India and China ink economic agreements, UN veto and border dispute in cold storage!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
Ever since Indian embarked upon linearization and excessive privatization by selling pubic wealth to corporates two decades ago under Congress rule, the major thrust of Indian foreign adventures has been obtaining a veto handle on discredited UNSC, alongside economic deals. All these years India pursued it covertly but now the BJP seems to have taken the lead to overtly advance India’s interests. One major thrust of its claim is the strength its population explosion, though BJP-Congress duo blames Muslims for producing more children who as they grow go to Arab nations at a very early age to send dutifully remittances to India on a regular basis, promoting the nation a strong economic power for the PM to boast of.. .
Soon after he assumed power in New Delhi the Hindutva BJP leader PM Modi, as speculated, accelerated foreign policy apparatus to obtain the veto handle of UN by inviting SAARC leaders and then making a shuttle tour of South Asia, Europe, USA etc and now economic powers like China and Korea are his diplomatic destinations.
Chinese President Xi hosted Modi in his ancestral hometown at the start of Modi’s three-day visit to China, as India and China worked to boost economic ties despite decades of mistrust.
As expected, the Chinese President Xi Jinping told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the two Asian giants should build mutual trust by “controlling their differences”, avoiding interfering with bilateral relations, and strengthening cooperation.
Xi urged Modi to strengthen coordination on global and regional affairs and “work together to promote the international order in a more just and fair direction”. “The two sides should follow the historical trend and realise the strategic needs for our national rejuvenation to build a closer partnership for development,” Xi told Modi. Xi’s comments are part of a broad push to invoke nationalistic themes to win public support and legitimacy as he seeks to boost China’s role as a bigger player in international politics. They also appear to pander to Modi, who believes in a strong and proud India.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accorded with an official welcome ceremony at the Eastern Plaza in the Great Hall of People in Beijing on Friday. Prime Minister Modi, along with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, inspected the Guard of Honour before the national anthems of India and China were played at the venue.
The Global Times, an influential tabloid owned by the ruling Chinese Communist party mouthpiece the People’s Daily said: “It is obvious that the Western elite doesn’t want to see India and China drawing closer to each other, because it will confront their vision for Asia’s future”.
Xi urged cooperation in areas including railways, industrial parks, urbanisation and training to enhance what he called the “national rejuvenation” of both China and India. He pledged to encourage Chinese companies to invest in India. He said China was willing to work with India to “promote regional peace, stability and prosperity” in South Asia. Xi’s remarks come as international concern has deepened about China’s maritime ambitions in the South China Sea. Modi met Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.
The list of problems the world’s two largest countries by population face are considerable, ranging from a festering border dispute to China’s support for India’s arch-rival, Pakistan. Unconditional Indian support for USA in its Asia pivot annoys Beijing.
As part of global trend of keeping controversial border issues aside, leaders of India and China did not touch the border and veto membership issues and focused on trade. Business is the main focus of PM Modi’s three-day visit to China. The two Asian have also agreed for cooperation in trade negotiations. Agreements signed to include outer space, sister cities, mines and minerals, skill development, and vocational education, among others. India and China have signed a record 24 agreements worth over 10 billion dollars in Beijing this morning after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with Chinese premier Li Keqiang. . Consulates of respective countries in Chengdu and Chennai will also be set up. He also met Indian and Chinese CEOs and address businessmen in Shanghai tomorrow economic powerhouse of Shanghai after that to meet business leaders.
The agreements in key sectors include in railways and education. Both the countries agreed to seek a “political” solution to the border dispute at the earliest as PM Modi asked Beijing to “reconsider its approach on some issues” and announced Confidence Building Measures like e-visa for Chinese tourists and operationalization of hotline between the two militaries. On his last day of his visit here, a total 26 business agreements worth over 22 billion dollars were signed between Indian firms and their Chinese counterparts.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India and China have “reiterated our strong commitment to make all efforts to maintain peace and tranquility in the border region.” “We have a historic responsibility to turn this relationship into a source of strength for each other and a source of good for the world,” PM Modi said in a statement after holding talks with Chinese premier Li Keqiang, who said in his statement, “We will serve as two engines for Asia.” Both leaders mentioned difficulties in the relationship and emphasised a commitment to set a new direction to ties. PM Modi said he had covered in his talks with the Chinese leaders “all issues including those that trouble the smooth development of our relations.”
He described his talks with Li in Beijing today as “candid, constructive and friendly” and said, “This is one of our most important strategic partnerships.” In what appeared to be a reference to India’s concerns over China’s plans for infrastructure projects in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and its objections to China issuing stapled visas for residents of Arunachal Pradesh.
PM Modi said the two countries would explore a “fair, mutually acceptable resolution” of their boundary disputes and “maintain peace.” He said he had reiterated to the Chinese leadership the importance of the clarification of the Line of Actual Control and sought tangible progress on visa policy and trans-border rivers. The Prime Minister also said that the two neighbours have “set a high level of ambition for economic partnership.”
Speaking before PM Modi, his host Premier Li said, “If a truly Asian century will dawn, it will depend on whether India and China can overcome difficulties and modernise.” He also said, “We do not deny we have some differences but we can manage and handle our disputes so that they don’t affect growth of ties.” He stressed on the need to “further strengthen our political trust” and said the two countries needed more communication.
The border disputes and veto demand remain unattended.
After a three-day maiden visit to China as the first stop of his three-nation tour for trade talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping besides his counterpart Li Keqiang, PM Modi, on the second leg of his visit, will now visit Mongolia to become the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the country. Modi today left Shanghai for Mongolia after wrapping up his first-ever visit to China where he signed key agreements to boost bilateral ties, including trade. PM Modi will meet Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj to strengthen bilateral cooperation in diverse areas.