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China & India aren’t best friends – but this one strategic relation might prevent WAR of Asian superpowers

26 29 0
12.10.2019

An enduring visual of the second ‘informal summit’ between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the ancient southern Indian port of Mamallapuram on October 11-12 was of the two holding hands aloft in front of a gigantic circular granite boulder on a hilly slope which has miraculously not rolled down for the past 1200 years.

The gravity-defying balance of Krishna’s butterball despite its structural vulnerability conveyed the essence of the easygoing and freewheeling summit— China and India are large, mature neighboring countries which can avoid a catastrophic crash in relations through frank interactions of Xi and Modi, who have met seventeen times in the past five years.

Xi’s acknowledgement in Mamallapuram that Modi’s initiative of ‘informal summits’ (the previous edition was in Wuhan, China, in April 2018) was a “brilliant idea”, and his Indian counterpart’s comment that such interactions without preset agendas and deliverables were imparting “new momentum and trust”, suggest that this format is ideally suited to deal with the myriad thorny challenges which bedevil Sino-Indian ties.

With Xi ensconced in power indefinitely in China and Modi having recently won a resounding election victory in India, there is a unique convergence of highly concentrated political power in both their hands to remake their respective nations’ foreign policies. Each knows that he has to deal for a long time with the other as a strongman who has total command over bureaucracies and the general publics in China and India.

For years, the Chinese held a dim view of India as a socially and economically........

© RT.com