Sino Indian conflict has its roots in pre partition British India and even before the colonization. Thought the matter was resolved by the Sikhs and the Chinese in late nineteenth century, the British colonization required reassessment of the treaties regarding the conflicting region which is northern border of India and south- western border of china. British were able to bring the Chinese authorities to talks and settlement which did not provoked further hostile engagements until the independence of the two nation states. Independence of the two nation states triggered a course of conflicts which were being reached to temporary settlements but held no solid grounds for the resolution of the matter until now. After being behind the curtains for some time, the conflict has re-emerged with greater intensity, which was never observed before, this is due to many factors which are reshaping the geopolitics and status quo of the region and emerging powers.
Sino Indian conflict
The conflict which centers around the demarcation and the territorial distinction has been the major bone of contention between the two atomic powers and Asian economic giants since the independence. The borders which are common to india and china is approximately 3440 km. this stretch of border consists of overlapping territorial claims and the situation often becomes heated in these areas, while stretches over to 2150 km. For understanding the geopolitics and the regional landscape this stretch of the border can be divided into three major sectors which fall under the conflict.
This region is a disputed region of Aksai chin. The region was brought under control by china in the war with India which took place in 1962. the region is of great significance to both the side. Chinese line of perception and till where its troops petrol demarcates whole Aksai chin region. Controls it and claims it for its own. Line of perception for this region of India is little deeper into the Aksai chin region ahead of line of perception of china. This must be considered that the line of actual control LAC is now the Chinese perception line leaving India with Ladakh and china with Aksai Chin as disputed land of Jammu and Kashmir. LAC, the small undisputed section in the center, and the MacMahon Line in the east) is 4,056 km (2,520 mi) long and traverses one Indian union territory – Ladakh and four Indian states: Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. On the Chinese side, the line traverses the Tibet Autonomous Region. The region claims are made according to the British demarcation, Johnson line which was made in 1865 is accepted by India and borders whole Aksai Chin region into India. The line is rejected by Chinese and china Claims the authority over whole Aksai chin. But China has shown interest is the negotiations take way forward it would shorten its claim till MacCartney MacDonald line which divided the Aksai region into half horizontally.
It is the border ranging up to 625 km shared by India and China. The border is relatively of lower intensity as a conflict in comparison, most of the treaties pertaining this stretch is agreed upon by the two nation state. Still heated encounters do occur, but no bullet has ever been fired.
This is one of the most important sectors while discussing the conflict. This sector has the longest border while heated conflict over different areas along it. First among the areas of the region that has become the reason of hostility in this sector is Doklam region. Doklam is also called tri-junction point as it is a border city which has the borders of three countries knitting through it, Bhutan, China, and India. In recent years China was trying to connect to Doklam from Chumbi valley to enhance its border infrastructure, this was aggressively opposed by the Indian authorities as this was seen to be a move by China which could result in China cutting of the north eastern Indian region which is connected to India by a Siliguri corridor. The rise in conflict and military interventions would be a great threat to India as China can easily cut the region from Doklam to Sikkim that is cutting the Siliguri corridor.
The Furthest part of the Eastern sector is Arunachal Pardesh. This region was demarcated by British in 1914 at Simla into the Subcontinent, the agreement was reached between Tibet and British. The line of demarcation is called MacMahon line. MacMahon line is historically recognized and makes a border between the China and India of 1,140 kms. The line is accepted by India but Chinese have rejected the line after their independence as they do not recognize the sovereignty of Tibet and which has not taken over by China, this demands new agreements to be reached for the region of 65000 sq Kms. China not only rejects MacMahon line but also hold a claim to the region which is Arunachal region and under Indian control. Fierce battle has been fought over the region in Sino -India war of 1962.
Current condition of the conflict
Sino India conflict was not surfacing the international affairs as heatedly as it has since the beginning of this year. Recently in Ladakh, which is the next territory after Aksai and is under Indian control, an enormous fistfight erupted in early May between the soldiers of China and India. Brawls at 14,000 feet along their inhospitable and disputed frontier are not terribly unusual, but what happened next was, A few days later, Chinese troops confronted Indian soldiers again, this time at several other remote border points in the Himalayas, some more than 1,000 miles apart. Since then both armies have rushed in thousands of reinforcements. Indian analysts say that China has beefed up its forces with dump trucks, excavators, troop carriers, artillery and armored vehicles and that China is now occupying Indian territory. Galwan valley is where the recent conflict started when heated up refreshing the issue which stormed the media. As the road which India is building to reshape the border infra-structure Galwan valley is nearest point to the road, this made Chinese soldiers possible to cross over LAC and obstruct the construction and hindered Indian activity.
In the areas like Galwan Valley and Pangong Tso which line on LAC that is separating Ladakh and Aksai chine major heated encounters are observed which the Chinese side has been seen as deploying up to 14,000 soldiers and war equipment in Aksai chin region posing a threat of war between the two nations. Nobody thinks China and India are about to go to war. But the escalating buildup has turned into their most serious confrontation since 2017 and may be a sign of more trouble to come as the world’s two most populous countries increasingly bump up against each other.
The rise of heated up encounters in these regions can be attributed to many reasons, development in and around the border regions from both the side have also significantly risen. Increasing border infra-structure can have significant implications for the Asian economic giants who are increasing engaging in hostile encounters.
India in past years have significantly risen as dominant economic country, making a statement through stats and economic growth in Asia, this has encouraged developments in the country and around its borders.
There are 231 operational Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and around 355 SEZ that are notified in India. COVID-19 pandemic may be good news for Indian competitiveness and capital inflows as long as the government can match after the second quarter of 2020 recovery by providing incentives and other advantages for foreign investors that complement their business plans in India. Ultimately, however, the benefits of India’s SEZ policy have been substantial as it is one of the reasons why there is an increase in the number of foreign firms operating in India.
Foreign Direct Investment in India averaged $1412.87 Million from 1995 until 2020. Although, During COVID-19 pandemic, FDI in India increased by $2873Million in February of 2020 and could be expected to 4000 Million by the end of this quarter.
Meanwhile, foreign companies are increasingly looking at India as a viable investment destination as more investors seek to exit China in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and its political management.
Around 1,000 foreign firms are presently engaged in conversations with Indian authorities, and at least 300 are actively pursuing production plans in India – in sectors such as smartphones, electronics, medical devices, textiles, and synthetic fabric.
India has introduced various schemes, including three schemes for electronic manufacturing worth US$6 billion, to boost its domestic manufacturing, attract foreign investment, and to become a leading manufacturing and production hub.
American personal computer makers HP and Dell could move up to 30% of their notebook production in China to Southeast Asia, Nikkei reported. Apple has asked its major suppliers to assess the cost implications of moving 15% to 30% of their production capacity from China to India, according to an earlier report from the Nikkei.
While the dependency of both the countries over each other for economic development is immense. Currently, there are 70 million traders and most of them are MSME in India. These MSMEs are also depended on Chinese raw, semi-finished and Finished products, Like, Electronic Goods, Cellphones and its parts, Electric Machineries, Pharmaceutical API, Iron and Steel, Raw Material, Auto Parts, and others. Due to the COVID19, the exports from China to India has been suddenly dropped, this hit to Indian MSMEs. India needs focus on Products manufacturing under the Make in India Program and slowly eliminate the dependency on China Imports.
For India, China is the biggest trading partner, India imports $480 Billion valued product from around the world, in which $68.16 Billion valued of products from China, where India exports $322.786 Billion valued product to the world and exports to China $16.96 Billion valued products in 2019.
This shows an increased economic interdependence of the two countries. the possibility of two countries following into a war seems vague. India with its growing economic status after pandemic is trying to develop economic balance of power which could in future help initiate resolutions and agreements. The recent events do indicate that China is still not considering the emerging economic power and shows least interest in compromising over its demands and stance towards the conflicted areas. Applying military pressure would also engage India who is already engaged in Kashmir with military activities, this might also divert India’s attention from Shaksgam valley conflict and subsequently CPEC. Development in Doklam region and Arunachal regions may also have provoked such standoffs to either slow down the development on Indian sides while engaging them in other regions. Increased economic interdependence might also have led china to negotiation table but contemporary standoffs sure are going to be demoralizing for India and their reliance of Economic balance of power.