India –China bilateral ties –Through the dialogue  

deepak mehto
By deepak mehto October 9, 2019 17:40

Context.

The high-level meeting, during the one-day ‘informal summit’ on the lines of Wuhan in Mamallapuram, near Chennai, between Chinese premier  Xi and Indian Prime minister Modi expected to be held on October 11 to discuss and deliberate varied Issues.

Background Surrounding Mamallapuram Summit

  • Chinese ambassador to India, Sun Weidong stated that over the past year, the two sides have actively implemented the important consensus between the two leaders, upgraded and improved the quality of China-India relations after the Wuhan Summit, overcoming the Doklam setback.
  • The ‘informal summit’ assumes global significance as a representative of emerging economies transcending Indo-Chinese bilateral dimension as two major developing countries with a population of 1 bn.
  • However, both Indian and Chinese sides have shared displeasure regarding each other moves ahead of the talks. India has protested comments by Chinese officials on the government’s move to amend Article 370, and China reportedly conveyed its displeasure over the military exercises in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • There were also talks of postponing of the summit, with announcing the premier visit just 2 days before the summit.

About Wuhan – Agreements and future engagement

What were the agreements in Wuhan regarding Indo –Chinese ties?

  • China and India should see each other as positive factors in the changing international landscape
  •  The development of China and India is an important opportunity for each other.
  • China and India should view each other’s intentions in a positive, open and inclusive light.

Major decision on the future engagements between India and China at Wuhan :

  • Maintain close high-level exchanges:
    • President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi have met five times on multilateral occasions and reaffirmed their judgment that China and India are each other’s development opportunities rather than threats.
    • Government departments, political parties, legislatures and military of the two countries have actively engaged in high-level exchanges and shared governance experience
  • Aligning development strategies: In September 2009, the two sides held the 6th Strategic Economic Dialogue and the 9th Financial Dialogue and reached new consensus on cooperation in policy coordination, infrastructure, energy conservation and environmental protection, high technology, energy and medicine.
  • Coordination in global governance: China and India are both members of multilateral mechanisms such as China-Russia-India Trilateral, BRICS, SCO and G20, and share common interests in promoting globalization and opposing trade protectionism.

Indo –China-resolving Border issues 

  • Since the establishment of the Special Representatives’ Meeting on the boundary question in 2003, the two sides have held 21 rounds of meetings, which have played an important role in promoting the settlement of the boundary question.
  • The two sides have been pushing forward the Special Representatives’ meeting process bearing in mind the overall bilateral ties and people’s well-being, and striving to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the boundary question.
  • Both sides need to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas before the final settlement of the boundary question. In the past decade, no single bullet has been fired at the China-India border area.
  • The boundary disputes that need to be solved through dialogue and consultations, keeping in mind the broader India –China relationship.

India and china: Multilateralism.

Amid India’s continued opposition to the Belt and Road initiative, the relationship can develop on multiple platforms.

Need for cooperation among India and China:

  • Everchanging International landscape. The collective rise of emerging countries represented by China, India and others has changed the structure of the international landscape.
  • Protectionism and Unilateralism: Rising incidence of protectionism like USA’s ‘America first policy’ and unilateralism like the US calling of “Paris talks” is seriously affecting global stability. The uncertainty of the international situation poses common challenges to both China and India.
  • Domestic obligations: Strengthening solidarity and cooperation between us is an opportunity for our respective development and the world at large. It will benefit one-third of the world’s population which is also aimed at adding positive aspect to international relations.

Scope for cooperation among China and India:

  • Panchsheel: reiteration of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which have become the basic norms of international relations. We should stick to these principles and bring to a great height of development.

  Multilateral Rule-based order :

o   Upholding of the international system with the United Nations at its core and make the international order more just and equitable.

o   Fast advancing of reform of the world trade organization, promote South-South cooperation and adhere to the core values and principles of WTO.

o   Promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and build an open world economy that is conducive to the further development of developing countries and emerging markets

  • Regional cooperation: Continued synergy through “China-India Plus” cooperation, promote free trade, infrastructure development and regional cooperation initiatives like the BCIM cooperation.
  • Social development: harmonise policies and development strategies of all countries, strengthen cooperation in the fields of energy conservation, poverty alleviation, environmental protection and climate change, and achieve common prosperity.

India’s stand on RCEP:

  • India,  trade deficit with China and RCEP in 2018-19 was $53.6 billion and $105 billion, respectively.
  • India is apprehensive that further liberalization in tariffs to the neighbouring country could lead to a surge in imports, harming the domestic industry and the Make In India programme.

China’s argument in favour of ‘RCEP’

  • China’s imports from India have increased by 15% over the 5 years.
  • In the first half of this year, India’s trade deficit with China fell by 13.5% y-o-y basis, and its agricultural exports to China doubled over the same period last year.
  • China has taken active measures to increase imports from India like lowering tariffs on some Indian imports to China, sending purchasing delegations to India, assisting in the export of Indian agricultural products and pharmaceuticals to China.

China’s suggestion to further reduce the trade deficit.

  • China has suggested holistic measures such as increasing mutual investments, encouraging Indian companies to participate in the China International Import Expo.
  • Upgradation of  Nathula border trade port will help India reduce its trade imbalance in the process of cooperation and development of the two countries.

Growing convergence in the Indo-Chinese ties:

Historic significance of the ties:

  • China and India are both ancient civilisations. In history, Chinese paper making, silk, porcelain and tea were brought to India, and Indian singing and dancing, astronomy, architecture and spices were taken to China.
  • Buddhism was introduced into China from India and had a profound impact on Chinese culture.
  • Chinese Admiral Zheng had made seven voyages to the Indian Ocean and reached India six times.
  • 2019  marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 70th Republic Day of India. Over the past 70 years, China and India have gone through a similar process of economic and social transformation

4.0 Industrial revolution

  • The fourth industrial revolution in the making, we still enjoy high complementarity and may explore synergies in our development strategies.

Economy and Trade

  • China has long been India’s largest trading partner and India is China’s largest trading partner in South Asia. Since the beginning of the 21st century, trade between China and India has grown from less than $3 billion to nearly $100 billion, an increase of about 32 times.
  • Chinese companies have increased their investment in industrial parks, e-commerce and other areas in India, with a total investment of $8 billion and 2,00,000 local jobs created.
  • Chinese mobile phone brands such as Xiaomi, VIVO and OPPO have been well-established in the Indian market.  
  • At the same time Indian companies are actively expanding the Chinese market, with a cumulative investment of nearly $1 billion in China.
  • With a combined market of over 2.7 billion people and a GDP of 20% of the world’s total, China and India enjoy huge potential and broad prospects for economic and trade cooperation.

People to people contact

  • Establishment of High-level People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges Mechanism identified the 10 pillars and 8 priorities of people-to-people and cultural cooperation.
  • Increasing use of Soft power like increasing acceptance of Bollywood movies in China and vice versa increasing acceptance of Chinese acupuncture, cuisine and martial arts among Indians.
  • Improved connectivity: There are 54 flights linking major cities of the two countries every week.
  • Students Exchange: More than 20,000 Indian youth are studying in China, and over 2,000 young Chinese are studying in India

The two sides will jointly hold a series of activities to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, pool more strength of our people, promote cultural exchanges and cooperation, and make the tree of China-India friendship take deep roots.

deepak mehto
By deepak mehto October 9, 2019 17:40