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Modi more like Nixon than Abe: Chinese media

Narendra Modi as Prime Minister could emerge ‘more like Nixon than Shinzo Abe’ by writing a new chapter in ties with China as the former U.S. President once did, rather than fan tensions across the border, a Chinese analyst has suggested.

In a commentary published on Tuesday in the Communist Party-run Global Times, strategic scholar Liu Zongyi said “western media” were off the mark by comparing the rise of Mr. Modi to that of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who rose to power on a wave of popular support and is seen as a strongly nationalistic leader.

Mr. Abe, since taking office, has also taken on China by asserting strongly Japan’s claims to disputed East China Sea islands amid rising pressure from a fast-expanding Chinese military.

Some media, Mr. Liu said, had “portrayed Modi as ‘India’s Abe’ who will take a tough stance against China”.

“Modi acted indeed aggressively on the Sino-Indian border issue during his election campaign. But Modi is unlikely to act as vehemently as Abe, as it would be of no benefit to India’s economy at all,” he said.

“The new prime minister will boost India’s infrastructure and manufacturing, and then there will be myriad of opportunities for Chinese enterprises. As a right-winger in Indian politics, Modi is more likely to become India’s ‘Nixon’ who will further propel China-India relationship,” he suggested, referring to Nixon’s path-breaking visit four decades ago that unexpectedly opened the door to re-establishing U.S.-China relations.

Mr. Liu, a scholar at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, even suggested that Mr. Modi may be able to make headway on the deadlocked boundary dispute as he would “have no historical burden” over the issue which “was generated under the leadership of then Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru.”

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 9:17:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/modi-more-like-nixon-than-abe-chinese-media/article6031240.ece

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