By Kashyap Arora
Edited by Sanchita Malhotra, Associate Editor, The Indian Economist
India and China with their growing economies have become a subject of global attention and as these two economies rush to match some of their developed counterparts, both of them are bent on taking their national security very seriously.
China which finds itself in the middle of ongoing disputes with Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines and a huge pressure from increasing diplomatic ties by the United States in Asia, realizes the importance of building strong ties with India, its neighboring country. This realization has been further shown by friendly gestures from Beijing in the form of recent visit of Chinese Foreign Minister and the special envoy of President Xi Jinping to India. Beijing also finds itself having similar agendas to that of India, especially in terms of combating terrorism infiltrating from Pakistan and Afghanistan in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.
Though, India especially under the UPA government has been maintaining a cautious approach in terms of the pace of strengthening its relations with the China mostly due to a growing concerns towards the rising strength of Beijing and a decade old dispute regarding shared Himalayan border with China. However, under the newly instated Modi Government, India may no longer comply with the older and conventional policies such as the old rules of the Great Game and opt for pro development approach facilitated by a higher regional integration, specially keeping in line India’s future plans of becoming a sub continent giant, a position which can only be achieved by having stronger ties with neighbors and surrounding Asian Economies.
The warm welcoming given to the Chinese Foreign Minister and diplomats has already signaled this intent of the Modi Government. Also, during his 12 years tenure as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr. Modi had visited China four times, thus, these definitely provide strong indication towards an increased role of the East in Modi Government’s foreign policy and such a policy can definitely prove to be a giant leap towards realizing India’s dream of becoming an extremely powerful economy in the future. However, a lot depends on the proper execution of such a foreign policy especially keeping in context the importance of external forces and India’s relation with its neighboring countries given China’s strengthening position in the subcontinent, and it is in this regard that the Modi Government deserves all the praise especially keeping in mind the proactive measures taken by the government in form of opening of dialogues with its neighbors by a very prudent gesture of inviting all the Head of States and dignitaries from India’s neighboring countries during Mr. Modi swearing in ceremony. Further, Mr. Modi also choose Bhutan for his first official visit as the Prime Minister of India, a step has been extremely successful in further strengthening India’s very old and strong relations with Bhutan and has painted a positive image of India before Nepal who of late have developed much better relations with China than India.
Thus, the NDA Government has already shown a very positive and smart approach towards a stronger regional integration in the subcontinent and going in line with these steps, there seems a very high probability of much stronger relations between India and China especially keeping in context the emergence of China as the most important external power in the subcontinent. Such measures also entail huge benefits for the Indian Economy especially in form of progress of infrastructural projects such as that of developing a ‘Diamond Quadrilateral’ of high-speed trains which is also a dream project of the Modi government, the BMIC Corridor connecting Bangladesh, China, India, and Myanmar and other profitable projects for the Indian Infrastructure firms such as building of a deep sea port at Sonadia island on Bangladesh’s southeastern coast which involves integrated efforts from Indian, Bangladeshi and Chinese Infrastructure firms.
An economist from University of Warwick, Kashyap is an avid reader, writer, and tactician with a real zeal for economics and finance. He has also professionally represented and worked for some of the most prestigious organizations such as Standard and Poor, and HDFC. It is his passion which drew him towards “The Indian Economist”, where he aims to study aspects of Indian economic and polity scenario from a different perspective and derive more involvement from his readers, thus, laying down the foundation for a highly aware future generation.