Why China Doesn’t Attack India While Having Superior Economy And Firepower?

In 1962, India lost the war and also lost some of its territory like Aksai Chin to China. This was followed by the Cho la and Nathu la incidents in Sikkim which happened just 5 years later in early October 1967. And the latest tussle between India and China got off with the Doka lam stand-off.

But why does China not attack India after all these incidents, considering that it had already defeated India earlier too?

First, let us compare the military strength of both the nuclear-armed countries:

Chinese vs Indian military

Factor China India
Defence budget USD 151 billion USD 51 billion
Total military personnel 3,712,500 4,207,250
Active personnel 2,260,000 1,362,500
Reserve personnel 1,452,500 2,844,750
Total aircrafts 2,955 2,102
Fighter aircraft 1,271 676
Attack aircraft 1,385 809
Transport aircraft 782 857
Total helicopter strength 912 666
Attack helicopters 206 16
Combat tanks 6,457 4,426
Armored fighting vehicles 4,788 6,704
Self-propelled artillery 1,710 290
Towed artillery 6,246 7,414
Rocket projectors 1,770 292
Total Naval assets 714 295
Aircraft carriers 1 3
Frigates 51 14
Destroyers 35 11
Submarines 68 15
Mine warfare vessels 31 6

(Data taken from globalfirepower.com)

As we compare both the militaries from the above data, it is very clear that China is superior to India in almost every factor. So, evidently, China has a bigger and stronger military than India.

Second, let us see, what does it take for a country to be a global power:

Economy and Military

For any country to survive, it needs two things –Economy and Military. For any country to be a superpower, all it needs is a good Economy and a strong Military.

Currently, China and India both are at the peak of their economic growth. And irrespective of who will win the war, both the countries will get a huge economic setback. The market conditions will start to deteriorate and the growth will decline. This will push both the countries back in time and it will be harder for both the countries to cope with the ongoing prices.

Also, as the war brakes, western world will try to take advantage of it by selling more weapons and technology.

Indian vs Chinese Economy

India and China has a complex economic relation with each other. Both the countries are the epitome of economic growth in today’s world.

India provides goods and services to many countries in the world. Also, China is the preferred manufacturing and assembling market for many giants like Apple.

Also, China has a huge market place in India and majority its exports plays a crucial role to both Indian market and Chinese economy.

However, with PM Modi’s Make in India campaign and Trump’s America First slogan, China started to see a setback in its manufacturing market and is indirectly made to lose its market slowly.

So, at this point of time, even if China can, it will not want a war with any country that will bring its economy crashing down.

International Relations

Any war between two nuclear armed countries will definitely draw the world’s attention. And with PM Modi recently trying to improve the ties with all the countries in the world, India has better international relations than China.

India has good relationship with countries like USA, Russia, Israel, Japan, etc. India also is an active participant of international institutions like United Nations, SAARC, G20, NAM, BRICS, etc.

Also, India is in pretty good terms with China’s enemies – Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, US, Malaysia, etc. As it is said, enemy’s enemy is our friend.

India has always been world’s biggest arms purchasers. Weapon manufacturers will mount immense pressure on their respective governments either to end this war, sell weapons to both sides, or prefer India over China. Heads of states will self-invite themselves to India as soon they see demand from India.

Even if…

Even if China still attacks India, India would have a 3:1 advantage over the Himalayas, considering the tough terrains Chinese forces would have to cross (this will be the similar case when Pakistanis had an advantage over India in Kargil). In this case, China might need to maintain 9:1 force ratio.

After Kargil, Indian soldiers are now well prepared for high altitude & jungle warfare and has a mountain regiment to fight in the mountainous regions. Chinese forces would need to attack more on foot.

Chinese would still need some force to guard other borders with Russia, Taiwan, Japan and Vietnam, all of whom are on bitter terms with China right now.

China and neighbouring countries
China and neighbouring countries

Chinese Navy forces will prove highly ineffective against India, since India enjoys strategic geographical advantage which is difficult to counter.

This war might see massive casualties at both sides.


Any war would disrupt the global trade involving India and China. The Chinese trade is much larger than that of India. So Chinese economy would get hit more than Indian economy. Both countries have no first use policy for nuclear weapons. Both sides will see heavy casualties with not clear early winner. A Sino-Indian war would be devastating for the whole world.

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