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India – China bilateral relations

India – China bilateral relations

India – Cambodia bilateral relations

India – Cambodia bilateral relations


China-India relations, also known as Sino-Indian relations or Indo-Chinese relations, encompass the multifaceted bilateral ties between the two Asian giants, China and India. While both nations share a history of peaceful coexistence, modern dynamics, including border disputes and economic nationalism, have added complexity to their relationship. China and India are significant regional powers in Asia, boasting the world’s largest populations and among the fastest-growing major economies. Their growing diplomatic and economic influence underscores the importance of their engagement. 

Historical Foundations:  

Cultural and economic connections between China and India have roots in ancient history. The Silk Road served not only as a vital trade route but also facilitated the diffusion of Buddhism from India to East Asia. Notably, during the 19th century, China was involved in the opium trade with the East India Company, which sourced opium from India. Both British India and the Republic of China played crucial roles in curbing Imperial Japan’s advances during World War II. 

Military Relations: 

China and India engage in a joint military exercise known as ‘Exercise Hand-in-Hand.’ This collaborative endeavor, which commenced in 2007, reflects their commitment to fostering military cooperation. The exercise has been held alternately in both countries and underscores their shared interests in addressing security challenges. 

Bilateral Trade: 

China and India set ambitious goals for their bilateral trade, aiming to make it the most important bilateral partnership of the century. In 2012, the Premier of China, Wen Jiabao, and the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, targeted reaching US$100 billion in bilateral trade by 2015. 

Bilateral trade between the two nations reached US$89.6 billion in 2017-18, albeit with a trade deficit that favored China, widening to US$62.9 billion. In 2017, the total volume of bilateral trade stood at US$84.5 billion, excluding trade between India and Hong Kong, which amounted to an additional US$34 billion. 

Major Commodities: 

India’s exports to China included cotton, gems, precious metals, copper, organic chemicals, and more. China’s exports to India encompassed electronic equipment, machinery, organic chemicals, fertilizers, and iron and steel, among others. 


Sino-Indian relations present a complex blend of historical ties, growing economic interdependence, and geopolitical challenges. The multifaceted nature of this relationship highlights the need for nuanced diplomacy and cooperation to address shared concerns and unlock the full potential of their partnership. 

To know more about bilateral relations between India and China, please download our booklet.

To know more about India – China, DTAA, please download our guide.

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