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Taking China-India ties to new heights

  • Author:Linki
  • Source:http://www.tingvoa.com/html
  • Release on:2019-05-31
Taking China-India ties to new heights

Starting his second term in office, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proposed a second China-India informal summit in Varanasi later this year. Varanasi is not only a culturally important city for Indians and one of the oldest cities in the world but also the constituency that elected Modi to parliament.

After being sworn in for the second time as India's prime minister on Thursday, Modi is likely to have his first "structured" talks with President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, in June.

China has been viewed in India as far more positively inclined to engage with Modi during his second term in office. Even before the full results of the recent elections were declared, the Chinese media welcomed Modi's return to office. In the midst of India's exhausting six-week-long elections, Beijing's diplomatic and strategic moves helped Modi assert his anti-terrorism policy and reinforced memories of the informal summit in Wuhan, Hubei province, in April last year, which showcased the personal chemistry of the two Asian leaders.

Keeping with their "Wuhan spirit" and their June 2017"Astana consensus" on "not allowing differences to become disputes", their "strategic guidance" to their armed forces have ensured peace on their borders. This has prompted bilateral trade to finally cross its decade-long volume of $70-75 billion. For this year, China-India trade is set to cross $100 billion.

Likewise, China's investments in India have witnessed a sharp upsurge from $688 million in 2016 to $5.6 billion last year. The United States' decision to raise tariffs on Chinese, as well as Indian, products is expected to further strengthen Sino-Indian trade and investment partnership. Critics may describe this as China's tactical move triggered by its intensifying trade dispute with the US. Yet there is no denying that the past two years have seen a marked shift in China-India relations.

In hindsight, their 73-day-long border standoff in the summer of 2017 is now seen as a watershed which made both sides ever more pragmatic in building their partnership. This explains why, during his first term as India's prime minister, Modi visited China five times while Xi Jinping visited India twice. The two leaders also met at many multilateral meetings, several of which saw them showcasing joint statesmanship.