China–India relations

bilateral relations between China and India

China–India relations, also called Sino-Indian relations or Indo–Chinese relations, refers to the bilateral relationship between China and India. China and India had historically peaceful relations for thousands of years of recorded history. But the tone of the relationship has varied in modern time, especially after the rule of the Chinese Communist Party; the two nations have sought economic cooperation with each other, while frequent border disputes and economic nationalism in both countries are a major point of contention. The modern relationship began in 1950 when India was among the first countries to end formal ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan) and recognise the People's Republic of China as the legitimate government of Mainland China. China and India are two of the major regional powers in Asia, and are the two most populous countries and among the fastest growing major economies in the world. Growth in diplomatic and economic influence has increased the significance of their bilateral relationship.

Quotes edit

  • The religion and culture of China are undoubtedly of Hindu origin. At one time in the single province of Loyang there were more than three thousand Indian monks and ten thousand Indian families to impress their national religion and art on Chinese soil.
  • China and India had a unique and mutually respectful exchange. Buddhist thought is the most notable and obvious import to China from India. The T'ang Dynasty (618–907 ce) opened the doors to Sanskriti from South and South-east Asia. The Indian influence over China reached its zenith in the seventh century when more Chinese monks and royal embassies came to India than in any other period. Nalanda University attracted large numbers of Buddhist monks from across Asia. The Chinese scholars at Nalanda studied not only Buddhism but also Vedic philosophy, mathematics, astronomy and medicine. The Chinese emperor gave liberal support to Chinese scholars studying at Nalanda. Numerous Indian texts were translated into Chinese and became established in Chinese thought.
    • Malhotra, R., & Infinity Foundation (Princeton, N.J.). (2018). Being different: An Indian challenge to western universalism.
  • Buddhism's spread across Asia is well-acknowledged, but beyond mere religion, this pan-Asian civilization also become a fountain of knowledge in fields as diverse as language, linguistics, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, botany, martial arts and philosophy.... Historians generally refer to this large-scale export of Sanskriti as the export of Buddhism, which dilutes the role of dharmic culture in general.... The arts were also centres of confluence of Chinese culture and Sanskriti and gave rise to the school known as Sino-Indian art. This school became prominent in the Northern Wei period (386–534 ce), and there are a number of rock-cut caves at Thunwang, Yun-kang and Longmen with colossal images of Buddha 60 to 70 feet high, as well as fresco paintings.
    • Malhotra, R., & Infinity Foundation (Princeton, N.J.). (2018). Being different: An Indian challenge to western universalism.
  • The Himalayas are not today a physical barrier... They are an ideological frontier between democracy and communism... Himalaya is now the dividing line between democracy and communism. And this communist conspiracy, the international communist conspiracy, must be scotched on the heights, not at the foot-hills of the Himalayas.
  • Indian philosophy, Mao tells Kissinger, is ‘just a bunch of empty words’. ‘India did not win independence,’ Mao tells Kissinger, ‘If it does not attach itself to Britain, it attaches itself to the Soviet Union. And more than one half of their economy depends on you...’ In his important study, Garver reproduces a poem of Mao in which India is represented as a helpless cow with a bear—the Soviet Union—astride it. Garver cites the ‘Maoist exposition’ of the poem which explains the reference to India as follows: ‘Chairman Mao’s use of the cow as a metaphor for India could not be more appropriate. It is no better than a cow... it is only food or for people to ride and for pulling carts; it has no particular talents. The cow would starve to death if its master did not give it grass to eat... Even though this cow may have great ambitions, they are futile.’
    • About Mao's views on India. quoted from Arun Shourie - Self-Deception _ India's China Policies_ Origins, Premises, Lessons-Harper Collins (2013)
  • Muhammad bin Tughluq is generally, and perhaps rightly, regarded as a man of liberal views. The Chinese Emperor asked for his permission to build a temple at Samhal, a place of pilgrimage in the Himalayan hills frequented by the Chinese, which the Muslim army “had seized, destroyed and sacked”. But the Sultan, who accepted the rich presents sent by the Chinese Emperor, wrote to him a reply to this effect: ‘Islam does not allow the furthering of such an aim and the permission to build a temple in a Muslim country can be accorded only to those who pay the jizya.
    • RC Majumdar, editor, Volume 6: The Delhi Sultanate [1300-1526] XVII.C.
  • But the real disaster for China’s Third World relationships was the 1962 border war with India. This was a conflict that had been a long time coming. Although China and India had cooperated for a while after their states were reconstituted in the late 1940s, a decade later they were locked in enmity. The causes were many. China suspected, with some justification, Nehru’s government to be sympathetic to Tibetan nationalists. India feared that Chinese control of the Himalayas would put New Delhi at a dangerous strategic disadvantage. But the most basic problem was that the Chinese Communists always viewed Nehru’s Indian state simply as a colonial construct, something less than a real country. Nehru, on his side, saw Chinese-style revolution as a threat not just to his wishes for India’s development, but to the security of all of Asia. “The Indians,” Zhou Enlai had told Khrushchev in 1959, “[have] conducted large-scale anti-Chinese propaganda for forty years.” The war broke out when Indian military mountain patrols moved into disputed areas of the Himalayas in October 1962. Chinese soldiers tried to force them out, and both sides started shooting. The Indians were on the offensive first, but the PLA managed to get large reinforcements in, which pushed the Indian army back. When the fighting ended the Indians had been thoroughly routed, and the Chinese took control of the disputed region. The war was a shock to all of Asia, and not least to the members of the recently formed Non-Aligned Movement, which had India as one of its principal members. But the main effect was to further isolate China, who, largely because of its bellicose language, was seen as the aggressive party.
    • Odd Arne Westad, The Cold War: A Global History (2017)

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