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China and India Business Grows as Border Dispute Flares

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on October 14, 2009

Fresh on the news that Indian outsourcing power Tata Consultancy Services plans a big expansion of its China operation comes an interesting op-ed in today’s Indian Express by Washington-based scholar C. Raja Mohan on the problematic political relationship between China and India. The TCS plan, first reported by the Wall Street Journal today, to grow its Chinese operation from a headcount of 1,100 to 5,000 in five years is just the latest sign of the growing business ties between the two Asian giants are booming. As Mohan, who last month became the Henry Kissinger chair in foreign policy and international relations at the Library of Congress, points out, Sino-Indian trade has risen “more than fifty-fold” in the past decade.

Meanwhile, Chinese and Indian political elites haven’t come close to keeping pace. “From the perspective of China’s expansive international interaction, Beijing’s outreach to Indian civil society is rather thin,” Mohan writes. “And Delhi’s penetration of China’s political universe, in turn, is shockingly shallow.”

Not surprisingly, therefore, at the same time you have TCS talking about its plans for the Chinese market you have Beijing and New Delhi trading accusations in their endless dispute about borders in Kashmir and the eastern Himalayas. For instance, just yesterday a Chinese government spokesman criticized Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for visiting last week Arunachal Pradesh, the state in the Himalayas ruled by India but claimed by China. “China is strongly dissatisfied with the visit to the disputed region by the Indian leader disregarding China’s serious concerns,” Xinhua yesterday reported Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu saying. An Indian foreign ministry spokesman responded that Arunachal Pradesh is “an integral and inalienable part of India,” adding that the Chinese criticism “does not help the process of ongoing negotiations between the two governments on the boundary question.”

No doubt the Chinese are further annoyed with Singh because of Beijing’s irritation about another visitor who will soon be heading to Arunachal Pradesh: The Dalai Lama goes there next month.

(For more on the background of the Sino-Indian dispute and prospects for settling it, read Rediff’s Q&A with MIT’s M. Taylor Fravel.)

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Reader Comments

freedom lover

October 14, 2009 08:05 AM

CHina and India have a long history of 5000 years of being friends with religion and trade being a common foil.

The conflict took place in 1962 when Maoist control and communism in China were at its peak while a newly free India was experimenting with democracy and people's rights. China had first conquered Tibet and then staked claim to Indian territory.

BUt much water has flown through the yellow river since then. China after its failed communist experiments and cultural revolutions is a part free market while India has moved away from socialism to part-capitalism.

If China were to be a totally free democaratic society and embraces freedom of religion, then free trade and religion could again bond India and CHina.

Otherwise we could see more of these sabre rattlings, which are disastrous for both the countries.

So while India can learn about infrastructure building from China, CHina too should let its people learn a few things on religious and democratic freedoms from India....


October 14, 2009 09:37 AM

The Chinese are fraud. Its achievements are hyped by the closed Communist Party withouth any audit, investigation and reliable sources.

China is a third world, third rate country with pretentious to be a world power using Western purchased marketing to promote face China.

Note the following:

1. The Chinese government placed an so called "ugly chinese" girl singer from opening the Chinese Olympics replacing it with a "beautiful girl". Again fake. The majority of the Chinese population are for more of a better work not such as handsome/beautiful bunch.

2. The so called impressive Chinese Olmpic Stadium "Bird Nest" who the Chinese would like to promote as a Chinese achievement is not Chinese at all. In fact the stadium was built by the Swiss Herzog & de Meuron in April 2003.

3. The third rate Chinese technology whom the Chinese are so proud are in fact borrowed, begged and stolen from the West. e.g.the Chinese purchased the British bankrupt motor company for mere £67 million pounds; Disloyal Overseas Chinese, citizens of USA have history of theft of American Technology passed to China; The mass producation of manufactured good: TV, VCR, DVDs are copies of Western and Japanese technology.

Thus, the Chinese have indeed to be proud of their achievements. Stolen, Borrowed and Begged.

Whilst the Chinese sell their cheap, third rate, third class products to the West. Ask the Chinese. They will be embarassed with Chinese inferior goods. They would rather drive German, American and Japanese cars; study at Western universities due to third rate education in China;Ask the illegal immigrants entering the West why leave China if it is a great Country.

China - Fraud, Fake, Third Rate, Third Class,Third World.

Vivek Chauhan

October 14, 2009 09:52 AM

China has long had this habit of creating unwelcome noise about territorial disputes. It's high time China realises that its much better to carry on with its booming economy rather than escalate a petty border issue that holds no significance to China. Even the Arunchal Pradesh population voted heavily (72%)in recent elections to affirm their faith in Indian constitution. India and China have much more to discuss about than stupid and meaningless border talks, which apparently can go on for eons without a solution.


October 14, 2009 10:22 AM

Only one word comes to mind with India's behavior these days in its neighborhood: Weltpolitic. With the Kaiser a nephew of Queen Victoria, Germany nevertheless pursued a different course from its previous course, with the same parliament, same political parties, same foreign ministers. All this urged on by its press, its people, and every single "qualified" Aryan; only the Jews were left behind. And in this case it will be the Muslims who will be the victims, all dressed up in a false "democratic" garb, where beggars, prostitutes, and destitute mothers get a chance to have their votes bought every five years by the same criminals, land barons, and billionaires. Then the world will know no misery thereafter.


October 15, 2009 02:19 AM

The border disputes are NOT the most difficult problems between India and China. The root cause of the problem is India's continued use of the Dalai Lama and his supporter as a pawn against China.

Indians = hatemongers

October 15, 2009 06:07 PM

Michael aka Indian in disguise, hindu nationalists like you are the reason why India can't get along with any of its neighbors. Not just China but Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka...not a single one of them have even remotely friendly relationships with India. Ask yourself why?

In fact, Indians can't even get along amongst themselves. The Indian society is rife with violence between castes, subcastes, religion, subreligion, language, sublanguage, region, subregion...Indians are the most contentious, discriminatory people on earth. The only way to unite the enemies within is to look for enemies without.


October 15, 2009 07:35 PM

There must not be any friutful outcome whatsoever if India and China continue their unreasonable petty border issue in their fast developments. It will only benefits others to surpass them and leaving them mocked for not able to feed billions people respectively.

They must focus on development than kids fighting.

If they think war is solution, they are absolutely wrong. Both the countries will be looser from war.


October 16, 2009 12:51 PM

Michael is aboslutely correct. China has a foul human rights record, and none of their boasts can be verified due to lack of transparency and freedom.

As for the poster who claimed India cannot get along with any of her neigbors .... I seem to recall CHINA having armed conflicts with RUSSIA, VIETNAM, TAIWAN, and INDIA...and border disputes with JAPAN....and internal strife with FALUN GONG and freedom fighters at Tianneman Square.
Pot calling the kettle black???

freedom lover

October 19, 2009 02:24 AM

The latest twist in the China India debate is water.

The river Brahamaputra is the lifeline of North East India and al most 70 % of the water resource of Bangladesh. There are reports that China is about to build huge dams at it source in Tibet and then divert it to its northern areas.

This would lead to huge escalated tensions between the two countries and would also be against international river flow laws and precedents.

I hope the decision makers in China are wise and would not do anything which disturbs the equilibrium of th environment. It would be an environment catastrophe and a humantarian disaster; this would damage relations between the two countries for ever and potentially starve Bangladesh of all water.

Can my Chinese freinds tell me what the actual ground truth is. We really have to bring the two countries together through this blog. Maybe people to people contact can really do the trick...

RR Iyer

October 21, 2009 03:47 PM

Re Indians = hatemonger's comments that "Michael aka Indian in disguise, hindu nationalists like you are the reason why India can't get along with any of its neighbors." This poor sod whose is obviously a Chinese nationlist under a false inflammatory name-how dare you? Point out one country in the world where all major religions get along as well as in India-despite Chinese help to Maoist terrorists, Pak subversion, Nepalese Commies, Bangladesh jihadis. Chinese nuke proliferation to Pak, Chinese sub bases in Gwadar(Pak) and Myanmar; meddling in Sri Lanka, and missiles in Tibet where you have killed the Tibetan culture.. and you dare spout off re India! You are completely brainwashed with Chinese propaganda, my man-and you need serious therapy! You don't even realize that your main man, Mao, killed over 30 million Chinese in the Long March-and wiped out the entire Chinese intelligentsia except for those who fled to Taiwan. Get yr bloody facts straight.. and stop your sickening hegemony over countries in Asia and in the distant future, over the US! Your time will come.. nothing is ordained.. even your bloody dreams of the world kowtowing before you! There are many battles to be fought before you get there and just because you have a few Dong Feng ICBM's and your first nuke subs from Russia, do not take on the free world!


October 26, 2009 04:56 PM

Michael & Rob,

No need to be barking here like this, spend more time to make your native contry a better place to live, as a matter of fact, the gap between your country and China is enlarging, if a new war starts, I am sure China will win again, victory is not belonging to self promoting people. Barking dog never bites


October 28, 2009 09:00 PM

Michael, do you need to audit the car market in China, which is the largest now in the world. You are probably a loser in the current ecomnony downturn.

freedom lover

October 30, 2009 04:35 AM

There is a borer dispute between the two countries and we have to resolve it.

However as reports now suggest, China is about to impound the waters of the River Brahamputra which flows through Norht East India and Bangladesh and is the lifeline of the region.

This is going to be the most environmentally destructive act on the planet , after the dropping of the A bomb on Hiroshima.

Will China melt the Himalayas to produce a few more million tons of steel?

How will the future generations of China face the world, if the present unleashes the biggest environment catastrophe on the planet??

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BusinessWeek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies. Eye on Asia’s bloggers include Asia regional editor Bruce Einhorn, Tokyo reporter Ian Rowley, Korea bureau chief Moon Ihlwan, Asia News Editor and China Bureau Chief. Dexter Roberts, and Hong Kong-based Asia correspondent Frederik Balfour.

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