India-China trade touched a historic high despite bilateral tensions over a number of issues including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Doklam standoff.

The India-China bilateral trade hit a historic high of US$84.44 billion in 2017 despite bilateral tensions over a host of issues, including the Doklam standoff.

A novelty of the bilateral trade, usually dominated by Chinese exports, was an increase in Indian exports to China by 40 per cent, the PTI has reported. The news agency sourced its data from Chinese General Administration of Customs.

The bilateral trade rose by 18.63 per cent or US$16.34 billion. This is regarded as a landmark as the volume of bilateral trade for the first time crossed the US$80 billion mark.

The trade touched a historic high despite bilateral tensions over a number of issues including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China blocking India’s efforts to bring about a UN ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar, Beijing blocking India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group as well as the Doklam standoff.

The bilateral trade had stagnated around US$70 billion, despite leaders of both nations setting a US$100 billion target in 2015.

Though the trade is still short of US$20 billion to hit the magic figure of US$100 billion, officials on both sides expect trade and Chinese investments in India to pick up this year as both governments are trying to scale down tensions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit China in June this year to take part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Qingdao. Reciprocal visits by Chinese leaders are likely too.