The ruling-BJP’s victory in the recent assembly polls throws up an opportunity for China to resolve the festering border question by engaging more closely with an increasingly powerful and hard-line government in New Delhi, Chinese state media said on Thursday.
Commenting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP’s “sweeping victory” in electorally crucial Uttar Pradesh, nationalistic tabloid, Global Times, said it has increased his chance to win in the 2019 general election.
The opinion piece said that so far no “silver lining” has yet emerged on the border dispute with Modi taking strong positions on foreign policy.
But the consolidation of power could give Modi the power to take decisive steps, the article indicated.
This is not the first time that Chinese state media has said that the border dispute could be resolved with India under Modi, especially in the lead-up to his win at the centre in 2014.
Since then, the expectations had tapered.
The latest assembly polls wins by BJP seemed to have brought the enthusiasm back.
“Take the border disputes between Beijing and New Delhi. No silver lining has yet emerged and Modi demonstrated his firm stance over the issue by celebrating Diwali, India’s biggest holiday, with soldiers at the Sino-Indian border,” it said.
“But while seeming inflexible on the surface, hard-liners also have powerful strength in coming to an agreement with others once they make up their mind, given their executive ability and high efficiency,” writer Ai Jun wrote.
Ai added: “That said, we can still be optimistic in resolving our divergences, including border disputes, with New Delhi during Modi’s term as long as both sides are willing. For China, it is also an opportunity to give more consideration over how to make breakthroughs in Beijing-New Delhi relations with a hard-line Indian government.”
“Modi’s hard-line attitude is embodied in both his domestic policies, such as the ban on high-value currency notes, and in his diplomatic logic,” it said.
The newspaper said that Modi has changed India’s previous “attitude of trying never to offend anyone” and started to take clear stands in controversial issues among other nations.
India’s effort is now to maximise its own interests, the article said.
“He (Modi) enhanced New Delhi’s ties with China and Moscow and applied to be a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Yet he also upgraded defence collaboration with the US and Japan, articulated his support for the US rebalance to the Asia-Pacific strategy and Washington’s stance on the South China Sea issue,” it said.