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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

World

China optimistic about new ties with India
Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times
Beijing, June 09, 2014
First Published: 20:27 IST(9/6/2014)
Last Updated: 21:00 IST(9/6/2014)

As far as positive outlook to bilateral ties go, Sino-Indian relations are currently enjoying, at least seemingly, some of the most positive momentum in recent years. Taking cue from the political leadership, Chinese state media and strategic analysts are talking in terms of a breakthrough in the festering border issue, strengthening economic ties and fostering a stronger strategic partnership.

Foreign minister Wang Yi's two-day visit to New Delhi as President Xi Jinping's special envoy, for one, could help pave the way for China to understand the policies of the new Narendra Modi-led government in India - the first step, according to India expert Lan Jianxue at the China Institute of International Studies, for the ties to be strengthened.

The visit was for "better understanding India's new administration's policy towards China," said Jianxue. "Modi sent mixed and ambiguous messages to China," he said, adding that it would help to "establish working relationship with his Indian counterpart".

"India is a key factor for territory and sovereignty safety, especially for western China. It also needs China's support to guarantee a safer environment for its development," Long Xingchun, a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, told the Global Times.

"Against the backdrop of the US rebalancing strategy in the Asia-Pacific, India's choice will to a large extent affect China's situation in the global context," he added.

Wang Dehua, director of South Asia Studies at Tongji University in Shanghai, told the newspaper: "China, Japan and the US are of similar significance to India strategically. India's neighbors are often friendly to China, so it has been under the perception of being encircled by China's friends." He added that despite that perception, "cooperation" is the only option for the two countries.

The newspaper said that in addition to a breakthrough on the border issue, economic cooperation is "widely expected to be a key area for Beijing and New Delhi to work together, as Modi is seen as a pro-business leader and has made four visits to China to woo investors".

China's official news agency Xinhua talked about the economic potential in the bilateral ties. "The mutual complementarity of the two economies provides great potential for China and India, one being a global manufacturer and the other a major service provider, to jointly boost cooperation in bilateral trade, investment, financial services and new and high technologies," it said.


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