China should expand economic cooperation, enhance complementarity and explore new fields of development with India with the larger aim of maintaining peace along the disputed border, a leading Chinese scholar has said.
Since China is a responsible country on the road of “high momentum”, its strategies for India should be positive, Jiang Jingkui, director of the South Asia Research Centre at the prestigious Peking University in Beijing, said.
“As a responsible great nation, China should also have positive and effective strategies and attitudes towards India. China should further deepen its relationship with India, implement bilateral cooperation in energy and climate fields, strive to develop new collaboration fields and strengthen the principles to have communications with India,” Jiang wrote for the Communist Party of China’s mouthpiece, the People’s Daily’s newspaper, in Chinese.
Jiang defined the current state of Sino-India relations as “warm economics and cold politics”, hinting at deepening economic cooperation alongside conflicts in geopolitics.
The opinion piece came days before President Xi Jinping travels to Goa for the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit, where he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Under the premise of maintaining border peace and stability, China should enhance the complementary relationship with India, try to benefit from the Indian market and gradually explore ways to appropriately settle disputes and realise mutual benefit,” Jiang wrote, possibly referring to the single most festering bilateral problem, the unresolved border dispute.
The scholar’s advice for India to gain from China’s experience was simple – don’t get co-opted by Western powers against Beijing.
“On one hand, the common interests between China in India have determined that India would not ally with countries like America and Australia on the general principle, because China’s development would bring India much more benefit than disadvantages. On the other hand, from the 20th century, India has become a favourite boy of the world. Countries including Russia, America, Australia and EU have all reached out their hands to India,” Jiang wrote.
“At the same time, facing co-opting (efforts) from countries and regions like America, Australia and EU, India should accurately position itself, and balance the disagreement and cooperation with China to prevent the bilateral relationship from being troubled by a third party,” he added.
According to Jiang, China will be able to help India develop its economy more than the Western countries because both India and China are developing economies.
“By comparison (with developed economies), both as developing countries with huge population and emerging market economic system, China shares many similarities with India on the road of economic development. Based on this, India could learn from China in various fields on the pragmatic way of its development,” Jiang wrote.
Jiang argued that recent differences between the two countries are the result of increasing interaction between the two countries at various levels.
“Recently, voices have been saying that Sino-Indian relationship has been on a stage with ‘warm economy and cold politics’ concerning the deepening economic cooperation and geopolitical conflicts. However, it’s just because of the increasing of Sino-Indian political interactions that hidden obstacles have appeared. This should be viewed as natural.”