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Sino-Indian Relations: Sixty Years of Experience and Enlightenment
Amb. Cheng Ruisheng

On 1 April 1950, India became the first country among non-socialist countries to establish diplomatic relations with New China, thus leaving behind a thick stroke of writing in the annals of friendly relations between China and India. Since then, relations between China and India, the two large countries in Asia, have entered a new era. From 1950 to 1958, China-India relations witnessed a friendly ‘honey-moon’ phase, with the slogan of ‘Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai’ resounding across the land of both countries. However, it was indeed very unfortunate that China-India relations sharply deteriorated after 1959 owing to their differences on the Tibet question and China-India boundary question and under the influence of a number of complicated factors, both international and internal, leading to the border conflict in 1962 and confrontation between the two countries for more than ten years. Since 1976, China-India relations were gradually restored and improved. In 1988, the visit of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to China became a major turning point for China-India relations, which entered a new period of overall restoration and development after that, with only a short setback in 1998 after India’s nuclear tests. With the beginning of the new century, a rapid development of China-India relations was achieved and a Strategic and Cooperative Partnership was established in 2005.

In general, India is one of China’s neighbors with whom China’s relationship has witnessed big ups and downs after the founding of New China. It will be very beneficial to sum up some experiences and enlightenments from the tortuous course of China-India relations. At present, though the general trend of China-India relations is good, there exist some unstable factors in the relations, due to the fact that the China-India boundary question remains unresolved and mutual trust between the two countries is insufficient. Therefore, it is important to sum up and reflect on the past in order for both countries to march towards the future in a better way.


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