The relations between India and China has always been that of a ‘˜frenemy’. However, the meeting between two leaders is slated to be historic.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s maiden visit to India is about t start from his Ahmedabad visit on Wednesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is already in his old town to oversee the preparations beforehand. It is the most awaited meeting of PM’s tenure so far.
The meeting is so strategically placed to give India all the advantage that it needs. The Prime Minister just had a very successful Japan visit and meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and he is slated to meet US President Barack Obama by the end of the month.
The relations between India and China have always been that of a ‘frenemy’. However, the meeting between two leaders is slated to be historic.
China is going to pledge $100 billion in investments in India for the next five years (almost triple the amount Japan pledged to India). Half of this amount is expected to be in the core sector of railways. Jinping is expected to announce another route for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. He is also likely to hard-sell the bullet train technology to India at far cheaper prices than Japan.
A look at all the efforts from China and you will know that it is trying to woo hard the Indian government to wean it out from Japan and take BJP’s Hindu vote bank in its stride. Despite this, India will not give in to China.
As Firstpost said, “India’s main strategic concerns like resolution of the festering boundary dispute, the stapled visa provocation and the presence of over twenty thousand Chinese troops in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) are likely to remain in the to-do list for Sino-Indian relations for quite some time.”
Also, as Times of India reports, “As China’s President Xi Jinping comes calling on Wednesday, India is all set to launch what is probably the Narendra Modi government’s most significant foreign policy initiative for countering Beijing’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean region.
Titled Project Mausam: Maritime Routes and Cultural Landscapes Across the Indian Ocean, the initiative is meant to revive its ancient maritime routes and cultural linkages with countries in the region. The project aims to explore the multifaceted Indian Ocean “world” — extending from East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka to the Southeast Asian archipelago.”
The reason behind this muscle flexing is an alarming one. The interest shown by Sri Lanka and Maldives in the Chinese proposal, which ostensibly seeks to revive ancient economic linkages, has made India rethink of its strategies. Interestingly, Xi will become the first Chinese president to visit these two countries later this week.
Also, Xi Jinping has come to be known as a leader who runs the government in his individualistic style. All the decisions to raise issues with South Korea and Japan, the territorial thrust into the South China Sea were a result of Xi’s decisions and not the result of a collective decision.
However, the office of Jinping has started building sweet grounds for his landing in India. Assistant Chinese Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao told reporters, “India is a country with which China has been friendly for thousands of years.” Even Xi said when he met Modi for the first time at the BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, that it felt like he was meeting an old friend.
It is yet to be seen how the meeting unfolds and what China offers in its cookie.