"Chindia" was the buzzword in the official Chinese media on Monday as Communist Party of China (CPC) mouthpieces gushed about the opportunity awaiting the two countries in cementing bilateral ties and opening up wide windows for trade and business.
Premier Li Keqiang’s ongoing visit to India – his first abroad as Premier – was called a symbol of the importance that Beijing attaches to New Delhi.
The usually caustic Global Times – a nationalistic newspaper from the People’s Daily stable – went to the unusual extent of criticising its own people’s attitude towards India.
"The Indian sense of national pride is very strong but Chinese society doesn't want to adapt. Chinese people lack understanding and respect toward India. They tend to judge it according to ill-conceived preconceptions," the newspaper said in an opinion piece.
It added that though conflicts – like the recent "tent confrontation" on the border – could break out again, the situation in the border areas was better than what Beijing was facing in South and East China Seas.
"The actual situation in border areas is much better than the Diaoyu Islands disputes and some other disputed islands in the South China Sea. Both sides have been trying to divert the focus of the bilateral relationship from border disputes to other areas. In spite of media hype, both sides share a common will in terms of preventing border problems from impeding Sino-Indian ties," the newspaper said.
Reflecting the perception that China’s diplomatic and strategic hand in Asia would be weak without India, the Communist paper added, "however, China's surrounding environment will suffer if India, a country which has the prospect of running neck-and-neck with China, becomes another Japan or Philippines in terms of its policies toward China."
The China Daily, another mouthpiece, said "Chindia" was the brand both countries need to build.
"India is well developed in services, including IT and software, and the future is promising for the two countries to set up joint ventures and increase mutual investments as well as trade in services, which will ease trade imbalances. The joint ventures can build up our own brand of 'Chindia' and set up our own quality standards. Together we have a market of more than 2.7 billion customers and can test any new product," the newspaper said quoting Hu Shisheng, director of the Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceania Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
Hu said that India's 12th Five-Year Plan ending in 2017 demands an investment of more than $1 trillion in its infrastructure sectors and bring great opportunities for Chinese project-contracting companies.
The newspaper added that the best choice was that China's giant companies cooperate with Indian consortiums and gradually advance the regional reforms in India and improve the investment environment.