This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and India. Ties between Beijing and New Delhi have been fraught throughout those decades, including a border war in 1962, the Sikkim skirmishes in 1967, the Sumdorong Chu Valley skirmish in 1987, and the Doklam standoff in 2017. The two countries continue to harbor disagreements over their shared border, the issue of Dalai Lama, China’s security cooperation with Pakistan, trade, and the geopolitics of South Asia and Asia as a whole.
China’s policy toward India in the past two to three years has shifted. It now actively promotes closer ties. The reason for this move was the drastic rupture from the Doklam standoff between China and India in 2017, in which Chinese and Indian troops faced off along part of their disputed border. In addition, Beijing fears an emerging India-U.S. alliance as part of Washington’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. In fact, China and India have announced 70 events throughout the year to celebrate the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. The official rapprochement between these two global giants represents a case of major realignment — a rare case for the Chinese playbook.
Read the full op-ed in War on the Rocks.