I have been thru many articles that project China as the potential threat to India. There is a school of thought that projects India as a threat to China as well for many reasons that I may not really always subscribe to. China is a big country. It is also a permanent member of the UN Security Council. It may still be a developing nation however has many feathers to its cap already, foremost being its ability to handle its economy more emphatically than most of the developed economies, creating dependence of a developed nation like US on itself, High infrastructural investments that many a world renowned economists have even termed as the "Bubble", being a strategic partner of Pakistan (Enemy's Enemy is friend) & few more.
India is also developing however developing faster than ever. In most of the cases, India is slated to follow almost the same path as that of China except really for how the economy is handled. Both of these are the most emerging nations, India has put itself for a permanent membership of the Security Council, that I think now is in jeopardy to an extent because of India's reluctance towards supporting the US, FR & UK's move to attack Libya, Both have a growing population with only difference being that when India's youth population would be highest across the globe by 2050 while that of China is now & would start depleting then (Thanks to its one child policy).
Why are then these two nations so much against each other that they don't really want to see eye to eye. Couple of reasons that I can think of are these:
2. Arunachal Pradesh
3. Clash of Titan ship within the Asia region
4. India's closeness with US / Other developed nations
5. China itself
Lets take one by one.
Pakistan: It proves to be a strategic partner for China. It’s more of the latter than the former. Reason is Oil. If Pakistan willingly provides the route to China thru its territory, China can easily create its pipeline from Iran, a deal which so far visualized India, Pakistan & Iran. Pressure from US on India to refrain from the pipeline emanating from Iran has actually acted as a double whammy for India. First losing out the Oil & second, losing out to its most strategic competitor, China. Additionally, working with Pakistan, gives China an edge on its western region to act against India in the event of any battle like conflict. More importantly Gwadar is already a region where Pakistan has promised China a Naval base. This not only provides a strategic location to attack India rather helps China establish its oil link from Arab countries on a sustainable basis. Aksai Chin could be another example, a place that India claims of its own for many a year. Indeed shows on its map too however China has different intentions & thoughts of this region. Again this is strategically an important location to attack India in any eventuality. Remember PoK or Azad Kashmir is not too far from Aksai Chin. These are the western & eastern tips of Indian map that you see today.
Arunachal Pradesh: Another region that China has been claiming of its own for some time & doesn't even recognise it to be that of India. How? Well, it doesn't even give a proper VISA to the people from Arunachal Pradesh & in some cases, doesn't even provide it once knows that people visiting are from Arunachal Pradesh because it thinks it to be its own. Recent cases of VISA denial to one of the IAS officers & Paper VISA to an Indian athlete could be good example to cite. Such is the prowess of China in this region that at times, locals find food from China in their houses (pl refer the latest media story on these news items). This happens in all visibility. Arunachal may not necessarily provide a strategic location but eventually isn't that bad too when you have Gwadar on the west, Aksai Chin on top, Tibet & Arunachal on the east. So in a way, With Arunachal in its belt, it could keep India tightly held thru all sides like a "Spanner".
Clash of Titan ship: Now this is a core issue & is purely owing to China's EGO. Today it can flex its muscles on a lot of Asian countries however with India being a permanent member in the Security Council; it may not remain the case. All in all, China would always deflect all possible ways of India to gain a seat there. More importantly, people looking up to India may not let China become a US (flexing muscle everywhere) like nation going forward. Remember, these are communists with the bent of Stalin. They will do whatever to keep their position intact. It is just like Maoists supported by the CPI (ML) & other communist parties. You better know of them. If not, refer to some recent (last 3-5 years) news from Nepal of how they arranged for the King to be thrown away. Good or bad is yet to be decided with such a turmoil that is yet evident in Nepal.
India's closeness with US / Developed nations: None of the developed nations actually like to see China eye to eye. Not for anything but for its arrogance & non alignment with the western thought process. Now that said, doesn't mean that India should lean towards the western powers but in the most legitimate sense it might have to play well if it wants their support for the permanent membership of the UN Security Council. It is equally good for western countries to keep India in the Security Council to keep a check on Pakistan & China, when need be. China obviously dislikes it that someone would keep an eye on it. Its overall strategy may not work out well against India if latter gets the membership. On the other side, China with Pakistan can create havoc on India. US's decision to pull out of Afghanistan may not augur too well too. China had been seeking a role in Af-Pak region for long & if all goes well, it may so happen in the upcoming years. India's Hindu fundamentalists may not want to align too much with Af-Pak but that is not a hindrance for China at all.
China Itself: Why do I say that is for only one reason? India is a democracy while China is not. But does that mean that there isn’t any Chinese working towards getting a democracy. One could be incorrect. China will always have this fear & will do all that is required to keep Democracy out. But remember, this is the only trump card that India possesses. If India were to win over China, it can win thru this alone. Put a light of democracy somewhere in China & keep fuelling it from time to time. Does it mean that the above issues will go off, probably not, but it will be a more rational discussion with the neighbours then? Uprising in the Arab world has already scared the Chinese govt. that it has already banned all of the internet searches that talk of these mutinies. More than that, they have a special internal force to keep a tab on all such activities within the country. They didn't even spare the foreign journalists who wanted to have views of the Chinese people on the "Jasmine Rallies" orchestrated by some of the rebellions for peaceful march every Sunday. It was proposed on the same lines of Jasmine Revolution of Tunisia. What best could describe it than the fact that China's internal security budget has been upped compared to its national security budget. This is called as "Stability Maintenance". So the place where it hurts the Chinese Communists the most of their power getting eroded & bringing Democracy is definitely & the only one such thing.
So above was my take on why the issues are there today. India's foreign policy so has been appeasing towards China for all reasons known only to the successive Indian governments. We need to press our heels more & go for it. What is important now is to keep the India's western region more advanced in terms of its preparedness to be battle ready (this is req. more), Build the strategic roads in Arunachal Pradesh (so far only 12 completed out of the 72 proposed) & on top of all of it -- Keep Nepal as your most important ally (They have always seen Indian as invaders) + Make Arunachal Pradesh as the Capital-in-Exile of the Tibetans. Tibetans need Tibet more than anyone else. Being closer to their own country would only help them to get to their resolve faster.