Solid foundations of Sino-Indian relationship critical in turbulent times

From: Global Times Updated: 2014-04-11 10:35
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Sino-Indian relations, which are going through a critical stage of rebalancing and repositioning, have been attracting international attention in recent years. With high-level visits scheduled later this year, China and India should grasp the golden opportunity to further cement the bilateral partnership.

India is in a unique position in China's diplomatic agenda, and Sino-Indian ties boast multiple positive attributes. The two countries are not only emerging nations in Asia, but also neighbors with border issues.

The two are engaged in both high-level cooperation and strategic defense. New Delhi takes advantage of Washington and Tokyo to contain Beijing's rise, while being committed to strategic autonomy and the basic principle of non-alliance.

During the past two decades since the end of the Cold War, China and India have explored a unique way to get along with each other.

They aim at their own development agenda and national rejuvenation, despite frictions over border issues and differences in strategic creed.

To begin with, owing to Washington's "pivot to Asia" strategy and Tokyo's lurch to the far right, China is confronted with growing pressure along its eastern coast.

India is also facing a complicated environment in South Asia. And New Delhi has set its strategic focus on South Asia.

Different strategic priorities have provided a solid foundation for Sino-Indian peaceful coexistence and practical collaboration.

Economic and trading cooperation constitutes the most dynamic part of China-India ties. China has become the largest trading partner of India, as its commodities and services with fine quality and low prices can help alleviate poverty and promote industrialization and modernization in India.

However, mutual investment between the two has been unexpectedly low.

The two countries have begun to pay heed to this weak link, and New Delhi has gradually welcomed Chinese investment to eliminate the economic imbalance.

Beijing can also help New Delhi usher in a "second rise" with its experience and technology in various sectors.

The two countries should pursue common ground while shelving differences. Boundary conflict and strategic distrust are two obstacles impeding the Sino-Indian relations.

Under new historical conditions, both Beijing and New Delhi should readjust relevant policies to practically address conundrums in the geopolitical game as well as cast away historical wrangles. The media can play an active role in this process.

Moreover, international cooperation in a multipolar world presents a new increasing point for Sino-Indian relations.

Suppressed to some degree by the international system dominated by the West, China and India should support each other in global governance and improve each other's development potential.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which were jointly initiated by China, India and Myanmar.

The present world where regional conflicts drag on and turbulences continue unabated makes the values of the five principles all the more prominent. It is time that China and India make joint efforts to safeguard world peace and security.

The author is an associate research fellow with the China Institute of International Studies.

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