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Indo-China Tension: How Will India Face Deteriorating Relations With China?

When India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet in Ahmedabad in 2014 or take a trip to Mahabalipuram in 2019, the relationship between the two countries is now filled with bitterness and confrontation.

There has always been a border dispute and competitive sentiment between China and India but this sentiment seemed to be suppressed due to increasing economic dependencies. But the skirmish in Galvan valley has again created the same bitterness between the two countries.

20 Indian soldiers have been killed in the clash and China and India are accusing each other of attacking. In India, there is a wave of Chinese opposition and there is a demand for a boycott of Chinese goods.

In such a situation, the relationship between China and India is soon coming back on track. There is emotional turmoil among the people and no one is ready to retreat at the border. Prime Minister Modi has said that the soldiers who die will not be forgotten.

Under these circumstances, what options does India have to balance between deteriorating relations with China? How can India strengthen its position in South Asia, facing China?

How India and China will settle these differences after the tension on going from a year

Long Time To Improve Relationship

Professor Srikanth Kondapalli at the Center for Chinese Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University believes that it seems very difficult to recover relations between India and China. The death of soldiers will have a very bad effect on their relationship. Confidence building efforts have also weakened.

He says, "A national perception against China will also have an impact on business. There is an appeal to boycott Chinese goods. In such a situation, it is not easy to make relations normal. However, diplomacy and business are always ongoing, but not externally warm. It will take time to get back to people who had increased contact and reduced distance due to increased business dependence. ”

India and China are mutual partners as well as competition. In such a situation, if China comes up as a challenge for India with deteriorating relations, what will be the options for India to face it and balance it?

Experts believe that no matter how good the relationship between the two countries looks, but there is an internal distance and competition. Both countries have their own ambitions. That is why India already tries to balance with China in Asia.

Now he will have to accelerate his efforts. There are two main ways in this - India's 'Act East' policy and China's distance from western countries and India's proximity.

Focus on 'Act East Policy'

India's 'Look East' policy was started in 1991 by the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, which was converted into an 'Act East' policy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014. Under this, India insisted on finding economic development opportunities in other countries of Asia.

Modi's move from See East to Look East

However, this policy of India's economic focus gradually became diplomatic. India wants to increase connectivity and trade with South Eastern countries. The Modi government also announced one billion dollars in 2015 to increase connectivity.

India shares a border with Myanmar, which is the gateway to South East Asia for India. India, Thailand, and Myanmar 1400 km. Long working on a highway.

This policy of strengthening relations with countries like South Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines, and Cambodia is also seen as a policy of balancing with China.

Srikanth Kondapalli says that this policy has three things - commerce, connectivity, and culture. Former Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj mentioned these three 'C'. India must first increase its capacity by strengthening relations with these countries. Balance with China will be made only when you are capable.

In the Act East Policy, the Government of India is trying to develop its infrastructures, such as roads and highways. Also, the government is focused on increasing business.

India is increasing investment with ASEAN (Organization of South East Asian Nations) countries. At the same time, talking about culture, the culture of India is similar to some South Asian countries. By increasing this equality, intimacy with countries is being increased.

The objective of ASEAN is to maintain the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence of the member states. There should also be a peaceful settlement of conflicts.

How much benefit from the bad relations of China?

Both India and China have been trying to increase their influence on each other's neighbors. However, the way China has taken an aggressive stand in the disputed areas, it has increased the concerns of the countries of that region and has helped India to increase its influence. Experts consider this as an opportunity for India.

China has been in dispute with Indonesia for years over the authority on Natuna Island in the South China Sea. China and Vietnam face to face with the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea itself.

There is also a dispute between the two countries about the Sparty Islands. Both China and Malaysia claim James Shoal in the South China Sea.

China claims the South China Sea. Due to this, its tension with the surrounding countries is already there. But now the United States, Australia and Japan have also warned China by raising the issue of shipping under the international maritime law in the South China Sea.

Regarding how much these circumstances are in favor of India, Atul Bhardwaj, a research fellow at the City University of London and a China affairs expert, says that India alone cannot balance with China.

In such a situation, he can get help by joining with other countries. India will have to speed up its efforts on this.

At the same time, Srikanth Kondapalli says that India can not only increase China's concerns by improving relations with these countries but can also strengthen itself.

For example, an effort was made to increase two plus two talks between India and Japan in three-four areas. Japan is helping India on the level of economy and technology. For example, Japan loaned India for the bullet train and Delhi-Mumbai Investment Corridor.

He says, "Similarly, Japan is a sea power with which India can increase its capabilities." India and Japan are cooperating in areas such as the third in space and the fourth in ballistic missile defense. If you increase connectivity with these countries, then it will increase the market and economy. This increases people's contact and transportation. "

Western Countries & China

Recently, the online summit of PM Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was discussed. After this, there were seven agreements between the two countries.

In this, an agreement was reached to facilitate access to each other's military bases with the aim of cooperation in the field of logistics at the level of strategic alliances.

A joint statement on maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region was issued. Agreement for cooperation in the field of mining, processing of critical minerals.

The economic miracle of China has baffled western democracies

All this happened at a time when America, Australia, and many European countries are blaming China for spreading Coronavirus and giving false information. They are trying to surround China by accusing China of hiding information and making biological weapons.

Now can India become a part of this alliance and put pressure on China. Atul Bhardwaj says, "Strategically, India is already part of that group. Even if it is not official. The United States also wants India to control China. "

He said, "However, India has not been so vocal against China regarding the coronavirus. India always tries to balance. If it goes completely with the western countries, then in the future it will also have an impact on business with China. That is why India shows an inclination towards western countries but is not fully included in their agenda. Hopefully, India will adopt the same attitude further. ”

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