By Deepti Purwar, Law College Dehradun.

The bilateral relations between People’s Republic of China and Republic of India are known as China-India relations or Sino-India relations. The relationship traces back to more than 2000 years. The modern relationship between India and China began in 1950 when India ended formal ties with Republic of China(Taiwan) and recognized People’s republic of China(PRC) as the legitimate government of China. China and India are the most populous countries and fastest growing major economies in the world. The Silk route was a major trade route between India and China. Thus, economic relations have been enhancing between them since ages. The Silk route also helped in the spread of Buddhism from India to East Asia thereby creating culture relations between the two countries.

There were three major military conflicts between the two, the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Chola incident in 1967, and the 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish. However, since the late 1980s, both countries have  successfully attempted to create diplomatic and economic ties. In 2008, China emerged as India’s largest trading partner and the two countries have also attempted to extend their strategic and military relations.


Asia’s two leading economies India and China with a combined GDP of over $11 trillion are making efforts to tone up  relations with each other. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India from September17-19 could strengthen ties between the two Asian neighbours and create new opportunities for their 2.5 billion people, one third of the world’s humanity.

Business and Development:

Business and Development will be the key highlights of the Modi-Xi summit meeting. The talks between the leaders of the world’s two most populous countries will renew the focus on creating a new pragmatic model of relationship, which means not letting complex and difficult issues like the decades-old boundary dispute coming in the way of developing and expanding relationship in economic, military and cultural areas. This has exceeded bilateral trade between India and China to $65 billion. There is a trade imbalance of over $30 billion. To bridge this trade imbalance, India is looking to get China to market access to Indian IT and pharma companies.

China is extending its support to India for the infrastructural development in India. China is looking to set up industrial parks in India belonging to Chinese companies and it will extend its helping hand to modernise Indian Railways and scale up investments in Asia’s third largest economy. China invests $3 trillion in foreign exchange but has invested less than a billion in India. China is expected to make mega investment plans in India and  invest in at least two Chinese industrial parks in Gujarat and Maharashtra. China, known as the factory of the world, is expected to lend its expertise in assisting the transformation of India into a manufacturing powerhouse. China is also expected to extend its support for developing bullet trains in India.


The two leaders i.e. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian PM Modi will also be looking to deepen trust and widen the area of understanding on issues having core interests. Maintaining peace and tranquility on the disputed boundary will be on top of the agenda. In the previous summit meetings, India had underlined that maintaining peace on the border is a prerequisite to building better relation and actualising the full potential of the India-China relations. The boundary disputes were not resolved due to lack of trust between the two countries. In October 2013, during the visit of India’s the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Beijing, the two countries signed a landmark Border Defence Cooperation Agreement and an additional confidence building measure to ensure dispute-free frontiers.

Military Sphere:

In the military sphere, the two Asian powers are now looking to build trust and to deepen interaction between the top military brass. India and China have held three rounds of counter-terror exercise. The defense ministers of the two countries have developed a mechanism of annual dialogue and Indian ships make goodwill visits to Chinese ports.

International Sphere:

India and China have also cooperated in the international arena by closely cooperating on a number of issues like climate change and multilateral trade negotiations. They are influential  members of leading multilateral bodies like the BRICS, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit and G20 club of emerging economies.

Cultural Sphere:

The two leaders of the world have joined their hands to promote culture and creativity to act as connectors between people of the two countries. Travel, tourism and people-to-people contacts were the key issues discussed in 2014, which has been designated as the Year of India-China Friendship. Buddhism provides civilizational connect and Bollywood bonding is becoming stronger. A festival of Bollywood films was launched in China recently. The two countries are now looking to sign a pact on the joint production of films, which promises to build a new popular bridge between them and give Indian film makers access to the second largest market in the world after the US.

Modi said, “India needs Skill, Speed and Scale to compete with China”. To promote learning from each other’s developmental experiences was also discussed in the summit. Thus, to increase and enhance development in their respective countries there is need to learn from the other.


India hopes for ‘directional change’ in ties with China. The summit in 2015 seeks to enhance old ties between India and China. The summit aims to develop cooperative partnership between India and China for the future development. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s recent visit to China as head of a delegation is an encouraging sign of including the States in foreign relations. China is also planning for cooperation on civil nuclear technology exports. Despite boundary issues and China’s plans for infrastructure projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), PM Modi will set a milestone for Asia.