India and China are considered the oldest civilizations in Asia. Both nations have enjoyed great relations for many years with each other. The people of both countries had cordial relation with each other as well. In 1949, India became the second country to recognize China which proved to be another step towards better relations. There was an agreement between India and China related to their relations and their peaceful co-existence namely as Panchshel Agreement. In which both nations had to: respect for each other’s territorial integrity, Mutual non-aggression policy and non-interference in domestic problems, the mutual benefits and finally, the peaceful co-existence. These were the major points in agreement of Panchshel which enhanced the good relation between both the countries. Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai also visited India and said that there would be no war between India and China in future. The Sino-Indian relation was at its peak during 1950 to 1959 and they had a slogan as “Hindi-Chinni Bhai Bhai”.
1959 became the turning point in Sino-Indian history when a serious border conflict emerged in border areas. There were some areas like Hamalyas, Ladakh, Tibet and Thagla, which were exclaimed as disputed areas. Mcmahon line was the border line of British India and China. After the British departed, India considered that particular line as an established border line with China. On the other hand China ceased to identify this line as legitimate border line. As China considered these areas as a part of its own territory, so, it deployed a large army on border, taking the initiative of border violation. In response to Chinese aggression, India strongly protested national and international level. The problem could not been resolved; meanwhile, a rebellion took place in Tibet which ultimately intensified the dispute.
This little clash finally turned out to be a war in 1962 between India and China, which is also known as Border conflict. India retaliated to China’s hostility on border and adopted a Forward policy. Forward policy had been initiated by the prime minister of India Jawaher Lal Nehru, in which India could move its heavy troops on border areas. Indian troops were acquainted with CIA, which confirmed that China is not in a position to initiate an assault on India. India launched an army to attack China on Ladakh and Thagla. Although India attacked China but its troops were ill-trained for mountainous warfare. They had no idea what to do in those mountain areas and how to fight in those hardy areas. Indian army on the other hand was very weak to defeat Chinese troops. China attacked back on India with huge and a well-disciplined army, fully acquainted with weapons and climatic know-how. China attacked back on Indian troops in Ladakh. Two attempts were made by the Chinese army and Chinese army got rid of Indian troops. Chinese crushed the Indian army. This war was a brief war but a decisive encounter between India and China. This conflict left far-reaching repercussions for the sub-continent.
India was following a non-alignment policy before this war. This war raised a great question related to India’s military weakness and non-alignment policy. Now at this stage India hat to go for support from other foreign countries to develop its defense on new and strong foundations. She had to go for help either from Communist bloc or Capitalist bloc. India was thinking now to go and join the imperialist countries. Chinese invasion forced India into an arms buildup. Because of this war, now Americans also got a chance to utilize this condition for their own benefits and they started to think that India would become a state which would fight against communist bloc from a capitalistic bloc.
Pakistan, another important country of Asia, had a boundary line with both India and China. Pakistan in 1962’s War fully supported China for its claim. This war provided a vital opportunity for Pakistan to re-asses the direction and goals of its foreign policy. India’s sudden weakness became Pakistan’s new strength. Pakistan had gotten a chance to exploit those conditions for her own benefits. First and the foremost issue between Pakistan and India was Kashmir dispute at that time. Because of this war India faced considerable pressure at the international level to solve out the issue as soon as possible. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was the foreign minister at that time, demanded a suitable solution to this problem. India was quite near to solve Kashmir dispute but the lack of commitment of the International community and Bhutto’s short- sightedness dashed this dream to the ground. India was not interested in solving out the issue. It was just gaining time to secure its boundaries from Pakistan’s attack. Many critics consider that opportunity a vital chance to solve the problem and argued that Pakistan should have attacked India while the latter was engaged in conflict with China.
Another significant consequence was that China started to look around for any ally, which could stand by it in hard times, morally if not materially. In this case, Pakistan was an obvious choice for China to make a long lasting relation. The old notion of “Hindi Cheeni Bhai Bhai” was replaced and rephrased with “Pak Cheen Dosti”. The friendship of Pakistan and China became very strong and that friendship is still going on. The foreign policy of Pakistan tilted towards China and China comes up to support Pakistan as a time tested friend. Sino-Indian war left some problems for Pakistan on one hand and China’s friendship on the other hand to which India responded with antagonism. India started to believe that China would support Pakistan against India in future in every event that would take place. This attitude brought certain changes in foreign policy of Pakistan and Pakistan started to make India oriented foreign policy.
Sino-Indian War was a decisive conflict; it left many repercussions for the subcontinent. China got importance in sub-continent and also in international arena. On the other hand, it also changed the Foreign policy of Pakistan. Indian attitude towards China and Pakistan started to change and a new system of balance of power emerged in the sub-continent.