Blowing hot and cold: behind India’s muted response to a belligerent China

A TBM at a manufacturing base of STEC on September 27, 2020 in Shanghai, China; STEC staff waves India flag after they complete a tunnel in Mumbai on September 24, 2018; image credit: Getty Images and BCCL


The Indian government was quick to clamp down on Chinese companies and impose restrictions following the bloody stand-off at the border last year. But a few months after the incident, Chinese companies are still winning contracts for many sensitive projects in the country. This has raised questions over the government’s ‘tough stance’ on China.

Calendar 2020 marked a major turning point in Indo-China relations. Following the most violent border skirmish between the countries in decades, the Indian government was quick to clamp down on Chinese apps and impose restrictions on companies and investments from China. But months after the incident in which around 20 Indian soldiers were martyred, India continues to award key contracts, especially in the engineering and construction sector, to

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