Presentation on theme: "When that nation is China and the subject of introspection is its relations with India, such an endeavour can at best be fraught with far too many variables."— Presentation transcript:
When that nation is China and the subject of introspection is its relations with India, such an endeavour can at best be fraught with far too many variables. The two have had the longest uninterrupted existence as nations. Their combined size and population makes them the largest geographical and human resource mass on the planet. India and China have had cultural, religious and trade links going back centuries in history.
They also came into being as nation states almost simultaneously in this century, They also share a past of colonial and imperialist subjugation from which freedom had to be won with a major struggle, Paradoxically enough, the two countries fought a war with each other over disputed frontiers. That conflict episode, the continuing border dispute between the two countries and China’s rapid growth in military power, not unsurprisingly create anxieties about the future relationship.
In the post-independence period, China preferred to use military power extensively in pursuit of its geopolitical aims. A confrontationist and belligerent image of China was therefore inevitable. China’s choice of the military option in a series of cases confirmed the image of a militarist state willing to use its power to settle issues by force
The Indian picture over the same period is a contrast in many ways. India was tireless in its support to China’s cause in the international arena from the very beginning. India’s attempts to grapple with the enormous task of nation building, of social and distributive justice, of security against external military and terrorist threats, of economic development through democratic processes, were monumental in size and in the investments required.
At the turn of the millennium, the world is changing through information technology, and economic interdependence. India and China both realise the need to adapt to these tectonic changes, if they hope to develop as economically stable and politically lasting entities. The leadership in both states is aware of the need to ensure the social and economic well-being of their peoples.
If that is achieved, the military perspective which so dominated the India-China relations in the last 50 years would be balanced by the larger contexts of economy, trade, and international cooperation. China and India would then be partners in providing a lead through the principles of Panchsheel and in moving the world away from military conflicts. It would be a condition which both Kautilya and Sunzi would have approved.