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Beyond optics

6 7 0

If diplomacy was only about optics, then the 'informal summit' between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mamallapuram was a resounding success. But beyond the optics, both sides have a somewhat blurred vision of where they see their relationship heading.

Seen purely in terms of optics, Mamallapuram was a big sucsess but there is no clarity on where the ties between the nations is headed. (Photo: Reuters)

Truth be told, there isn't any real convergence in Chinese perception of India, and India's perception of itself. Without this, there can be no clarity on where both sides want to take their relationship in the future.

An unequal music

China and India are singing from the same song sheet, but in ever more discordant notes. Mamallapuram is unlikely to change this.

Engagement with the Chinese at every level — formal and informal, structured and unstructured, professional and business, academic and personal — is both desirable and necessary. But excited expectation attached to every high-level engagement between the top leaders of the countries is a bit over the top. Unstructured and informal summits have their uses, but also limitations in terms of tangible takeaways. To be sure, just like after Wuhan, both sides will say all the right things after Mamallapuram, even issue 'strategic guidance' to officials. But very little is likely to........

© DailyO