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70 years of India-China Relations – Message from Director C3S

Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between India and the People’s Republic of China

On this day April 1, 2020, India and China commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations. In 1950, India became the first non-socialist bloc country to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.

India and China are two ancient civilizations, with a long history of mutually beneficial exchanges over centuries. Today, they represent two large developing most populous countries and emerging economies who are increasingly playing an important role in the global landscape.

The two sides have ‘made considerable progress especially in the last few years in enhancing our bilateral engagement in a number of areas, including political, economic and people-to-people ties.’  The ten pillars of cooperation to enhance cultural and people-to-people exchanges were finalized between India and China in December 2018. These pillars are cultural exchanges, cooperation in films and television, museum management, sports, youth exchanges, tourism, state and city-level exchanges, traditional medicine, yoga, and education indicating the emphasis on soft power promotion which can be the foundation of people to people contact.

At the official level, high-level exchanges have become regular in the form of recently organized two informal summits- Wuhan Summit (2018) & Chennai( Mamallapuram) Connect (2019), and frequent meetings on the bilateral/ multilateral fora. This highlights the desire to keep the multi-layered dialogue process going at all levels.

While acknowledging the new desire on part of the leadership on both side to sustain the momentum,  there are issues of concern which need to be taken head-on by both sides. An atmosphere of trust can only be created when both sides are frank in addressing outstanding issues. Both sides have agreed that differences should not lead to disputes and failure of strategic communication should not lead to conflict. These relate to the long-standing border dispute, trade deficit, support to Pakistan, sovereignty, and China’s stand on India’s entry to Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) amongst others.  However, with the current level of engagements and strong leadership, these are not insurmountable and hopefully, the next decade will see even better relations and joint progress with the commitment of the Government and the people who have realized that peace, security, stability and progress can only be achieved when these two civilizational powers work together to resolve differences and chart a new course of friendship, cooperation with vision and commitment. Both India and China realize the need for sharing collective responsibility in many areas where the developing countries are looking for leadership.

On this occasion of the commemoration of seven decades of diplomatic relations, We in C3S extend our greetings and good wishes to the people and Governments of the two great countries who can shape the destiny of the world by addressing core concerns and striving to contribute to a better world. Both Governments are working hard to address differences and presently engaged in taking on the COVID challenges. It is a great opportunity and challenge to work together for the common good of mankind despite the huge global challenges. The post COVID world would present a different landscape requiring concerted action on part of the two Asian powers and take a collective lead in global affairs.

Jai Hind

Director and team C3S.

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