Monday, March 1, 2021

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Despite Pakistan Factor, US Provocations, India, China Continue To Enhance Bilateral Ties

China and India are likely to hold border talks in ending December in an effort to reach a “fair and mutually acceptable solution” while preserving peace and tranquility in the border areas. 

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India and China are also boosting defense cooperation and training. The “Hand-in-Hand” 2019 China-India joint counter-terrorism exercise, the eighth joint training since 2007, began recently. New Delhi and Beijing are working to build a high-level trade dialogue mechanism to address specific concerns such as India’s trade deficit and China’s investment in India.

We can see China and India have expedited interactions after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s second informal meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October. It is foreseeable that collaboration will be an essential trend for Beijing-New Delhi ties in the future.

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Guided by a Cold War mindset, the US Department of Defense issued on June 1 the “Indo-Pacific Strategy Report” in which it defines China as a “revisionist power.” In the meantime, the US sees India as its key partner in the Indian Ocean region and entices New Delhi to jointly restrain China.

Although India has been uncomfortable about China’s relations with Pakistan, it doesn’t blindly support the US strategy. New Delhi has understood that keeping favorable relations with Beijing is more important than being a part of the US Indo-Pacific Strategy to check a dominant China.

Amid a chaotic world order and intricate changes in the regional and international position, China and India face a number of shared challenges and also broad common interests.

To develop common interests and to solve obstacles leftover from history for further cooperation is vital for intensifying mutual trust between the two sides and making contributions to maintaining peace in the entire Asia-Pacific region.

New Delhi is actively carrying forward a “Neighborhood First” policy in an attempt to balance China’s influence in the region. Indian PM Modi visited the Maldives and Sri Lanka in June after retaining power, attaching importance to cooperation with the two countries, and expanded investment in infrastructure construction in Nepal.

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China also pursues cooperation within the region. However, Beijing and New Delhi are not playing a zero-sum game. Both countries’ increasing investment is helpful to regional development, which will, in turn, offer the two nations more cooperation opportunities.

It is normal and somewhat certain for China and India, which are emerging big countries, to compete. Nonetheless, both countries need stable surroundings to maintain development. Only benign relations can help inject impetus in their economic growth.

Changes in the international situation are a challenge and opportunity to the two countries, which are at similar stages of development. Both sides should work together to face challenges and seize opportunities, as stable China-India relations are of great significance to themselves and the world.

China-India alliance will not only bring their peoples tangible benefits but also help increase the representation of emerging and developing countries as well as make these countries be heard louder on international stages. In promoting multipolarity and economic globalization, China-India relations remain promising.

OpEd By Mu Lu

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