Free Online Course on IIR: India-China Bilateral Relations

Free Online Course -India and Its International Relations


Political Relations

The People's Republic of China (PRC) was established on October 1, 1949, and India was the first non-communist country to establish an Embassy in PRC. On April 1, 1950, India and China established diplomatic relations. The two countries also jointly expounded the Panchsheel (Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence) in 1954. Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai visited India in June 1954 and Prime Minister Nehru visited China in October 1954. Premier Zhou Enlai again visited India in January 1957 and in April 1960.

The India-China conflict in 1962 led to a serious setback in bilateral relations. India and China restored ambassadorial relations in August 1976. Higher political level contacts were revived by the visit of the then External Affairs Minister, A.B. Vajpayee in February 1979. The Chinese Foreign Minister Huang Hua paid a return visit to India in June, 1981. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited China in December 1988. During this visit, both sides agreed to develop and expand bilateral relations in all fields. It was also agreed to establish a Joint Working Group (JWG) - to seek fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution on the boundary question - and a Joint Economic Group (JEG).

From the Chinese side, Premier Li Peng visited India in December 1991. Prime Minister Narasimha Rao visited China in September 1993. The Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the India - China Border Area was signed during this visit, providing for both sides to respect the status quo on the border, clarify the LAC where there are doubts and undertake CBMs.

President R. Venkataraman paid a state visit to China in May 1992. This was the first Head of State-level visit from India to China. President Jiang Zemin's state visit to India in November 1996 was similarly the first by a PRC Head of State to India. The four agreements signed during his visit included the one on CBMs in the Military Field along the LAC covering adoption of concrete measures between the two militaries to enhance exchanges and to promote cooperation and trust.

After the nuclear tests in May 1998, the relations faced a minor setback. External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh visited China in June 1999 and both sides reiterated that neither country is a threat to the other. President K.R. Narayanan’s visit to China in May - June 2000 marked a return to high level exchanges. Premier Zhu Rongji visited India in January 2002.

Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee visited China in June 2003 during which a Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation was signed. This was the first comprehensive document on development of bilateral relations signed at the highest level between India and China. India and China concluded a border trade protocol to add a border crossing between Sikkim and Tibet Autonomous Region. The two Prime Ministers appointed Special Representatives to explore from the political perspective of the overall bilateral relationship the framework of a boundary settlement.

Premier Wen Jiabao visited India in April 2005. A Joint Statement was signed by Premier Wen and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. During the visit, the two sides issued a Joint Statement establishing a Strategic and Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity. It reflects the consensus that bilateral relations transcend bilateral issues and have acquired a global and strategic perspective. The agreement on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles signed during the visit represents successful conclusion of the first phase of the work of the Special Representatives on the boundary question.

Chinese President Hu Jintao visited India in November 2006. During the visit, the two sides issued a Joint Declaration containing a ten-pronged strategy to intensify cooperation in all areas and to give greater content to India-China Strategic and Cooperative Partnership. President of the Indian National Congress and Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance Smt. Sonia Gandhi visited China at the invitation of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) President Hu Jintao on 25-29 October 2007. She met with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao besides other leaders of the CPC. She paid another visit to China in August 2008 at the invitation of the Communist Party of China to witness the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games and met, among others, PRC Vice President Xi Jinping.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh visited China on 13-15 January 2008. During the visit, he had extensive discussions with Premier Wen Jiabao and met with President Hu Jintao and NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo. A joint document entitled "A Shared Vision for the 21st Century of the Republic of India and the People's Republic of China" was issued during the visit, outlining common positions on a number of international and some bilateral issues. Prime Minister also addressed a high-level business event and delivered a speech at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Prime Minister visited China again in October 2008 to participate in the 7th Asia- Europe Summit held in Beijing on 24-25 October.

The President of India paid a state-visit to China from 26-31 May, 2010. In Beijing, she held talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao and met with NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao and CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin. The Indian President, along with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, attended the reception to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations jointly organized by CPAFFC and the Embassy of India. She visited Luoyang to inaugurate the Indianstyle Buddhist Temple which was dedicated as a gift from India to the people of China. In Shanghai, she visited the Indian pavilion and the Chinese pavilion at the Shanghai EXPO and also had a meeting with Shanghai Party Secretary, Yu Zhengsheng. A Tagore bust was also inaugurated by the Indian President.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao paid a three day official visit to India from 15-17 December 2010. During his visit, Premier Wen met with President Smt. Pratibha Patil, PM Shri Manmohan Singh, Vice President Shri Hamid Ansari, UPA Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi and the Leader of Opposition Smt. Sushma Swaraj. Premier Wen also interacted with children in the Tagore International School; addressed India-China business cooperation summit; delivered a lecture at the Indian Council of World Affairs; and attended the closing ceremony of the Festival of China in India along with PM. Six agreements on cultural exchange, green technologies, media exchanges, hydrological data, and banking were signed and a Joint Communiqué was released. During the visit, a bilateral trade target of 100 billion USD was set to be reached by 2015. A Strategic Economic Dialogue and a CEO Forum were established; and 2011 was declared as ‘Year of India-China exchange’. The establishment of hotline between the Indian PM and the Chinese Premier, a mechanism of annual Foreign Ministers Meeting and a regular high level exchange mechanism were also announced.

The year 2011 saw a series of exchanges in diverse fields. PM Shri Manmohan Singh visited Sanya from April 12-15 to participate in the BRICS Summit. On the sidelines, PM also had a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Chief Ministers of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat visited China in June, September and November respectively. Similarly Chairman of Xinjiang Autonomous Region and Party Secretary of Gansu also visited India as part of the MEA-ILD exchange and Distinguished Visitors Programme of MEA. One of the highlight of the “Year of Exchanges” was the visit of a youth delegation to China, which was increased from 100 to 500. Premier Wen Jiabao met and addressed the Indian youth. Several Ministerial/Official visits to China were made to participate in BRICS activities. For the first time, India-China Consultations on UNSC issues was held in March.

Leaders of the two countries have maintained regular contacts and have met frequently during international gatherings. In 2008, Prime Minister met President Hu Jintao at the G-8 Summit in Hokkaido, Japan in July, on the sidelines of the ASEM Summit in Beijing in October. Both leaders met again on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Yekaterinburg in June 2009. Indian PM also met Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York in September 2008 and on the sidelines of the EAS in Hua Hin, Thailand in October 2009. They also met on the sidelines of the Copenhagen Summit in December 2009. In 2010, Prime Minister met with Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the BRIC summit in Brasilia in April. Again Prime Minister met with Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the EAS in Hanoi in October 2010. PM had a bilateral meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the EAS in Bali in November 2011. EAM Shri Pranab Mukherjee visited China to attend the India-Russia-China trilateral meeting in Oct 2007. In 2008, foreign ministers of the three countries met in Yekaterinburg in Russia in May. Following this, EAM Shri Pranab Mukherjee paid a successful visit to China on 4-7 June 2008. The Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi paid a return visit --- his first as Foreign Minister --- to India on 7-9 September. The foreign ministers of the two countries met in Phuket in July 2009 at the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional forum meeting. It was EAM Shri S.M. Krishna's first meeting with the Chinese FM. The Trilateral Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held in Bangalore on 27th October 2009. The Chinese FM also had a separate bilateral meeting with EAM. EAM Shri S.M. Krishna again visited China from 5-8 April 2010. He held talks with the Chinese FM and met with Premier Wen Jiabao. During the visit, EAM launched the Festival of India in China and also attended a reception to mark the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations. Later EAM visited Wuhan on 14-15 November to take part in the IRC trilateral foreign ministers meeting. During his visit, EAM also held bilateral meeting with the Chinese FM Yang Jiechi. NSA Shri Shiv Shankar Menon visited Beijing as Special Envoy of PM in July 2010 and later visited in November to hold the 14th round of SR talks on India-China boundary question on 29-30 November, 2010. He also called on Vice President Xi Jinping. In September 2011, EAM met with Chinese FM as part of BRICS meeting on the sidelines of UNGA. In addition, the two foreign ministers have had telephonic conversations on major issues of interest.

India and China have stepped up functional cooperation in all areas. The two foreign ministries have instituted dialogue mechanisms on issues relating to counter-terrorism, policy planning and security, besides strategic dialogue and regular consultations. There are also close cooperation in areas as diverse as water resources, judiciary, science & technology, audit, personnel, finance, labour etc.

Exchanges at the government levels, Parliamentary and Party exchanges have also expanded. Speaker of the Lok Sabha Shivraj Patil visited China in 1993, following which NPC Chairman Qiao Shi visited India in 1995. NPC Chairman Li Peng and Speaker of the Lok Sabha Manohar Joshi paid visits to each other in 2001 and 2003 respectively. Hon'ble Speaker of the Lok Sabha Somnath Chatterjee led an Indian Parliamentary Delegation to China in July 2006 during which both sides signed an MOU to further strengthen the friendly relations and cooperation between the parliaments. To facilitate high level exchanges of Party leaders from China and State Chief Ministers from India, a special arrangement has been entered into by the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA-ILD) since 2004. There are regular Party-to-Party exchanges between the CPC and political parties in India.

India-China political relations are enhanced and strengthened by various mechanisms. There is a close and regular interaction between strategic and foreign policy think-tanks. These exchanges continued to be strengthened during 2011. CICIR has regular interactions with IDSA and ICS. The third Track-II dialogue between China Reform Forum and Aspen India was held in March 2011. USI has exchanges with China Institute for International Strategic Studies and ICWA has interactions with CPIFA. Dialogues are now being initiated between pairs of India- China academic organizations.

Trade & Commercial Relations

India and China officially resumed trade in 1978. In 1984, the two sides signed the Most Favoured Nation Agreement. India-China bilateral trade which was as low as US$ 2.92 billion in 2000 reached US$ 61.7 billion in 2010, making China India’s largest goods trading partner. In 2008, bilateral trade stood at US$ 51.8 billion and China became India’s largest goods trading partner, replacing the United States of America. By the end of 2009, as a result of the world economic downturn, bilateral trade dropped to US$ 43.27 billion (a decline of 16.54%). However, in 2010 bilateral trade reached US$ 61.74 billion, a growth of 43% compared to the same period last year. India exported goods worth US$ 20.86 billion (+52%) to China and imported goods worth US$ 40.88 billion (+38%) from China, resulting in an adverse balance of trade of US$ 20 billion. In the first 8 months of 2011, India-China bilateral trade reached US$ 48.17 billion (+19.47% over the same period last year). India’s total exports to China for this period were US$ 15.68 billion (+7.37%) and China’s exports to India reached US$ 32.49 billion (+26.33%). The trade deficit for the first 8 months has already reached US$ 16.8 billion.

Institutional Framework of Bilateral Cooperation

There are several institutional mechanisms for India’s economic and commercial engagement with China. India-China Joint Economic Group on Economic Relations and Trade, Science and Technology (JEG) is a ministerial-level dialogue mechanism established in 1988 during the visit of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to China. A Joint Study Group (JSG) was set up after former Prime Minister Vajpayee’s visit to China in June 2003 to examine the potential complementarities between the two countries in expanded trade and economic cooperation. As per its recommendation, a Joint Task Force (JTF) was set up to study the feasibility of an India-China Regional Trading Arrangement. JTF Report was completed in October 2007. There are also Joint Working Groups on Trade, Agriculture and Energy. In Dec 2010, both countries agreed to set up the India-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SED). The first SED took place in Beijing on September 26, 2011.

India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue: During Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s visit to India in December 2010, India and China agreed to set up the Strategic Economic Dialogue mechanism. The SED is a forum for both sides to discuss strategic macro-economic issues impacting both nations as a result of the changing international economic and financial landscape, to share their individual best practices and in handling challenging domestic economic issues and to identify specific fields for enhancing cooperation, learning and experience sharing. The first India-China SED took place in Beijing from September 26-27, 2011. The Indian side was led by Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, while the Chinese side was led by Mr. Zhang Ping, Chairman, National Development and Reforms Commission. Some of the issues that was discussed during the SED included introduction to the 12th plan priorities of the two countries, a discussion on each country’s monetary and fiscal policies, investment policies of the two countries, policies on energy conservation and environment protection etc. Apart from the official meetings [which included detailed deliberations in three working groups on Investment and Infrastructure led by Chairman Railway Board Mr. Vinay Mittal, Water Management (led by Shri Dhruv Vijay Singh, Secretary (Water Resources)) and Energy Efficiency (led by Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency)], the SED also included to a site visit to Tianjin, where the Indian delegation was introduced to water desalination facility. At the end of the official meetings both sides signed the Agreed Minutes of the 1st SED. The Indian delegation also called on the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Joint Economic Group: India-China Joint Economic Group on Economic Relations and Trade, Science and Technology (JEG) is a ministerial-level dialogue mechanism established in 1988 during the visit of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to China. JEG has so far met eight times. The scheduling of the previous seven JEG’s is placed below

The 8th JEG Meeting was held in Beijing on January 19, 2010. The meeting was jointly chaired by Indian Commerce & Industry Minister Mr. Anand Sharma and Chinese Commerce Minister Mr. Chen Deming. During the 8th meeting, the Commerce Ministers of the two countries agreed to work towards a more balanced trade. Mr. Chen Deming assured that China would import more from India. The 9th JEG is to take place in India.

Civil Aviation: The MOU signed during Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to India on 9-12th April 2005 provides for major liberalization of air links between India and China with multiple designation of carriers and an open skies policy for cargo, an increase in capacity entitlements, more points of call and an increase in the number of intermediary and beyond points. According to the Memorandum, the designated airlines of both parties are entitled  to have unlimited third, fourth and fifth freedom traffic rights with unlimited capacity entitlement for dedicated cargo services. In terms of frequency, the liberalized civil aviation agreement allows for 42 flights a week. It is now up to the airlines to utilize this capacity. Enhanced number of flights would be a function of commercial viability and availability of aircrafts. At present, five air service operators - Air China (5 per week), China Eastern (8 per week), China Southern (3 per week), Air India (4 per week), and Ethiopian Airways (4 per week) are currently operating a total of 24 flights between China and India every week. The cities linked are Beijing-New Delhi; Guangzhou-New Delhi, Shanghai-New Delhi, Mumbai-Shanghai, Kunming-Kolkata and Chengdu- Bengaluru. Shanghai Airlines has also expressed keen interest in operating flights to India. In September 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, People’s Republic of China authorized Hainan Airways to operate direct flights between India and China as per the 1988 ASA concluded between the two countries in Beijing.

Economic Relations

India-China economic relations constitute an important element of the strategic and cooperative partnership between the two countries. Several institutional mechanisms have been established for enhancing and strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries. Besides the India-China Joint Economic Group on Economic Relations and Trade, Science and Technology (JEG) and the India-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SED), a Financial Dialogue has also been taking place between the two countries since 2006.

India-China Financial Dialogue: In accordance with the MoU on the Launch of the Financial Dialogue between India and China, signed during Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s visit to India in April 2005, the two sides have since successfully held five Financial Dialogues in April 2006, December 2007, January 2009, September 2010, and November 2011 respectively. The Fifth India-China Financial Dialogue was held on November 8, 2011 in New Delhi. A Joint Statement was signed and released at the end of the Dialogue. During the Dialogue, both sides exchanged views on the global macro economic situation and policy responses, with specific reference to current risks to the global economy and the role of India and China in the post crisis recovery phase. Discussions also took place on G20 issues including reforms in the International Monetary System and the Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth. The Sixth India-China Financial Dialogue is scheduled to be held in China in the last quarter of 2012.

Banking Links: Many Indian banks have established their presence in mainland China in the last few years. Four Indian banks, namely, State Bank of India (Shanghai), Canara Bank (Shanghai), Bank of Baroda (Guangzhou) and Bank of India (Shenzhen) have branch offices in China. At present, State Bank of India is the only Indian bank to have authorization to conduct local currency (RMB) business at its branch in Shanghai. Besides, the following representative offices of Indian banks are also operating in mainland China:

(i) Axis Bank, Shanghai
(ii) Punjab National Bank, Shanghai
(iii) Union Bank of India, Shanghai
(iv) ICICI Bank, Shanghai
(v) Bank of India, Beijing
(vi) Union Bank of India, Beijing
(vii) Allahabad Bank, Shenzhen
(viii) UCO Bank, Guangzhou
(ix) Indian Overseas Bank, Guangzhou
(x) State Bank of India, Tianjin

More Indian banks are planning to upgrade their Representative Offices in China to branch offices and existing branch offices are applying for RMB license. In early 2011, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) secured a license to start banking operations in India. ICBC inaugurated their Mumbai branch on September 15, 2011. This marked the opening of the first branch of a mainland Chinese bank in India.

Various Government institutions and agencies from the two countries have also been interacting with each other for furthering cooperation in the areas such as taxation, human resource development and employment, health, urban development and tourism. There is a close exchange and interaction between the economic think tanks and scholars as well.

Cultural Relations

History of Cultural Exchanges

Both India and China are not mere societies; they are civilizations. We do not know exactly when and how they started exchanging their cultural elements, but what we do know is that they grew in parallel and shared their cultural traits since the beginning of human history and this tradition of sharing has been continuing ever since.

Even before the transmission of Buddhism, the Shang-Zhou civilization and the ancient Vedic civilization in 1500-1000 B.C. showed some evidence of conceptual and linguistic exchanges. For instance, "wumingzhi" (nameless finger) in Chinese is called "anamika" (nameless) in Sanskrit and in Pali. Similarly, some ancient Indian literatures mention "chinas" referring to the Chinese people. The Mahabharata of the fifth century B.C. contains reference to China. Chanakya of the Maurya dynasty (350-283 B.C.) refers to Chinese silk as "chinamsuka" (Chinese silk dress) and "chinapatta" (Chinese silk bundle) in his Arthashastra. Likewise, the Record of the Grand Historian of Zhang Qian and Sima Qian has references to "Shendu", may be referring to “Sindhu” in Sanskrit.

In sixth century B.C., the birth of Confucius and Sakyamuni opened a new period of exchanges between the two civilizations. Emperor Ashoka’s propagation of Buddhism after his conversion in 256 B.C. brought both civilizations even closer. Ashoka’s bilingual (Kharoshti and Greek) edict points at extension of Buddhism in the direction of China and Central Asia. The trend continued in first century A.D. during emperor Kanishka’s period. His empire, with its capital at Purushpura (now Peshawar in Pakistan), enabled Buddhist pilgrims and scholars to travel on the historic “silk route”. Kashyapa Matanga and Dharmaratna made the White Horse monastery at Loyang their abode. Along the silk route, Khotan Turpan and Kucha became prominent centers of Buddhism and India-China exchanges. The great scholar Kumarajiva initiated efforts to collect and translate important Buddhist texts at a great Buddhist conclave in Chang’an (present Xi’an) where he stayed until his death in 413 A.D. and managed to have 98 major Buddhist canonical works translated into Chinese. He is widely believed to be responsible for bringing in Mahayana Buddhism and Madhyamika doctrine into Chinese philosophy. In the beginning of the fifth century A.D., Dharmakshema, an Indian Buddhist scholar came to China bringing with him the “Mahaparinirvana Sutra” which was translated into Chinese about the year 415 A.D.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Pilgrim Fa Hein had left for India along the Silk Route and arrived there in 405 A.D. Batuo (464-495 A.D.) and Bodhidharma visited China; XuanZhang (604 A.D.) and I Ching were students at the prestigious Nalanda University. All along, the Silk Road played a significant role in facilitating India-China cultural, commercial and technological exchanges. It also connected both of us with the people of ancient Persia and the Mediterranean. Both civilizations also shared scientific knowledge. In eighth century, Indian astronomer Aryabhata's astronomical signs were translated into Chinese in the book "Kaiyuan Zhanjing" compiled by Gautama Siddha, an astronomer in Chang'an of Indian descent. It is also believed that he translated the Nabagraha calendar into Chinese. During the Ming Dynasty, navigator General Zheng His arrival at Calicut in early 15th century is also a testimony of China’s ancient maritime linkage with India.

Modern Phase of Cultural Exchanges

Our exchanges continued during the days of our struggle for self governance. In early 20th century, Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore visited China twice, in 1924 and in 1929. Since 1911, Chinese scholars and intellectuals have been visiting and revisiting Tagore’s life, works and philosophy. During this year, which marks his 150th birth anniversary, there are efforts by Chinese publishing houses to bring out collected volumes of these writings on Tagore in the last one hundred years. Institutions are preparing to stage Tagore’s plays in Chinese language for easy comprehension of Chinese audience. As part of Gurudev’s 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations, Mission collaborated with Chinese institutions like Peking University, Chinese Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), Yunnan University and many others to hold seminars, exhibitions and movie screenings in his honour. A fully Chinese production of Gurudev’s famous play- Chitrangna, is slated to be opened in Lanzhou University in March 2012. Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis, whose mortal remains rest in the North China Martyrs' Memorial Cemetery in Hebei Province, sacrificed his life in the service of the Chinese people during the Sino-Japanese war. A part of the 1938 medical team of five Indian doctors, he stayed on in China working in mobile clinics to treat wounded soldiers. He was eventually appointed as Director of the Dr. Bethune International Peace Hospital built by the Eighth Route Army. Both India and China began their journey of independent governance almost at the same time, India in 1947 and the People’s Republic of China in 1949. In 1955, the first Indian cultural delegation headed by then Deputy Minister of External Affairs Mr. A. K. Chanda visited China which was warmly received by the Chinese leaders and people during their tour. In the 1960s and 1970s Bollywood movies such as Do Bigha Zameen, Awara and Sree 420 of Raj Kapoor and Noorie struck an emotional chord in the hearts and minds of the Chinese people. Even today, people on the street hum the tunes of the songs of these films. In 1986, a film delegation from India visited China and since 1988 both countries are bringing their people together through structured Cultural Exchange Programme In the last 30 years or so, both of us have made remarkable progress. We also face similar challenges. We are nations of youths, with hope, with dreams and with aspirations. Our leaders, realizing this, have carried forward the task of promoting people-to-people contacts sincerely, vigorously and diligently in the new millennium. Important projects have been completed. In 2003, Prime Minister Vajpayee had committed to build an Indian style Buddhist temple in Luoyang, Henan province and President Pratibha Devisingh Patil inaugurated the temple during her visit to China in May 2010. In February 2007, the Xuanzhang memorial hall has been inaugurated at Nalanda. In June 2008, joint stamps have been released, one stamp depicting the Mahabodhi temple at Bodhgaya and the other depicting the White Horse temple at Luoyang. A centre for Indian studies has been set up in Peking University in 2003. Chairs of Indian studies have also been established in Shenzhen University, Jinan University and Fudan University. The 60th anniversary of the establishment of India-china diplomatic relations was celebrated with much fan fare in both countries in 2010.

The broad contours of the India-China cultural cooperation was laid down in the Agreement on Cultural Cooperation signed in May 1988, which provides for an executive Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) for implementation. The latest CEP signed in Dec 2010 during the visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to India provides for cooperation in a gamut of cultural fields including exchanges of visits of performing artists, officials, writers, archivists and archaeologists, organizing cultural festivals, film festivals and exchanges in the field of mass media, youth affairs and sports.

Leaders of both sides have announced 2011 as the "Year of Exchanges" and both countries have resolved to further strengthen cultural exchanges between our peoples. Youth exchanges have been encouraged. While young China expresses great desire to know Buddhism, Bollywood and Yoga, young India admires the Chinese economic miracle. A 500 member Indian youth delegation, led by the Hon’ble Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs, Sh. Ajay Maken, visited China in September 2011. A 20 member ICCR Bollywood Troupe toured China in September 2011. The Mission collaborated with the Beijing Film Academy to put up an
alternative Film Festival titled “You Don’t Belong” across several Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Kunming in November-December 2011. In order to connect better with the Chinese youth, the Mission has also opened an account at the popular micro blogging site, Sina Weibo, which has over 5000 followers. The Mission’s Flagship Chinese language publication- Jinri Yindu has a readership base of over 20,000 and is still going strong. Government of India is making efforts to popularize Chinese language at school level and is committed to build a modern international Nalanda University at Rajgir in Bihar with the help of
partners and friends, for which Government of China has expressed desire to contribute. The Nalanda University Governing Board held their annual meeting in Beijing in October 2011.

Defence Relations


A warming trend in relations between India and China was facilitated after Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visit China in Dec 1988, wherein it was decided to set up a Joint Working Group (JWG) on the boundary issue. Between Dec 1988 and Jun 1993, progress was made in reducing tensions on the border via Confidential Building Measures (CBMs), including mutual troop reductions, regular meetings of local military commanders and advance notifications of military exercises. Seven rounds of JWG talks were held during this period. During Shri Sharad Pawar's visit to Beijing in July 1992, the first ever by an Indian Defence Minister, it was agreed to
develop academic, military, scientific and technological exchanges. A senior level Chinese military delegation aimed at fostering CBMs between the defence forces of the two countries made a six day goodwill visit to India in Dec 1993. The visit was reciprocated by Indian Army Chief Gen BC Joshi's visit to China in July 1994. Since then regular exchanges have been taking place at various levels.

Bilateral defence interaction has been growing. Peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the border areas is being largely maintained by both sides in accordance with the agreements of 1993 and 1996. Recent highlights in defence relations are the visit by the then Defence Minister, Mr George Fernandes, to China in Apr 2003. The visit came after a gap of more than one decade and also helped ease the post Pokhran tensions. This was followed by a return visit by Chinese Defence Minister Gen Cao Gangchuan in Mar 2004. In Dec 2004, Gen NC Vij, the then COAS visited China, the first by an Indian COAS in a decade, and both the countries agreed to deepen defence cooperation. In May 2005, the Chinese CGS visited India, a further sign of warming relations between the two countries. The Indian Defence Minister visited India in May 2006 and signed the first ever MoU on Defence Exchanges between the Armed Forces of India and China. In May 2007 Gen JJ Singh, Chairman COSC and COAS visited China. This was the first time that Chairman COSC visited China and was hosted by the CGS of the PLA. In Nov 2008, the Chief of Air Staff of the IAF paid an official visit to China from 02 - 06 Nov 2008. Simultaneously, the Commander PLA Navy paid a visit to India from 02 to 05 Nov 2008. Chairman COSC and CNS, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, PVSM, AVSM, ADC visited China and participated in the International Fleet Review to mark the 60th Anniversary Celebrations of PLA Navy from 19 - 25 Apr 2009.

Review of Defence Exchanges

General: Bilateral defence interaction has been growing. Peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the border areas is being largely maintained by both sides. Presently our approach has been based on interaction at a higher level with the heads of departments/institution making visits to PLA Institutions. Lower level interaction is carried out through training institutions like NDC and Army War College (AWC). With the formalisation of MoU on Exchanges in the Field of Defence Cooperation between India and China, the effort to deepen and institutionalise defence cooperation between the armed forces of India and China
is being reinforced.

Bilateral Exchanges: Details of bilateral exchanges (Service Chiefs & Ministerial) conducted between the two countries from 2000 to 2011 is attached as at Annexure. The bilateral exchanges between India and China have been steadily increasing with greater exchanges of defence delegations.

Ministerial Level Delegations: From India, the Indian Defence Ministers have visited China thrice in Jul 1992, Apr 2003 and May 2006. The Chinese Defence Ministers have visited India twice in Sep 1994 and Mar 2004.

Annual Defence Dialogue: The first Annual Defence Dialogue between India and China was held in Beijing in Nov 2007. Indian side was led by Shri Bimal Julka, JS (G/Air), MoD while the Chinese side was led by Maj Gen Qian Li Hua, Chief of FAO, and MND. The second round of the Annual Defence Dialogue was held in India on 15 Dec 08. The Chinese side was led by Lt Gen Ma Xiaotian, Dy CGS, PLA & the Indian side was led by Mr Vijay Singh, Defence Secretary. The third round of Annual Defence Dialogue was held in Beijing (China) on 06 January 2010. The Indian side was led by Shri Pradeep Kumar, Defence Secretary and Chinese side was led by General Ma Xiaotian, Deputy Chief of General Staff. The fourth Annual Defence dialogue was held in New Delhi on 09 December 2011. Shri Shashikant Sharma, Defence Secretary and Gen Ma Xiaotian, Dy CGS co chaired the talks.

Joint Training Exercise: The First Joint Training Exercise between the Indian Army and the PLA, 'HAND IN HAND 2007' was conducted at Kunming, China. One Company each from the Indian Army & PLA participated in the exercise which was based on the theme of Counter Terrorism. Lt Gen Susheel Gupta, DCOAS was the senior most Indian observer and Lt Gen Ma Xiaotian, Dy CGS PLA was the senior most observer from the Chinese side. The Second India China Joint Training Exercise was held in India (Belgaum) in Dec 08 based on the same theme and participation level. Lt Gen Ma Xiaotian Dy CGS PLA and Lt Gen N Thamburaj, GOC-in-C Southern Command (now VCOAS) observed the closing ceremony.

IAF Suryakiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) at the Zhuhai Airshow: The Indian Air Force nine aircraft aerobatics display team, the SKAT participated in the 7th International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition (Zhuhai Air Show). The performance of the SKAT was widely applauded and extensively covered in Chinese media and marked a new beginning for cooperation between the air forces.

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