RSIS Seminar by Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, Diplomatic Affairs Editor, The Economic Times
India-China: From Hope to Despair
India-China ties held lot of promise in 2004 when Special Representatives (SRs) started meeting to end border dispute. SRs over the years would start focusing on strategic issues including international issues and New Delhi and Beijing raising hopes of trust and confidence. New Delhi and Beijing began coordinating closely on WTO and climate change challenges amid stereotyped positions of established powers. Tourism picked up between two neighbours and people to people ties got a major boost with several direct flights. There was big expansion in trade ties though tilted in China’s favour. Indian society was eager to take another look at China, overcoming 1962 legacy. Indian students began to choose China as a destination for higher studies. The India-China relationship — 2 Asian Giants – held promise of transformation.
Fast forward to 2022; The Covid-19 pandemic and the Galwan valley clash have threatened very fabric of ties. The Galwan Incident that occurred without provocation was marked by China’s intransigence and refusal to return to the status quo along the LAC. This has impacted bilateral ties across sectors with no immediate signs of resolution. The Covid-19 pandemic followed by border closures impacted supply chains notably in APIs and solar panels. Even as India continues to be in BRICS, Quad and several other plurilaterals now serve as an alternative to balance China. The Galwan valley clash and origin of Covid in Wuhan have shaped India’s public opinion in a big way with Beijing making no visible efforts to improve atmospherics.
Through this lecture, Mr Chaudhury will discuss India’s relationship with China over the past two decades and how the two Asian Giants find themselves at the crossroads. He will explore how the Ladakh standoff in 2020 and Galwan valley clash, along with the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Indian perceptions of China. He will then discuss India’s response to the China challenge. This will be followed by a Q&A with the audience present.
About the Speaker
Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury is the Diplomatic Affairs Editor for The Economic Times, a leading Indian daily. He has been a journalist for over 20 years with special focus on India-China dynamics, the Belt and Road Initiative, Central Asia, India-Russia dynamics, Southeast Asia, Africa & the Arab world. In the past he has authored books on Bangladesh, Kazakhstan & India’s Northeastern region. He has been a panelist in international conferences oragnised by Russia International Affairs Council & Royal Academy of Morocco and a participant in a strategic affairs conference in Slovenia. He has been an International Leadership Visitors Fellow, USA & fellow in Taiwan and Germany and has appeared on BBC Burmese service as a commentator on Myanmar-China ties.