Originally published: Jabin T. Jacob, “China-India Special Representatives Talks: Moving Beyond the Boundary Dispute?” RSIS Commentaries, No. 029/2012, 20 February 2012.
2012 marks a sensitive anniversary in Sino-Indian relations – 50 years of the conflict over their disputed boundary in 1962 that led to a quick and humiliating defeat for India. In half a century, however, relations between the two countries have been radically transformed in several areas – bilateral trade is booming and China and India share concerns over regional and global issues such as the situation in AfPak, energy security, climate change and the reform of international organizations.
And yet, these new interactions and common interests have created their own set of problems such as a mounting Indian trade deficit, for example, or the competition for energy resources. Meanwhile, the persistence of their boundary dispute further ensures that relations remain beset by mistrust and a sense of rivalry.