Civil Service Foundation essays -Why should India be wary of China?
Why should India be wary of China?
India has a very long border with China, large parts of which are disputed. India and China fought a brief border war in 1962 that resulted in a very humiliating defeat for the Indian army. The scars of this defeat still remain unhealed in the minds of Indians. China has laid claim to the whole of Arunanchal Pradesh, which is a full-fledged province in India. Many rounds of official level border talks between the two sides have been held in the last few years, but there has been little forward movement. The impasse continues.
To make matters worse, stand-offs happen between the army patrols of either side largely due to the fact that there are areas which are not demarcated yet and both sides lay claim on them. Such incursions are played up by the media, particularly in the Indian side leaving the whole nation jittery. Memories of 1962, when China began a large-scale invasion in NEFA and Ladakh areas, are rekindled. It was, for most Indians, a surprise and un-provoked attack. Since then, most Indians perceive China as a totally un-trustworthy neighbor, even more vicious than China. The trust deficit seems to cast a long shadow over border talks and on the bilateral relations at large. China’s belligerence towards its other neighbours adds grist to India’s policy planners.
China’s economy has moved ahead with remarkable speed in the last two decades, far outpacing that of India’s. In military spending China leaves India way behind. With formidable military power and fast modernization of its weaponry, China wants to soon stand up to America, the biggest military power on earth. China makes periodic noises about its readiness to flex its military muscles to protect its ‘national’ interests. Such assertions signaling China’s new-found confidence, offer cold comfort to Indian strategic planners’ apprehensions.
As a manufacturing base and a huge exporting powerhouse, China dominates the world. India trails China not only in economy, but also in all other parameters that are accepted as yardsticks of development. Consequently, China’s global clout is enormous with India running far behind.
With inexplicable eagerness, China has befriended Pakistan. The motive, undoubtedly, is to extend its regional hegemony, and intimidate India. In fact, China is the only major power to embrace Pakistan – a country torn apart by internal insurgency and religious fanaticism. This relationship is deeply upsetting for India. To fuel further speculation, China issues ‘stapled’ visas to Indians hailing from Jammu & Kashmir, Arunanchal Pradesh and Mizoram. China’s reaction in this regard continues to be evasive and ambivalent.
Lastly, the burgeoning bilateral trade between the two countries has seen China’s exports soaring, with Indian exports to China bogged down by various obstacles. The trade balance continues to be increasingly adverse. So, bilateral trade grows at the expense of India. This is a problem that is not going to go away soon.
In conclusion, it can be said that India is, unfortunately, pitted against an adversarial neighbor with awesome military and economic power. The past has been bitter. The immediate future looks no better. So, India has to be wary of China.
[This is a college-level essay. If you need a simpler and shorter version, write to us.]
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