The Great Game

India and China are like two players at a game of chequers where instead of crossing each other it would benefit both to move side by side.

AS CHINA AND INDIA CELEBRATE the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries this year, it is time to look at the balance sheet of the bilateral relationship. On the positive side, there has been a dramatic increase in Sino-Indian bilateral exchanges since the 1990s at the political, economic, military, and cultural levels — including high-level visits at regular intervals and an overall improvement in the official rhetoric. Both conduct a regular security dialogue, joint military exercises, and cooperate to mutual advantage in multilateral forums such as the G-8 and the G-20, BRIC and the Russia-China-India trilateral on transnational issues such as energy and environment, the Doha round of trade negotiations, terrorism and global governance issues. At the recent Copenhagen summit on climate change, China and India cooperated to ward off international pressure on carbon emissions caps. In January 2008, India and China issued a joint document on a ‘Shared Vision for the 21st Century,’ pledging to promote a harmonious world of peace and stability and further strengthen their “strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity.” Bilateral trade has risen from $260 million in 1990 to $52 billion in 2008, and is expected to touch $60 billion by the end of 2010. India and China have worked together with other emerging economies to ensure they have greater say in international institutions of financial governance, the World Bank and IMF