Reuters, May 10 article, Original title: China, India and what a new ‘red telephone’ would mean for the world.
The recent news that Delhi and Beijing may be establishing a military hotline has shown how much the Sino-Indian relationship has expanded and matured in recent years – and also how much distance still remains.
How India and China manage their relationship will have global consequences. And as two nuclear-armed states with long-term unfinished territorial business between them and a good amount of mutual suspicion, diplomatic missteps between India and China risk nuclear escalation.
For most of their history, geography was the primary reason that the two countries maintained a diplomatic distance, keeping their interests separate and avoiding substantial political and economic exchanges. Only in the early 1950s did China and India begin to interact in a sustained way, bonding over their shared former status as downtrodden countries exploited by Western Imperialism. But the absence of deep ties allowed their disputes to escalate, leaving them with diplomatic differences all thee way until the early 1990s.
However, that relationship has been changing rapidly. The last decade has seen a flurry of Sino-Indian diplomacy, trade and exchange, even as military tensions between the two still remain. China and India are now both independent, prosperous and mostly at peace. No one, even in Beijing or Delhi, yet knows what a fully-developed relationship between China and India will look like when complete.
Which brings us back to the discussions currently underway: to establish a military hotline. The fact that the Sino-Indian relationship now has enough of a foundation of cooperation to push this plan forward is itself a measure of progress. But the fact that both countries see it as necessary underscores how much tension remains in the relationship. (Author: Peter Marino, Translated by: Yi Wen)
在漫长历史中的大多数时候，地理环境是两国保持外交距离的主要原因，两国的利益分隔，政治 和经济交流也很少。直到上世纪50年代，中国和印度才开始持续互动，因为此前被剥削、被西方帝国主义压迫的共同历史而团结在一起。然而，缺乏密切关系却使 得两国的争端开始升级，外交分歧一直延续到上世纪90年代。