In their article “Looking beyond the honeymoon” (Sept. 29), the authors write: “The India-U.S. relationship is emerging as one of the three bilateral relationships that will shape Asia and perhaps define global politics in the decades ahead. The other two being U.S.-China and India-China.” For the moment, the India-U.S. relationship has very limited interest, mainly around Afghanistan. As for the U.S.-China relationship, the Americans will find it extremely difficult to treat the Chinese as an equal partner. As such, their relationship can at best influence global politics in a very limited area outside Asia.

Talking about the India-China relationship, over 50 years of relations have been distant and suspicious, at worst antagonistic, even conflictual. Since Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to Beijing in 1988, the relationship reluctantly showed a turn for the better. However, the antipathy still exists. Therefore, India and China need to get rid of the simmering lack of mutual trust, respect sensibilities on either side and make renewed and sincere attempts to understand each other, before assuming the rather ambitious role to shape Asia and define global politics in the decades ahead.

Col. C.V. Venugopalan (retd.), Palakkad

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