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‘Western elite wary of India moving closer to China’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s high-profile visit has been widely welcomed in China, but as the three-day journey winds down, red flags are being raised in influential quarters, regarding the strategic trajectory of India’s ties with the West.

People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese government, has posted an editorial that first appeared in the Global Times. China’s authoritative newspaper of record points out that as Mr. Modi’s visit made headlines, “suspicions from the Western world soon poured in, saying the surface friendliness cannot cover the fact that Sino-Indian relations have irreconcilable maladies.” It added: “It is obvious that the Western elite don’t want to see India and China drawing closer to each other, because it will confront their vision for Asia’s future. As rising powers in this region, China and India, as partners or rivals, will make a huge difference to the geopolitical interests of the West.”

Analysts say that there is an apprehension in China, that under the cover of freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific, India is being drawn into a China-containment strategy pursued by the United States and its core allies — Japan and Australia.

The People’s Daily counselled that instead of involving a third party, India should address its concerns directly with China. “The fundamental interests of China and India require peace, goodwill and cooperation. No side should look at the other with contempt or arrogance, and their problems should be addressed between the two with no need to introduce a third party.” Corroborating this view, highly placed sources told The Hindu that during talks on Thursday with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Xian — a meeting that took place in a remarkably relaxed atmosphere —the Chinese side encouraged India to address its concerns directly with Beijing.

Belt and road initiative

Keen to get India on board its “belt and road” initiative — a proposal to integrate the economies of Eurasia through massive infrastructural development — President Xi proposed that areas of common interest could be found in India’s “Act East” policy and the belt and road initiative.

The President said that two countries could strengthen communication on the belt and road, within the framework of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), of which both countries are founding members. “The one belt-one road is a Chinese initiative. It is a national initiative of a country. If any country wants the other country to discuss to collaborate on its national initiative, it is for that country to initiate it. And we are open to discussing this with the Chinese. We have not had a detailed, structured discussion on one belt-one road,” said Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar during an interaction with the media on Friday.



> In China, going beyond optics

In redefining India's geopolitical relationship, Modi would have to take a call on balance of power in Asia-Pacific

>Modi, Xi get down to tackling tough issues

Boundary row, trade balance dominate talks, writes Suhasini Haidar.

Takeaways from China

  • 1 For enhanced border defence cooperation, a "hotline" to work between the Military Headquarters >Read more
  • 2 ISRO and China space agency to sign Space Cooperation Outline for Deep Space Exploration >Read more
  • 3 Sisterhood between Karnataka & Sichuan; Aurangabad & Dunhuang, Chennai & Chongqing, Hyderabad & Qingdao >Read more
  • 4 Extend electronic tourist visas to Chinese nationals. India will celebrate the "Year of China" next year >Read more
  • 5 Agreement on climate change later this year, will address mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer >Read more
  • 6 China will open a new Consulate General in Chennai, India will open one in Chengdu >Read more
  • 7 Tackle growing trade deficit by expanding economic relations in Infrastructure, IT, Pharma, Agriculture and Manufacturing >Read more

>To China with a clear strategy

India cannot overlook excess of nationalism, belief in exceptionalism in today's China

>A long march to a new relationship

India-China relationship today is marked by low levels of mutual trust, writes Nirupama Rao.



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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 4:34:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/western-elite-wary-of-india-moving-closer-to-china/article7214803.ece

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