UPSC PRELIMS 2020: India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue

Ind - China economic Dialogue

Topic: India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue

Topic in Syllabus: International Affairs

Ind - China economic Dialogue


The Dialogue was held from 7-9 September 2019 in New Delhi which comprised of round table meetings of JWGs followed by technical site visits and closed door G2G meetings.



  • The 5th India-China SED between NITI Aayog and NDRC, was held in Beijing, China in April, 2018.
  • Both sides had agreed to cooperate in the areas of waste to energy, wastewater treatment, desalination, water usage efficiency and related areas.
  • Both sides had agreed for further cooperation in renewable energy promotion and for speeding up of cooperation in solar cell/module manufacturing in India.
  • Both sides had also discussed the possibility of aligning the Make in India Initiative and Made in China 2025. 


  • Discussions were held reviewing trade and investment climates in order to mutually identify complementarities and harness synergies.
  • Potential areas of collaboration across innovation and investment focusing on fintech and related technologies were highlighted.
  • The two sides agreed to exchange annual calendar of activities to further activate regular channels of communication.
  • Both sides noted the significant progress made in the feasibility study on Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore railway upgradation project and personal training of Indian senior railway management staff in China, both of which have been completed.
  • They held discussions on taking forward the study project exploring the possibility of Delhi-Agra high speed railway.
  • Effective utilization of novel concepts in low cost construction technology, methods of flood and erosion control, air pollution was discussed.
  • Both countries identified future areas of collaboration such as Renewable Energy space, Clean coal technology sector, Smart Grid & Grid integration and Smart meters & E-mobility sectors.
  • Both sides have agreed to explore cooperation for promoting Indian generic drugs and Chinese Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs).


  • SED has emerged as an over-arching and permanent instrument to address outstanding issues and identify potential areas of collaboration. It provides an important platform for both sides to discuss key economic issues impacting both countries and areas of mutual interest. 
  • The bilateral trade between the countries stood at USD 87 billion in 2018-19. The trade deficit stood at USD 50 billion in favour of China. Hence India must utilise SED as a crucial mechanism to facilitate bilateral trade and investment flows and enhance economic cooperation between the two sides.
  • The Dialogues till date have played a positive role for the two countries to seize opportunities, enhance mutual trust, expand consensus, strengthen strategic coordination and cooperation, and boost sustainable economic development. 
  • India holds a special place in Chinese economic diplomacy that can be seen by the fact that besides India, the only other country with which China has a SED is the United States. India must recognize the importance of this opportunity in engaging with China.

Challenges ahead:

  • Concerns remain on the Indian side over closer cooperation with China due to a hangover of China’s past actions. There are apprehensions among policy makers over inviting Chinese capital in critical infrastructure projects like railways. 
  • Chinese opposition to India’s admission in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and technical hold on India’s move to get Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar listed as a terrorist by the UN are few examples of India’s breach of trust by China.
  • Political diplomacy aside, both India and China must realize that as two of the largest emerging economies in the world they cannot do so without engaging with each other. In this respect, the SED platform provides a powerful instrument of communication.


Sample Question:

Consider the following statements

  1. India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue(SED) was established in December 2010 between NITI Aayog and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China.
  2. India is hosting 6th India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) in New Delhi.

Choose correct/s statements

(A) Only 1
 (B) Only 2
(C) Both
(D) None

Answer: b