The people’s Liberation Army of China on Tuesday has said that it wants to build ‘new type’ of military relations with India, to promote peace and stability at the borders and in South Asia. In a letter to Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, Xi Jinping, the country’s new leader, has also assured India, that better ties with the country is on the agenda for China. The news is welcome, especially in the given scenario of unrest on the India-Pakistan borders.
With a growing nexus between the militaries of China and Pakistan, India has been, for years, unsettled about possible security threat from the nrighbouring nation. India shares an uneasy relation with China. There has been no open war between the countries since 1962. One or two border skirmishes in later years were not of as serious proportions.
In 1971, India signed a peace and cooperation treaty with the Soviet Union, and the United States and the PRC sided with Pakistan in its 1971 war with India. The two countries formally reestablished diplomatic relations in 1979.
Over the decades Indo-China relations have seen many ups and downs. Both the countries are part of the BRICS and share good bi-lateral trade. But an unspoken unease has marked relations between the two countries.
But the communist country’s assurances of peace and friendly ties couldn’t have come at a better time, given the air of dispute with Pakistan. The violation of ceasefire from Pakistan has come at a time when India had been trying to improve ties between the two countries.
Now, the government shouldn’t miss this opportunity of improving relations with China, so that the country can rest easy on at least one front.
India is not going through the best of times. The government has been facing flak owing alleged scams and corruption. Opposition parties like the BJP are suffering from divided opinion and in-fighting. The economy is not at its best. In such a situation, India needs peace at the borders to sort out issues at home. And China’s interest in maintaining and developing friendly ties with India can go a long way in ensuring that.