India-Iran Relations

India- Iran Relations

This article deals with ‘India-Iran Relations.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

History of India-Iran Relations

In 1953, Central Intelligence Agency orchestrated a coup to remove Iran’s elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh and instituted the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi,

Till 1979 – With the creation of Pakistan in 1947, India and Iran lost the geographical contiguity  
– In Cold War Politics , Shah of Iran allied with  U.S whereas India was non-aligned.
=> Hence, nothing significant during that time
1979 – 1990s – 1979 = Islamic Revolution happened in Iran  
During Iran Iraq War=> India supported Iraq
1990s Afghanistan Problem
– During 1990s , Afghanistan came under Taliban rule .
– Northern Alliance was fighting against Talibs
Pakistan was supporting Taliban
India & Iran were supporting the Northern Alliance
=> Hence, India & Iran came closer due to their coinciding interests in Afghanistan    

Import of Gas
– During this period, India started to import gas & oil from Iran in huge amount .
– But after 2004, Iran was placed under Western sanctions => India reduced trade under  western pressure 

Dynamics of Iran

Leader of Shia World There is Shia-Sunni divide in whole Islamic world where
– Iran = Leader of Shias
– Saudi Arabia = Leader of Sunnis  
Developing Nuclear Weapon – Iran wanted to develop Nuclear Weapon for regime’s security .
– But  Saudis & Israel are  US allies and they don’t want this because it will disturb the Balance of Power in Middle East in Iran’s favour    

Cultural Relations

  • India’s large Shia population has emotional connect with Iran.
  • Lucknow =  influenced by Persian culture
  • Hyderabad’s Qutb Shahi Dynasty was Persian in origin

Strategic Aspects 

  • Key in fight against Al-queda, ISIS, Taliban etc  which pose danger to India as well
  • Key player in stability of Afghanistan where India has created assets
  • Securing Sea Lanes of Communication (SLoC) by combating piracy in the Indian Ocean region.
  • India aspires to become a net security provider in the Indian Ocean region where Iran is a major stake holder.


  • Chabahar Port : Key in all connectivity projects of India
    • Alternate route to Afghanistan from Chabahar
    • Provide connectivity to Central Asia and Europe, via International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC)
    • Important part of Asghabat Agreement

Energy Security and India-Iran Relations

  • Iran has 2nd largest reserves of Natural Gas 
  • ONGC Videsh Ltd has stakes in Farzad-B gasfield in Iran
  • IPI Pipeline is being built from Iran to India
  • India also wants to setup a joint-venture fertiliser plants in Iran using cheap Natural Gas .

Other Points of Cooperation in India-Iran Relations

  • Indian Wheat and Pharmaceuticals are in great demand in Iran. Even during sanctions, wheat and pharmaceuticals were exported to Iran from India because these two items were out of the ambit of sanctions. 
  • India and Iran , both have stakes in  Indian Ocean and both can cooperate for  regional security from piracy


  • Economic: Western Sanctions , Huge unemployment and inflation creating unrest
  • Political : Fundamental authority rests with Supreme Leader Khamenei, an unelected cleric.
  • Involvement in Proxy Wars :
    • Saudi vs Iran Cold War in Middle East is going on. 
    • Heavy military expenditure in Syria (supporting Bashar al Assad)
    • Yemen (supporting Houthis)
    • Hezbollah in Palestine 

while Iran itself facing economic crisis at home.

  • India’s close relations with US, Israel and Gulf countries (Saudis and UAE)
  • Kashmir Issue– Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei equated the on-going Kashmir conflict with that of Yemen

Important Topic : Chabahar Port


C ab har
Chabahar Port and India

It’s importance can be seen in two aspects

Strategic – Alternate Route to Afghanistan
– Chabahar to Zaranj to Delaram
– It will help to end Afghanistan’s dependence on Pakistan for trade  

– Counter China at Gwadar Port : It will help to counter  Gwadar  port  of  Pakistan  built  by  China . Chabahar is located 72 kilometres west of Pakistan’s Gwadar port.  

– Help in Anti-Piracy Operations  
Economic Increased connectivity with  energy rich Central Asia : inline with India’s Connect-Central Asia policy.  

– Lynchpin in  International  North  –  South Transit Corridor that connects India to Central Asia, Russia and Europe.

Still an Issue

  • US sanctions – Difficult to fund the project.
  • Still difficult to reach Afghanistan’s hinterland via this route because of  presence of Taliban
  • Saudi Arabia (large remittances & Indian workers working there) and Israel (strategic importance) will be antagonised because of such mega projects in Iran.

Issue: US out of Iranian nuclear deal

  • In 2015 an agreement, Joint Comprehensive plan of Action (JCPOA) or Iran nuclear deal, was reached between Iran and the P5+1 group — U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China and Germany — on Tehran’s nuclear programme. The JCPOA was designed to stop Iran from producing its own nuclear weapons, and set up a framework limiting the amount and degree to which Iran was allowed to enrich uranium.
  • However, in 2018 USA unilaterally announced to decertify the nuclear deal on account of non-compliance by Iran and announced two rounds of economic sanction on it.

Limitations agreed by Iran under JCOPA

  1. Low enriched Uranium stockpile cant exceed 300 kg
  2. Enrichment of Uranium cant exceed 3.67% (for weapons 90% enrichment is required but after 20% enrichment, 90% can be achieved very quickly)
  3. UN & IAEA Inspectors can inspect facilities

In return, Iran gets termination of all economic and diplomatic sanctions imposed on it by the UN Security Council (UNSC), the European Union (EU) and the US

US has pulled out of the deal and imposed sanctions

Sanctions include

  • No individual or company can trade with Iran
  • sanctions re-imposed are “extraterritorial” — they apply to not just American individuals and businesses, but to non-American businesses or individuals as well.

US problems and Reasons for withdrawal

  • Deal doesn’t has binding restrictions on Iran’s Ballistic Program
  • Many of the restrictions in JCPOA have sunset clauses ie provisions will become less strict over the years 
  • Deal doesn’t prevent Iran to prevent sponsorship of terrorism in the region

Implications on India

  • Oil prices:
    • Iran was India’s third biggest supplier
    • Oil prices will increase increasing export bills
    • Added cost of having to recalibrate Indian fuel refineries that are used to process Iran’s special crude.
    • Iranian oil came with discounts on freight, and favourable terms of payment including non dollar payments
  • Indian projects impacted 
    • Chabahar: Chabahar port is nominally exempted from U.S. sanctions, but  suppliers are reluctant to deliver equipment
    • Prevented ONGC Videsh to invest in Farzad B gas field 
  • Remittance: More than 50% of total remittance received by India last year came from the gulf region. Disturbance in the region would lead to decline in such remittances.
  • Security of Indian Ocean Region disturbed => Volatile situation at Strait of Hormuz impacts Indian trade negatively
  • Gives opportunity to outside powers to set base in Indian Ocean which impacts Balance of Power .
  • Giving Space to China : If India succumb to US pressure while China remains firm , then India will lose strategic space to China
  • Increased importance of Pakistan for US : The US has ordered resumption of military training to Pakistan, which it had suspended in 2018 after accusing it of not doing enough to counter terrorist groups, as part of its wider West Asia strategy.

This concludes article on India-Iran Relations. For reading our whole series on International Relations, Click on following link

India Bangladesh Relations

India Bangladesh Relations

This article deals with ‘India Bangladesh Relations.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

Some History

  • Bangladesh became  Independent in 1971 with  military & political assistance of India
  • Independence won under leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman (Party=  Awami League)  . They were  Anti Pakistan (+ China and USA)  and Pro India (+ USSR)
  • 1975 : Mujibur Rehman was assassinated due to military coupe by Zia-ur-Rehman =>this regime was Pro China and US (but Anti-Pakistan) and Anti India & USSR. Later, he established Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)

Hence due to historical reasons

Awami League Follows Bengali first ideology Good Relations with India Present Leader -Sheikh Hasina
BNP Follows Islam first ideology Animosity with India Present Leader – Khalida Zia

Importance of Bangladesh for India

  • Geopolitical Importance of Bangladesh
    • Outlet for North Eastern States => land-locked states have  shorter route to the sea through Bangladesh.
    • Important for Security of Bay of Bengal  & tackling pirate activities
  • Success of Act-East policy
    • Bangladesh can act as ‘bridge’ to economic and political linkages with South East Asia.
  • Integral part of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First Policy
  • To contain insurgency in North-East 
  • Economic importance
    • Bilateral trade: currently $9 billion (+ large unaccounted informal trade) but trade potential is 4 times
    • Investment Opportunity for Indian companies 
    • Cooperation in blue economy( deep sea fishing, hydrocarbons, disaster management etc)
  • Cultural
    • Shared Bangla history => People to People contacts   
    • Rabindranath Tagore is equally famous (‘Amar Sonar Bangla’  written by him)
  • Co-partner in various multilateral Groups
    • Most important of which are SAARC & BIMSTEC
    • Supports India’s bid for observer status at OIC + Counter Pakistan’s statement on Kashmir at OIC Forums
  • To reduce the influence of china
    • ‘Neutral’ Bangladesh  helps to counter China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) strategy .

Issues in India Bangladesh Relations(Gist)

India  and  Bangladesh   resolved  most contentious  land  boundary  issue 

But  there  are  still  some  contentious  issues  that  needs to  be  resolved

  • Teesta  Water  Treaty –  Teesta  originates in Sikkim and enters Bangladesh after passing through West Bengal. There is conflict on water sharing between West Bengal and Bangladesh
  • Ganga Water : Treaty was signed in 1996 but India constructed Farakka Barrage to supply water to Hooghly and in dry season , Bangladesh doesn’t get fair share of water
  • Illegal  Immigration / NRC Issue –   According to NRC draft , 40 lakh people living in (only) Assam are Bangladeshis. 
  • Transit  Rights  –   India  wants  transit  rights  to  better develop  its  North  East but Bangladeshis saw it  as infringement  of  its  sovereignty.
  • Security  Concerns  –  Bangladesh  provides safe havens to insurgents active in North East
  • Tipaimukh  Hydro-Electric  Power  Project  on  the  Barak  river  
  • Border Management:  Porous border=> smuggling, trafficking in arms, drugs and people.
  • Rohingya crisis: 11 lakh Rohingyas refugees in Bangladesh=> India providing financial help via ‘Operation Insaniyat’ but Bangladesh expects India to put pressure on Myanmar for repatriation  of Rohingyas.
  • Bangladesh uses China card to supplement its bargaining capacity against India. 
  • Growing Islamic radicalisation => ISIS in Bangladesh => can destabilise Indian Subcontinent
  • Competition in some sectors like Textile

Conclusion : India should adopt the Gujral doctrine of unilateral support to its smaller neighbours to gain their confidence especially given China’s presence.

Gist : Things given by India

  • Main role in their Independence
  • Army joint exercises
  • Land Boundry issue and Water boundry issue solved => India lost some land and EEZ but accepted for sake of friendship
  • SAARC satellite  => Free access to transponder
  • Rooppur nuclear power plant is being made by India and Russia in Bangladesh
  • Visa  regime in India has been liberalized for  Bangladeshi tourists and businesses
  • Border Haats on Bangladesh-Meghalaya & Bangladesh – Tripura border
  • 130 km India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline Project for Transportation of Oil.
  • Exporting 660 MW electricity daily, will add 500 MW more.

Issue : Teesta Water Dispute

Note: 54 rivers pass from India to   Bangladesh => Being lower riparian state, Bangladesh is affected by  dam built on them 

About Teesta

  • Teesta originates in Sikkim & after passing through West Bengal, it enters Bangladesh
  • Importance=> Very important for  irrigation on both sides.


  • India built three Projects on Teesta like Gajoldoba Barrage (in Jalpaigudi) to divert water to other areas => Indian regions started to prosper but Bangladeshis are raising voice against this
  • Radical Islamic Parties like Jamat-i-Islami using it to consolidate people against Sheikh Hasina (Indian ally)
India Bangladesh Relations
Teesta Water Issue

2011 : Teesta Accord Drafted  – India & Bangladesh to get 50:50% respectively.

  • But West Bengal Government acting as impediment to sign this Accord .

Importance of Teesta Accord for India

  • PM Hasina is an important ally of India.
    • Adopted zero tolerance policy against Anti-Indian terror outfits.
    • Help in containing influence of China – in Bay of Bengal region. (BNP favours China) 

Signing deal will consolidate her position in Bangladeshi Polity

  • Not signing such deal give oxygen to radical elements  . Jamait e Islami is  becoming powerful by portraying Sheikh Hasina as puppet of India  

Bangladesh’s trust on India will increase if there are more water sharing agreements

Issue : China Factor in Bangladesh 

  • Bangladesh is part of OBOR project & also attended the OBOR Summits
  • China increasing Defence Partnership with Bangladesh=> recently Bangladesh procured two submarines from Beijing
  • China using Bangladesh as outlet for Kunming Province (Chittagong Port Project)
  • Bangladesh is part of BCIM project
  • China is financing 25 energy projects in Bangladesh including  Bangladesh’s 2nd Nuclear power plant.
  • Bangabandhu-1 – First communication satellite of Bangladesh to be launched with Chinese help.
  • Soft diplomacy – Training of personnel, including Chinese language teachers

But points in Indian favour

  • During freedom struggle,  Communist China helped Pakistan and opposed the creation of Bangladesh
  • China also casted a veto in the Security Council to block new Bangladesh’s entry into the United Nations.
  • Issue of China building dams on Brahmaputra unilaterally.

Issue :North East Factor in Bangladesh relations

  • Initiative  of  bus  service  between
    • Guwahati  to  Dhaka
    • Agartala to  Kolkata  via  Bangladesh 

shorten  the distances  

  • Overcome strategic vulnerability of Chicken Neck by providing alternate route
  • Providing  outlet to industries in North Eats via Bangladeshi ports . Chittagong and Ashuganj ports are just 70 and 40 km from border
  • Development  of  business  haats  (trading  centres)  on 
    • Tripura-Bangladesh
    • Meghalaya – Bangladesh border

But issues

  • Illegal Bangladeshi Migrant Issue  + NRC  issue  
  • North Eastern Insurgents take shelter in Bangladesh 
  • Bangladeshis view India’s use of their land for transit as impingement of their sovereignty

Potentials & prospects :-

  • Indian North East ,Bangladesh & Myanmar should create a tourist circuit
  • Energy  –  Bangladesh  is  electricity  deficient  country.  Hydropower  potential  of north  eastern  states  and  Bhutan  can  be  harnessed  to  satisfy  need  of Bangladesh  . 
  • Jointly  developing  its  ports  (Ashuganj)  to  connect  them  with  our  north  east.
  • BIMSTEC  and  SAARC  have  opened  up  avenues  for  multilateral  exchange  of Goods and Services
  • Cooperation on dealing with climate change => West Bengal and Bangladesh are low lying areas => large scale submergence due to Ocean Level Rise leading to migration crisis

India-Pakistan Relations

India-Pakistan Relations

This article deals with ‘India-Pakistan Relations.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

Brief History

Common history Pakistan was part of India before 1947 Pakistan was formed on the basis of Two Nation Theory  
J&K Conflict – Post independence => Issue of Accession of Kashmir => Pakistani Army under guise of Tribals attacked Kashmir => Resulted in creation of Pakistani Occupied Kashmir (PoK) & J&K
– Since then J&K remained the core issue between India & Pakistan   
Cross border Terrorism Most of the terrorist attacks that occur in India have their origin in Pakistan

India is victim of terrorism number of times
– 2001 : attack on Parliament
– 2008 : Mumbai attacks
– 2016 :  Pathankot Airbase  Attack
– 2016 : Uri attack on Military base
2019 : Pulwama Attack These  have impacted India’s relations with Pakistan  
Nuclear Issue – Till 1998 , both states had Nuclear Weapons
– Pakistan is making Tactical Weapons Pakistani Nuclear Button in hands of Pakistani Army => Any incident can result in Nuclear war  

Issue 1 : Indus Water Treaty

Indus Water treaty

  • Signed in 1960
  • Brokered by World Bank
  • Allocates the water in following manner
Eastern rivers Western rivers
1. Chenab
2. Jhelum
3. Indus
This water belongs to India exclusively. This water belongs to Pakistan. However, India can make limited use and build run of the river hydro Projects  but can’t divert waters

It is said to be the most successful water treaty in the world as it has survived various India-Pakistan wars 

Should India (unilaterally)  Review Indus Water Treaty

Why in news

  • Pakistan stoping India to make projects like Kishanganga HEP taking India to International Court of Arbitration on minor grounds
  • Pakistan sponsoring attacks on India => Blood and Water cant flow together

Yes , India should review

  • In 1960 , India gave most genuine  deal to lower riparian state with hope that Pakistan will ensure peace => Pakistan didn’t keep its end of bargain
  • Kashmir has been suffering because they cant utilise three rivers ie Indus , Jhelum and Chenab. Even Kashmir Assembly has passed Resolution to revoke the Indus Treaty twice
  • Given the climate change and  melting of the glaciers ,  review of treaty is must .

Other points to keep in mind

  • It can worsen India’s terror problems  => Pakistan use  Indian control over water to recruit terrorists & justify fight for Kashmir to have control on Indus . 
  • India is lower riparian state in case of many rivers like Satluj, Brahmaputra etc. China can stop water & India will not have moral high ground to oppose it
  • Indus Water Treaty was signed under guarantee of World Bank. => India needs funds from World Bank
  • It will help Pakistan to Internationalise Kashmir Issue
  • Legally, abrogating the treaty isn’t workable. There is no clause regarding one party unilaterally denouncing the treaty. Treaty can be modified only when both the countries ratify the modifications.

Issue 2 : Kashmir Issue

  • This is issue of three contesting nationalisms ie Indian, Pakistani & Kashmir. (Kashmiri people too want to make independent sovereign state of Kashmir)
  • After Independence (& division) , Tribals attacked   Kashmir and were able to control some part  now known as Pakistani Occupied Kashmir (PoK). At the same time, ruler of Kashmir signed Instrument of Accession with India .
  • JL Nehru under the influence of Mountbatten took the issue of J&K to UN for dispute resolution . It was decided in UN that two states would maintain the status quo ie Pakistani infiltrators which came to Kashmir would withdraw & then plebiscite  would take place . But for this , they should have withdrawn from PoK . Since they never withdrew, the issue of plebiscite which at that moment was agreed by India too doesn’t arise now
  • Later it became part of Cold war politics .  This issue was regularly supported by US because Pakistan was part of capitalist block & India stalled all such move with help of veto power of Russia.
  • In Shimla Agreement,1972 , it was decided that India & Pakistan would resolve this issue bilaterally & any third power wouldn’t be involved. 
  • After big wars ,  Pakistan came to conclusion that they cant snatch J&K forcefully from India. Hence, they started proxy war against india & weaponised & trained militants . This movement became  very powerful in 1990s
  • In 1990s & 2000s , people were also alienated from government because of alleged frauds in elections. 

Pakistan occupie 
Pakistan - 
mu & Kash 
India - Pakistan 
Aksai Chin 
China - India 
India Map - 
Disputed Areas

Issue 3 : Terrorism

  • Pre 1990 – Pakistan not ready to speak on anything except Kashmir
  • Post 1990 – India not ready to have dialogue on anything except Terrorism
  • Almost all Terror attacks in India originate from Pakistan
    • 2001 : Parliament Attack
    • 2008 : Attack in Mumbai
    • 2016 : Pathankot Airbase Attack 
    • 2016 : Uri Attack
    • 2019 : 44 CRPF Men killed in IED attack in Pulwama
  • Terrorist groups which attack India are active in Pakistan & terrorists are  trained on Pakistani soil  eg Jaish e Mohammad , Hizb ul Muzahidin etc

Why Pakistan is using Terrorism as tool

  • Realisation that Pakistan cant defeat India in conventional war.
  • Using Nuclear Bluff since world will not let two nuclear powered nations to go on war.
  • ISI and Pakistan Army’s approach of ‘Bleeding India by Thousand Cuts’

What should be India’s Response

  • Isolate Pakistan at international front
  • Use Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to blacklist Pakistan (Pakistan is already in Greylist) => Pakistan’s economy will suffer as no investment will come
  • Mossad Way : carry out covert operations inside Pakistan to kill  high-value human targets 
  • Pressurising China to stop giving unconditional support  given to Pakistan

Issue 4 : Siachin Glacier

India-Pakistan Relations

Importance of Siachen glacier :

  • Largest source of freshwater in Indian sub continent
  • Source of Nubra river : that feeds mighty Indus
  • Siachen is near Karakoram pass , forming almost a triangle with India , China & Pakistani Occupied Kashmir


  • Line of Control (LOC) in J&K is as per Shimla Agreement of 1972 but boundary line was specified only till NJ-9842  from where Siachen starts . Both countries claim Siachin belongs to it.
  • Matter was Non-Controversial till 1980s when India found out that Pakistan army was attempting to capture Siachen . Indian army launched Operation Meghdoot and Indian troops captured it
  • Now India controls the heights

Should Siachen be Demilitarised?

Yes India lost around thousand army personnel due to weather related casualties and Rs  7,500   crore  was  spent  on  military  operations in  the  last  4  years    

– At Siachen  glacier,   temperatures  dip  to  as low  as  –  45°  C,  is  world’s  highest &  toughest battle  field.   

Due to global warming, glaciers are becoming very unstable . As a result frequency of Avalanches has increased   

Demilitarization  would  increase  trust  and confidence  between  India  and  Pakistan.  
No Siachen  is  strategically  important  to  India  for number  of  reasons.
Saltoro  ridge  at  Siachen  overlooks entire region  and  provides advantage of height
– Control  of  area  prevents  Pakistani  and  Chinese troops  from  linking  up.
– Pakistan control over Siachin will make Leh  and  Kargil vulnerable

Way Forward : India can demilitarise the Siachin Glacier provided that present situation is recorded and Pakistam assures to maintain status quo .

Issue 5 : Sir Creek

Sir Creek is 96 km strip of water that is disputed between India & Pakistan  dividing Rann region of Gujarat & Sindh province of Pakistan

Indo-Pak Realtions

Red line : border claimed by India but disputed by Pakistan
Green line : border claimed by Pakistan but disputed by India 

  • Dispute lies in the interpretation of the maritime  line between Pakistan  & India
    • Pakistan lays claim to the entire creek as per Sind Government Resolution of 1914 signed between  then Government of Sindh and Rao Maharaj of Kutch 
    • India sticks to its position that the boundary lies mid-channel as depicted in another map drawn in 1925
  • India supports its stance by citing the Thalweg doctrine in  International law.  
  • Issue involves  losing a vast amount of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) rich with gas and mineral deposits 

Problems arising due to unresolved dispute

  • Maritime boundry isn’t properly demarcated => creates confusion  for fishermen =>  their boats cross boundaries &  end up being arrested by the other side.
  • Creates security problem as well.
    • Terrorists are frequently using this route to enter India
    • Even 2008 Mumbai Attackers used this route
  • Cartels (drugs & illegal weapons etc)  transact their business in the disputed waters, so that they are beyond the reach of both Indian and Pakistani agencies.

Way forward for resolution

Designating the non-delineated area ie Sir Creek and its approaches-as a zone of disengagement or a jointly administered maritime park. 

India-US Relations

History of India-US relations

Before  Independence Ambedkar studied in Columbia University from 1912-16 .
– Roosevelt (US President during World War II) supported Indian independence   
Initial Years PL-480  started by USA to address food shortage of India after independence
– IIT Kanpur  established with US help
– Green Revolution : Norman Borlaug  & Ford Foundation played important role  
Cold War Period – Pakistan was member of US led groups like SEATO. India was non-aligned and ideologically closer to USSR During 1971 war, US dispatched aircraft carrier  USS Enterprise to Indian Ocean to help Pakistan in East Pakistan      
NUCLEAR ISSUE 1974: India experimented Nuclear Explosion – Pokharan 1. This was not supported by USA 1978 : Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty signed & India was not accepted by nuclear states . India resented NPT & CTBT terming it Nuclear Apartheid   
End of Cold War Cold war ended with collapse of  USSR & unipolar world emerged with US being the sole super-power US stopped Russia many times to supply needed technology like Cryogenic engine in 1990s  
1990s Balance of Payment crisis due to Persian Gulf war => one lakh workers repatriated and high price of oil on global spot market prior to war .  IMF loan that India got came with condition of SAP SAP(Structural Adjustment Plan)  consisted of disinvestment , privatisation , convertibility of currency , reducing tariff & subsidies in agriculture  
US- India Engagement 1998 : Nuclear Test (Pokharan 2) was conducted=>  US imposed Sanctions on India . Nuclear issue again became major source of tension   2000: Clinton’s visit to India  & beginning of new era   followed by Jaswant – Talbot Dialogue This process culminated in Civil  Nuclear Deal  finally signed in 2008        Bush – Manmohan Civil Nuclear Deal Signed in 2008 India agreed for separation of civil & military nuclear programmes India allowed inspection of civilian programme US to offer fuel & Technology Russia & France were the main beneficiary of this deal  

India-Sri Lanka Relations

India-Sri Lanka Relations

This article deals with ‘India-Sri Lanka Relations.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

Issues with Sri Lanka

  • LTTE + Tamil Issue
  • Fisherman Issue
  • Kacchateevu Island
  • Constitutional Amendments
  • China influence vs Indian Interests

Issue 1: Tamil Issue

India – Sri Lanka relation has generally been cordial , although there have been some tensions mainly caused because of ethnic conflict between people of Indian Origin – mainly Tamils- living in Sri Lanka & Sinhalese (majority constituting 70% of Lankan population)

What Tamils were doing there

There are two types of Tamils in Sri Lanka

Ceylonese Tamils
  • Whose forefathers had gone to Sri Lanka centuries ago
  • Their population is estimated to be 1million
  • Concentrated in Jaffna and northern & eastern coast
Indian Tamils
  • Whose forefathers were taken by Britishers as plantation workers
  • Population ~ 1 million
  • Concentrated in districts of Colombo, Kandy & Trincomalee in traditional tea garden areas

Indo-Sri Lanka Relations
Tamil Areas in Sri Lanka

Reason for Sinhalese Anti Tamil feeling

  • Reason for this is colonial. Tamils were in minority  but Britishers favoured Tamils  over Sinhalese in all opportunities
  • When Britishers went back
        • Sinhalese majority started to capture every property and post fromTamils 
        • Sinhalese Only Act was passed & Tamil lost official language status .
        • Even took right to vote from them
  • After that, state backed pogrom of Tamils started in which Tamils were massacred & their houses burnt
Various agreements were signed like

  • Nehru – Kotelawala Agreement, 1953
  • Shastri – Sirimavo Agreement, 1964
  • Indira – Sirimavo Agreement, 1974

These Agreements were to decide the fate of Tamils and give Indian citizenship to some Tamils . But Sri Lanka never implemented them in letter and spirit

1983 : Ethnic Explosion happened and large number of Tamils were massacred .

Rajiv – Jayawardene Agreement(India-Sri Lanka Accord)  , 1987

Diplomatic agreement  to solve the ethnic problem

  • Autonomous unit consisting of areas where Tamils are concentrated would be constituted
  • Tamil, Sinhalese & English would be official languages of Sri Lanka
  • Deployment of Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to end hostilities between Lankan army & Tamil militants

Agreement was vehemently opposed by both Tamil & Sinhalese extremists

XIII Amendment: Direct outcome of Accord of 1987

  • Divide entire Sri Lanka  into provinces and Federal System to be adopted
  • Remove Sinhalese Only Language Act and give equal status to Tamil as well
  • Land should be provincial subject
  • Police should be under state /province

What was rationale

Federalism to give some power to Tamils

Present status

  • Division of states have been done but rest of provisions arent implemented

Later Supreme Court of Sri Lanka declared this Accord to be unconstitutional saying that Land and Police being Union subject is fundamental feature of Sri Lankan Constitution .

Indian Peace Keeping Force posting in Sri Lanka was utter failure

  • Crores of ₹ were spend on troops trying to restore order
  • Hundreds of troops killed in clashes with Tamils
  • Even ethnic conflict wasn’t brought under control
  • Operations of IPKF changed ethnic violence into civil war , which Sri Lanka was forced to continue even when Indian forces left in 1990
  • Led to large number of political killings of both Indian and Sri Lanka top leaders
1991: Death of Rajiv Gandhi
1993: Death of Premdasa who got IPKF removed
2009: End of LTTE

Side Topic – Sri Lanka vs LTTE: Timeline of Events

1976 LTTE started Civil War between Tamil Insurgents and Sinhali Sri Lankan Army
1976 – 2009
  • Civil War continued
  • Large scale violence and human rights violations observed
  • Prabhakaran killed.
  • LTTE-Sri Lanka Civil war ends.
  • More than 1 lakh died in the civil war


What  are  the    immediate  and longer-term  grievances of  the  Tamils of  the  north  and  east  in  Sri  Lanka?  How  are  these  grievances    met by the  Sri  Lankan  governments?

Steps taken

  • Formation  of  government  in  Tamil  province (which since long was under Military Rule)  was   with  TNA (Tamil National Alliance)  coming  to  power
  • Replacement  of  the  military  governor  by  a  civilian
  • Rehabilitation process of civil war ravaged province

However  some issues  that  are  still  in  the  hanging  include:-

  • Excessive  military  presence  in Jaffna
  • Passing  XIII  amendment   => Transfer Policing and Land to State List
  • Justice  for  human  right  violation  and  genocide  is  yet  to  happen.

Issue 2: Fishermen Issue

Fishing happening in this region since Sangam period without any issue
  • Indian fishermen venture into Sri Lankan waters => Fired upon by Lankan Navy or caught
  • Unscientific Fishing by Indian Fishermen :
        • Indian fishermen use grill & synthetic nets => Bad for overall ecology || Lankan Fishermen use ordinary nets 
        • Indian fishermen use Trawlers (and not boats) and venture into Lankan waters. These trawlers are the main cause behind overexploitation
  • Tamil Fishermen still argue that they have sovereign right over Katchathevu Island and go near the island to catch fish. In process, Sri Lankan Navy arrest them .
  • Trawlers are not fitted with GPS
  • Argument by scholars => Sri Lankan government wants to aggravate this issue because biggest sympathisers of Sri-Lankan Tamils are Indian Tamils .


  • Tamil Nadu fishermen are not allowed to venture into coastal waters of Andhra . If Indian fishermen normally observe such territorial limitations , there is no reason why they should not do so with north Lanka
  • Palk Bay Authority => Fishermen of both side should have dialogue and arrive at solution =>initiative from below 
  • Solving Trawler Issue  as Trawlers & Synthetic nets are the main culprit
  • Government could offer a voluntary buy-back scheme for trawlers + offer a rehabilitation package
  • Equip Indian boats with GPS 
  • Generate other jobs to end overdependence on  Fishing

End Word : Palk Strait has always been a bridge between India and SL since times immemorial leading to exchange of ideas and knowledge . Let it be a bridge and not a barrier between Indian and Sri Lanka

Issue 3 : China Angle in India-Sri Lanka Relations

  • Sri Lanka is important part of Maritime Silk Road (MSR) and most important pearl in so called Pearl of String Theory
  • $ 4 billion Chinese investments have happened in Sri Lanka
  • Port : Hambantota Port developed => wasn’t able to service debt => given on lease for 99 years


  • China following Debt Trap Diplomacy.
  • Changing Balance of Power in Indian Ocean=> Impacts India’s position as Net Security Provider in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • Chinese don’t allow to develop auxiliary industry => cement, steel , labour etc imported from China => no jobs created
  • Projects turning out to be White Elephants  (Hambantota given on 99 year lease)

What India is doing to counter this

  • India to develop Trincomalee as Petroleum Hub and   build infrastructure around it.
  • India is developing Kankesuthai and Trincomalee as port.
  • Most important : development of the Eastern Terminal at Colombo port along with Japan
  • 2018 : India to lease and manage the Mattala airport in Hambantota. (emptiest airport of world)
  • $ 300 million Line of Credit to upgrade SL Railways
  • Indo – Sri Lanka Nuclear Cooperation Agreement Signed (first such deal signed by SL with any country)
  • Post LTTE aid of ₹ 5 billion in 2009

India can never match Chinese in terms of Economic Muscle . India should also focus on People to People Contact and also use Buddhism and Buddhist Tourism Circuit to gain goodwill in Sri Lanka.

Issues with Indian Projects in SL

  • Delay in their completion and implementation.
  • Many of these projects, like Mattala airport, are not seen as profitable for India.
  • Indian ventures  are  seen as reactive to the increasing Chinese influence in the country.
  • Over-concentration of Indian development funding to Tamil areas

Issue 4: Areas of cooperation 

Trade & investment

  • FTA signed (in 1998) & CEPA on the cards
  • India =  2nd largest FDI in Srilanka


  • On cards
        • Ramayana trail in Sri Lanka and
        • Buddhist circuit in India (Sinhalese = Buddhist).
  • Rabindranth Tagore Auditorium in Rahana University. Tagore had influenced Sri Lanka’s national anthem – “Sri Lanka Matha” (we salute mother Sri Lanka).

Members of Same  Multilateral Forums

Both are members of

  • South Asian Economic Union

This article dealt with India-Sri Lanka relations. For entire series on International Relations, click on following link

Indo-China Relations

Indo-China Relations

This article deals with ‘Indo-China Relations.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here



Brief History of Indo-China Relations

Historical Ties

  • Indo-China Relations date back to ancient times.
  • Buddhism traveled from India to China.
  • Chinese travelers like Fa Hien, Xuanzang etc traveled India
  • Both were part of Silk Road Trade + Chinese inventions like paper making, sugar making etc came to India


Initial Years in Indo-China relations

Both became independent at same time

  • India was Non Aligned  || China under Mao was Communist
  • Nehru wanted good relations with China => Due to this reason, when Chinese Army entered Tibet and took it over, India recognised Tibet as part of China and   gave up Indian rights over Tibet  in 1954 (like Right to station army , control over post & telegraph etc)
Panchsheel, 1954 India was disappointed at China’s Tibet policy. But, for the sake of friendship and as confidence building measure, they signed Panchsheel


Five principles of Panchsheel were also incorporated in the agreement of 1954

  • Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity & sovereignty;
  • Mutual non‐aggression;
  • Mutual non‐interference in each others internal affairs;
  • Equality and mutual benefit; 
  • Peaceful co‐existence.


Prelude to war
  • Lhasa Uprising in 1959 & Dalai Lama came to take refuge in India =>  China took impression that India is trying to support the uprising
  • Global Situation – Khrushchev came  to power in USSR . He was reformist unlike Stalin . Khruschev was not liked by Mao & China started to fear  both USA & Russia


War of 1962 Reasons of War

  • Case of Tibet : Chinese felt that uprising in Tibet was supported by India
  • China was ambitious country & both India & China wanted to be leaders of Afro-Asian world
  • Undefined borders between China & India. China refused to accept Macmohan Line & India refused to accept Aksai Chin is part of China .
  • For Mao , Nehru was bourgeois leader


Impact on Sino – Indian Relations

  • Freeze in Sino-Indian relations till 1988 . There was permanent hostility
  • Emergence of alliance between China & Pakistan .
  • Pushed India to the side of USSR
  • Massive militarisation & nuclearisation in india


Confrontation in 1986-87 Sumdorung Chu in eastern  sector where both armies came in near conflict impacting Indo-China Relations



Rajiv Gandhi Visit in 1988 A new beginning : 

Joint communiqué stressed on  need to restore friendly relations & work towards a mutually acceptable solution to border dispute.


2003 Another landmark visit

Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s visit brought about marked improvement in the post 1998 n-test freeze in relations.


2014 President Xi Jinping Visits India


2015 Modi’s visit to China


2016 President Xi Jinping Visit to India in BRICS Summit (Goa)


2017 Doklam Issue started


  • Wuhan Summit : Informal Summit between Modi and Xi Jinping
  • Modi visit to China to participate in SCO Summit




Issue 1: Territorial Disputes

Indo-China Relations
Disputed Areas


There are three sectors  where boundaries are disputed by India & China

Western Sector
  • Aksai Chin in J&K : Held by China & demanded by India
  • Shaksgam Valley : Given by Pakistan to China (from PoK)
Middle Sector Himachal & Uttaranchal Border
Eastern Sector
  • Disputed McMahon line .
  • They demand almost whole of Arunachal Pradesh .
  • Questions Indian sovereignty over Sikkim

Since boundaries are not clearly demarcated . Hence, lot of incursions take place and impacts Indo-China Relations.


Aksai Chin Issue

  • Territorial dispute over Aksai Chin can be traced back to the failure of the British Empire to clearly demarcate a legal border between its Indian colony and China.
  • As two borders between India and China were proposed during the time of the British Raj –
        • Johnson Line :  shows Aksai Chin under Indian control
        • McDonald Line.   places it under Chinese control.



Conflicted Claims

  • Claims Johnson line is correct
  • Hence, Aksai Chin is part of J&K
  • Claims McDonald Line is correct
  • Hence, Aksai Chin is part of Xinjiang
  • During  war of 1962 , China took control over  Aksai Chin.



Note : Main reason for annexing Aksai Chin was to built a road connecting Xinjiang Region and Tibet to strengthen hold over Tibet . Only way to built a motorable road was to pass through Aksai Chin.







 Tibet Issue

  • Tibet’s political system was based on Buddhist faith. Dalai Lama was also the political chief of country.
  • Tibet’s  political connections with China varied from time to time.



  • 1914 Shimla Agreement  :  
        • Inner Tibet under China
        • Outer Tibet under Dalai Lama
        • Also demarcated a line between Tibet & North East India known as Macmahon Line
        • India was  given certain  rights in Tibet eg free entry in Tibet, right to station troops & maintain communication etc

Issue :  China disputed this line as imperial line drawn by Britishers .


  • Post  World War 2 , China refused to accept this line .
  • Nehru wanted good relations with China => Due to this reason, when Chinese Army entered Tibet and took it over, India recognised Tibet as part of China and   gave up Indian rights over Tibet  in 1954 (like Right to station army , control over post & telegraph etc)


  • 1959 : Lhasa Uprising => Dalai Lama took refuge in India => relations worsened leading to War of 1962



Latest Issues

  • China’s military build-up and infrastructure development in Tibet
  • Plans to divert or dam rivers (eg : Zangmu, Dagu etc)  that rise in Tibet and flow into India
  • China’s ‘Gold Rush’: China’s has started mineral mining  to extract precious metals, rare earths etc
  • Geo-engineering Experiments: Recently there are reports of China’s geoengineering experiments to “trigger natural disasters such as floods, droughts and tornadoes to weaken” an enemy in the event of a war.









Issue 2 : India China Economic Issues

China  has  become  India’s  largest  trading  partner  with  their  bilateral  trade  volume  increasing  from  less  than  $3 Billion  to  nearly  84 Billion $. But India has huge trade deficit with China of 51Billion $ which contributes to 25% trade deficit of India with world

Indo-China Relations
Trade Deficit between India and China



Why is  India  Important  to  China?

India  is  extremely  important  for  Chinese  growth  because  it  provides  China  with

  • Access to a billion  plus  market  for  its  products
  • Avenue  for  investment  of  surplus  Chinese  capital.
  • The  depression  in  the  western  market




  • Huge trade deficit of $ 51 Billion
  • Currency Manipulator =>   China is keeping Yuan undervalued
  • Indian Farm  sector  ,  agro-processing  industry  and Pharmaceutical Sector face Non-Tariff barriers from China
  • Dumping   cheap  Chinese  products =>  It is adversely  effecting Indian  MSME.
  • Security  implications
    • Excessive Chinese Mobiles => can be used for surveillance
    • Large Chinese investment in Power Sector (Chinese getting blueprint of Power Grids)
    • Excessive dependence (upto 80%) on China for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) (National Security Advisor and NITI Aayog suggestion => Implement Katoch Committee)
    • 5G security issue 


How to address

  • (Foreign Trade Policy 2015) Concentrate on  things like buddhist tourism & entertainment sector
  • Effectively implement Make in India
  • Increase trade competitiveness of Indian goods
  • Use Anti Dumping Duties
  • Promote Chinese investment in Indian manufacturing , SEZ ,NIMZ etc so that Chinese Companies make products  in India only
  • Implement Katoch Committee report (to address API issue)




Issue 3 :  String of Pearls and Indo-China Relations

String of Pearls

  • Theory given by Pentagon
  • Theory says that China is trying to increase its naval presence in Indian Ocean & counter India by surrounding it . It is developing string of ports around India for this purpose . These pearls include
Kyaukpyu  Myanmar
Chittagong Bangladesh
Hambantota Srilanka


Maldives Marao Atoll
Gwadar Pakistan
Djibouti First oversea military base

Indo-China Relations
String of Pearls


Impact on India

  • Can be used for imposing Embargo on India in case of war (90% Indian Trade pass through Indian Ocean)
  • Disturb balance of Power heavily in favour of China
  • Entry of extra territorial power in Indian Ocean


Steps taken by India

Srilanka Developing Kakesuthai & Triconmale port


Andaman & Nicobar Islands Can act as iron choke to string of pearls

  • Most of Chinese oil &  trade flows through Malacca => Andaman & Nicobar islands overlook Malacca Strait
  • Established  air naval station in Andaman & Nicobar called Baaz
Myanmar After opening up of nation, India has stepped up its engagement with Myanmar
Seychelles Trying to counter it with soft diplomacy
Chabahar port India is developing Chabahar port in Iran


  • Apart from that, India is trying to contain China too through following ways
        • Making alliances with Vietnam ( Vietnam too had issues with China in South China sea )
        • Mongolia is also strategic partner of India now
        • Making strategic ties with Japan
        • Malabar practice with US & Japan


  • Military Modernisation : Agni, Sukhoi, Nuclear submarines , Aircraft Carrier-Vikramaditya   are not meant for Pakistan but to fight against powerful nation like China


  • India building Roads in North Eastern border


Issue 4 : One Belt One Road  (OBOR) INITIATIVE
OBOR  consists  of  two (now – three)  elements.

Silk  Road  Economic  Belt  (SREB) Eurasian  land corridor from Pacific coast  to  Baltic Sea.
Maritime  Silk  Road  (MSR) Aims  to  develop  ports across  the  Indian  Ocean
New –

Digital Silk Road

      • Virtual Dimension of OBOR
      • It is about
        • strengthening internet infrastructure ,
        • lowering barriers to e-commerce,
        • developing common technology standards,
        • promoting cyber security
        • Promoting Chinese 5G technology


Indo-China Relations



Analysts  believe  that  the  OBOR  initiative  will  impact  4.4  billion  people  and   generate  $ 2.5  trillion  in  10  years.





This will involve

  • Building physical infrastructure (highways, railways, ports in coastal nations, fibre-optic lines)
  • Establish free trade zones (by coordinating customs, quality supervision, e-commerce etc)
  • Increasing cultural exchange etc.



Reasons  behind  OBOR  Initiative

Restructuring Economy
  • In 2008 => decrease in demand abroad => changed economy to Internal Consumption Led Economy => Now issue of overcapacity in infra sector  => want to address this by exporting infra projects 


  • Rising labour costs => Shifting production to underdeveloped western regions


Strategic Reasons
  • Decreasing dependence on Malacca Strait (80% of Chinese energy and exports pass through it) and addressing the Malacca Dilemma


Using Vast  Forex  Reserves China  has  forex  reserves  exceeding  $ 3 Trillion  =>  put large surplus reserves in building railways, highways, industrial parks along the Silk Road Economic Belt


Diversifying Trade Routes Excessive  dependence  on  a single  route  is  a  strategic vulnerability. 


Development of Under-developed areas China’s economic development and progress has been mostly concentrated in its eastern coastal provinces. OBOR Will  provide outlet to its  underdeveloped  southern  and western  provinces,  to markets and coasts. Development of regions like Xingxian will help in containing Uighur militancy as well.


Should India  Join Or Not ?

OBOR  has  specific  risks  and  opportunities

View 1: India should Join
India should join this initiative because of innumerable benefits

Road to Central Asia
  • enhance  India’s  connectivity  with   Central  Asia  through  China  
  • Connectivity  to  Russia  and  Eurasia  


Connectivity to North East
  • North Eastern Connectivity to South East and China (BCIM)
  • Push to  tourism in North East


Chinese experts say that India’s participation in the Silk Road project will ease the trade deficit.
  • Better  economic  relations  improves  political  relocations  and  mutual trust. 


  • It will help in balancing Pakistan  and  China  relations


  • India may also face some difficult choices in the road ahead, because as a co-founder of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation  it will be asked to support many of the projects under the B&RI.


  • Revival of ‘continentalism’ & old ties


  • With OBOR & other initiatives, China is making new world economic order. Not being part of it may isolate India from New Economic Order.
View 2: India shouldn’t join
  • Sovereignty Issues:  CPEC (part of OBOR) passes through  POK .


  • It  is ‘opaque’  in nature => may be nothing but an economic disguise for the ‘string of pearls’ .


  • It is detrimental to India’s geopolitical interests in the Indian Ocean Region . It challenges India’s stature of ‘security provider’ in the region  .


  • OBOR promotes  Chinese neo-colonialism => Loans are used as debt trap . Eg :
        • Seen  in Hambantota (SL)
        • Malaysia halted projects
        • Myanmar also wants the port built by China to scale down
        • Even in Pakistan , voices are raised against CPEC (termed it as next East India Company)


  • stronger  China  is  a  strategic  risk  for  India  given  the  fact  India  has  4078  km of  disputed  border  with  China  and  China  claims  a  large  portion  of  Indian territory  (nearly  80,000  sq  km).


  • Relations  with  USA  may  get  hampered. 



Indian Answer to OBOR

  • India recently proposed the ‘Cotton Route’ to strengthen economic ties between countries in the Indian Ocean rim.
  • It has also launched Project Mausam and Spice Route apparently in response to China’s Belt and Road initiative.
        • ‘Mausam’ – re-establishment of India’s ancient maritime routes in Indian Ocean.
        • Spice Route – revival of old links between 31 countries in Asia and Europe with India especially Kerala .
  • India & Japan come up with Asia Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) to counter China’s OBOR.
  • India is developing large number of standalone projects
        • Chabahar Port project and the International North South Transportation Corridor
        • Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA)

=> Later these can be joined under one OBOR like project => China too used this strategy


Issue 5 : China – Pakistan Axis + CPEC

  • China & Pakistan describe their friendship as being ‘higher than mountains, deeper than oceans, sweeter than honey’.


Areas of Cooperation between China and Pakistan

  • NSG Membership: China opposed India’s admission into Nuclear Suppliers Group demanding India’s parity with Pakistan
  • Infrastructure investment: via China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
  • Terrorism: China has been shielding JeM chief, Massod Azhar from being listed as a ‘Global Terrorist’ by UN.
  • Military cooperation:  China’s military cooperation with Pakistan especially after CPEC involves
        • Bolstering the Pakistani navy =>  planned acquisition of eight submarines
        • Feb 2019 : China could sell an aircraft carrier to Pakistan



CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor)

  • 3200 km  route  consisting of highways, railways and pipelines that will connect Gwadar port to Xinjiang in China.

    Indo-China Relations



Importance of CPEC for Pakistan

  • CPEC investment = $50 Billion
  • Over 7 lakh direct jobs in Pakistan.
  • Investment in Power Sector => country is desperately short of power.
  • Relieve USA pressure


Indian Concerns

  • Sovereignty Issues : CPEC passes through the disputed Pakistan Occupied Kashmir
  • Security Implications in IOR : Chinese access to Gwadar port=>  impacts Indian position as net security provider in Indian Ocean
  • Energy Security of India : Gwadar Port overseas Hormuz Strait and China can blockade Indian oil supplies in case of conflict .
  • Heavy Infra building in PoK will help in faster mobilisation of Pakistani troops in case of any future war


Potential Benefits which can accrue from CPEC to India

  • One of the arm of CPEC can be expanded to Indian states of Punjab and J&K without any major infrastructure costs .
  • India can get overland access to Afghanistan and Central Asia


Issue 6: South China Sea Issue and Indo-China Relations

China’s  Aggressive  claims  in  the  South  China  Sea

  • China  claims  vast  regions  of  South  China  Sea  ,  through  Nine  Dash  line  theory while
  • Other nations  like Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia etc lay claim on them based on UNCLOS .  Eg :
        • Paracel Island (China vs Vietnam)
        • Spratly Island
        • Paratas Island etc

Indo-China Relations

(source-wikimedia commons)


Interest of China

    • Resources , oil being the most important (this region is oil rich region ). (Other = Fisheries)
    • Controlling South China Sea through which half of the world shipments pass
    • Proving her hegemony in the area & ousting US influence from neighbourhood 

Indian Stand

    • India has taken  a  neutral  stand  that  countries  involved  should  negotiate  and  resolve  it  peacefully  
    • India has also  emphasized  on  freedom  of  navigation  for  all  countries  in  South  China  Sea.



Importance of South China Sea and its littoral states for India

  • Around 55 % of India’s  trade  with  Asia  pacific  passes  through  South  China  Sea


  • With  presence in South China Sea ,India can  put  pressure  on  China  to  counterbalance  China  in  South  Asia & Indian Ocean Region (IOR)


  • To secure the energy supplies (we ship oil from Sakhalin to Mangalore through this region).


  • India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd has invested in areas which  China is claiming to be disputed (Oil Block 127&128 of Vietnam)


  • Vietnam is India’s strategic partner.


Issue 7: River Issues in Indo-China Relations

North South Water Diversion Plan

      • Problem with China = although her southern parts have water , Northern parts have acute water shortage.   Ideas are given since long to use Tibetan water resources to meet thirst of north =>this leads to North South Water Diversion plan 
      • Project worth $33 billion
      • China is constructing mega dam at Great Bend to divert water of  Tsangpo   



Dams on Brahmaputra

India-China Relations
Chinese Dams on Brahmaputra

      • Plan is to built  Four  Dams – Dagu, Jeixu, Zangmu & Jiacha . China has assured that these are run of river projects and will not divert water . 
      • These dams are part of North South Water Diversion Plan.




Problems which India can face

  • India and China don’t have any river water sharing agreement 
  • Impact of the projects on the sediment flow :  The sediments offer immense ecosystem services for the downstream economies of India’s N-E states, and Bangladesh.
  • Apprehension of China using water in events of conflict to create flooding downstreams .
  • Any significant diversion of water could impact hydroelectric projects downstream specially Lower Siang and Upper Siang   Project in Arunachal Pradesh
  • Chinese record on shared waters is  not good => virtually stopped Irtysh river  from going into Kazakhstan


Way forward : Sign Treaty on the Model of Indus Water Treaty with China



Recent developments to Normalise situation Indo-China Relations

India  and  China  are  on  the  verge  of  transforming  their  relationship.  In  pursuit,  they have  signed  several  agreements.


Some of  them are  :

      • Post Trumpism : India and China are collaborating on
        • saving globalization
        • defending the WTO
        • promoting a multipolar world
        • Climate Change


      • June 2018 : China  reduced tariffs on more than 8,500 goods. It has increased tariffs on US Soyabean by 25% providing Indian exporters to enter Chinese market


      • Wuhan Spirit : peaceful, stable and balanced relations between India and China will be a positive factor for stability amidst current global uncertainties


      • BRICS & AIIB : Both are members of  BRICS grouping & AIIB
      • SCO :  India got  full membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.


      • Climate Change : Both are part of Paris Agreement . Most important parties post US withdrawal


      • People to People Contact : people-to-people exchanges are thriving.
        • Practising yoga,
        • Bollywood movies