China India

The China-India relationship stands at a crossroads. Can both sides overcome last year’s frictions in 2018?

2017 was an extremely difficult year for China-India relations. With military tensions close to their disputed border, increasing competition in their neighborhood, and growing strategic mistrust, Beijing and New Delhi’s relations reached a nadir in 2017. Happily, the damage 2017 has inflicted on the relationship between the two Asian giants is not irreparable. Nevertheless, it reflects larger trends and indicates that Sino-Indian relations increasingly stand at a crossroads, with growing likelihood that they could go in the wrong direction. Hence, New Delhi and Beijing need to start rethinking their relations in 2018.

The most important such episode was the unprecedented Doklam military standoff, a two-and-a half-month test of wills prompted by China’s construction of a road in territory it disputes with Bhutan, not far from a strategically key section of the China-India border. The standoff featured unprecedented Indian military involvement in its two neighbors’ territorial dispute and a shockingly strong Chinese reaction, which included implicit military threats against India and a massive media campaign against New Delhi, the first such campaign against India in decades.

Source: The Diplomat