Asia and the world (Roy, 2012).
- Daniel, F., and Williams, M., (2012), “Asian giants seek better ties: China’s Defence Minister in India” U.S. Edition, Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/02/us-india-china-idUSBRE88100X20120902 (accessed on 10 January, 2013).
- ICEC, (2012), “2012 declared as the year of India-China friendship and cooperation”, India China Economic and Cultural Council.
- Joshi, M., (2012), “India-China relations after 50 years of Sino-India War”, India Today, 14 October, 2012. http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/india-china-relations-after-50-years-of-sino-indian-war/1/224707.html (accessed on 10 January, 2013).
- Kalha, R., (2012), “Sino-Indian relations: Are Trade Issues Likely to cause Even More Problems?” IDSA Comment, Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses. http://www.idsa.in/idsacomments/SinoIndianRelations_RSKalha_241212 (accessed on 10 January, 2013).
- Roy, B., (2012), “Glimpses into China’s Foreign Policy”, Centre for China Studies, C3S Paper 1077. http://www.c3sindia.org/foreign-policy/3215 (accessed on 10 January, 2013)