A good neighbour is an invaluable asset and China’s new leadership believes the nation’s stability and development cannot be realised without India, while India’s development cannot be achieved without China.
I say this because both have some similarities: first, both nations have similar basic national conditions, similar level of development and complementary economies. China would like to share its experience in development with India so that the latter can take advantage of that knowledge. Second, China’s economy is transforming from a labour-intensive one to a technology-led one and our technological solutions are better suited for India.
Third, while India is looking for more foreign investment, China’s reserves reached to $3.82 trillion last year. Also, Chinese companies plan to invest overseas up to $500 billion over the next five years and the government is encouraging more Chinese investment in India. Fourth, China is a big manufacturing country and also enjoys advanced technologies and rich experience in high-speed railways, highways and power generators.
China is ready to invest in manufacturing and infrastructure in India and would be happy to see it become another ‘world factory’. Fifth, the key to poverty reduction is increasing farmers’ income. With better natural condition, larger area of cultivated land and less population than China, India has the full potential to emerge as a major agricultural country in the world.
I agree there are some sensitive issues that need to be tackled. For example, the border issue: although there have been accidental standoffs, the two have agreed that there should be peace on the border.
A Border Defence Cooperation Agreement was signed last year and discussions on the issue between the special representatives of both countries have made progress. Second is the water issue: As an upstream country, China has a right to develop both water and hydro resources. Yet it has given a lot of consideration to the downstream country— India.
We have adopted a very prudent approach in developing trans-border rivers. Under a new MoU, China will extend the duration of flood season hydrological date provision by half a month. This is the longest arrangement made by China to any neighbouring country.
Third is China-Pakistan relations. Similar to China-India relations, we need to develop China-Pakistan relations. We hope that relations between India and Pakistan would improve, and at the same time, we are expecting to see more positive interactions among China, India and Pakistan.
China is striving for a ‘Chinese Dream’ of great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. It is a dream for peace, development and win-win cooperation. India also has its own dream of growing stronger. The Chinese Dream is closely linked with the Indian Dream, in that we all wish to work hard so that our people can live in a better life. China is looking forward to a friendly, peaceful, stable, prosperous and powerful India.
Wei Wei is the Chinese ambassador to India
The views expressed by the author are personal