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India and China relations
China–India relations, also called Sino-Indo relations or Indian-Chinese relations, refers to the bilateral relationship between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of India. Although the relationship has been cordial, there have been border disputes. The modern relationship began in 1950 when India was among the first countries to end formal ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan) and recognize the PRC as the legitimate government of Mainland China. China and India are the two most populous countries and fastest growing major economies in the world. Growth in diplomatic and economic influence has increased the significance of their bilateral relationship. Cultural and economic relations between China and India date back to ancient times. The Silk Road not only served as a major trade route between India and China, but is also credited for facilitating the spread of Buddhism from India to East Asia.During the 19th century, China's growing opium trade with the British East India Company triggered the First and Second Opium Wars. During World War II, British-occupied India and China both played a crucial role in halting the progress of Imperial Japan. Relations between contemporary China and India have been characterised by border disputes, resulting in three military conflicts — the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Chola incident in 1967, and the 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish. In early 2017, the two countries clashed at the Doklam plateau along the disputed Sino-Bhutanese border. However, since the late 1980s, both countries have successfully rebuilt diplomatic and economic ties. In 2008, China became India's largest trading partner and the two countries have also extended their strategic and military relations. Apart from trade and commerce, there are some other areas of mutual interest on which China and India have been cooperating of late. In the words of Rejaul Karim Laskar, a scholar of Indian foreign policy, "Currently, the two countries are cooperating on a range of international like trade, climate change and reform of the global financial order, among others, to promote common interest". Despite growing economic and strategic ties, there are several hurdles for India and the PRC to overcome. India faces trade imbalance heavily in favour of China. The two countries failed to resolve their border dispute and Indian media outlets have repeatedly reported Chinese military incursions into Indian territory. Both countries have steadily established military infrastructure along border areas. Additionally, India remains wary about China's strong strategic bilateral relations with Pakistan, while China has expressed concerns about Indian military and economic activities in the disputed South China Sea. In June 2012, China stated its position that "Sino-Indian ties" could be the most "important bilateral partnership of the century". That month Wen Jiabao, the Premier of China and Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India set a goal to increase bilateral trade between the two countries to US$100 billion by 2015. Bilateral trade between China and India touched US$89.6 billion in 2017–18, with the trade deficit widening to US$62.9 billion in China's favour. In 2017, the volume of bilateral trade between India & China stands at US$84.5 billion. This figure excludes bilateral trade between India & Hong Kong which stands at another US$34 billion. According to a 2014 BBC World Service Poll, 23% of Indians view China positively, with 47% expressing a negative view, whereas 27% of Chinese people view India positively, with 35% expressing a negative view.A 2014 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center showed 72% of Indians were concerned that territorial disputes between China and neighbouring countries could lead to a military conflict. The President of China, Xi Jinping, was one of the top world leaders to visit New Delhi after Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister of India in 2014. India's insistence to raise South China Sea in various multilateral forums subsequently did not help that beginning once again, the relationship facing suspicion from Indian administration and media alike. In 2020, the 70th anniversary of India-China diplomatic ties, 70 events will be held in celebration by the two countries. Various other activities are also planned.