Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Meeting of the Dragon & the Elephant - INCH (India & China) towards MILES (Millennium of Exceptional Synergy)

The banks of river Sabarmati defined India’s fate when Mahatma Gandhi launched the non-violent Satyagraha from his Ashram here to free India from the British Raj. Nearly a century later, the river will witness some defining moments in modern history of India, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will walk on its bank today evening to discuss bilateral strategic relationship in view of the border disputes & geo political situation in South East Asia and exchange of trade, commerce & investment.

Modi Govt’s. growing focus on its neglected neighbourhood, growing influence and clout among the international community as well as various world economic and military power’s renewed importance to India in view of its changed domestic and foreign policy in all spheres of governance has made China sit up and look towards India differently. Modi has also made it very clear that he sees China as a competitor and intends to pursue a more muscular economic, foreign and defence policy than the previous centre-left Congress party government. While Modi Govt. is working towards revival of the economy and breathes life into a moribund manufacturing sector, the PM is very clear that while India may have some niche capabilities in software and pharmaceuticals, no economic power house in the world has taken off without being a manufacturing power. Therefore, India has to do everything and compete with China for becoming a manufacturing hub for major business houses of the world.  China’s current slowdown in its manufacturing sector can be India's biggest growth opportunity. India has to not only think but work smart by becoming a mass manufacturing hub of high quality products with next generation cutting edged technology stuff to even compete with Japan and Germany.

India will soon launch its own Project Mausam, a transnational initiative meant to revive its ancient maritime routes and cultural linkages with countries in the region. This is probably Narendra Modi Govt's most significant foreign policy initiative for countering Beijing's growing influence in the Indian Ocean region. India has also eased restrictions on building roads and military facilities along its border with China. The environment ministry has recently relaxed environmental rules within 100km (62 miles) of the disputed remote border to speed up construction of some 6,000km of roads and other infrastructure in areas that China claims as its own. China meanwhile is eager to cement its relationship with India at a time of its heightened tensions with Japan and several Southeast Asian nations over disputed territory.

Though due to various historic and strategic reasons India needs to deal with China carefully, but seizing opportunity due to the current geo-political situations without being hostage to historic inhibitions is in India’s interest.  While interacting with the Chinese and Indian media yesterday, Prime Minister Modi has rightly said that India and China are bound by history, connected by culture and inspired by rich tradition. He describe the potential of India-China ties as  INCH (India & China) towards MILES (Millennium of Exceptional Synergy) pointing out that when India and China strengthen relations, almost 35% of the world's people come closer and their lives undergo qualitative change. At a time when political and economic situations in the world are going through a major transformation, India-China competition and cooperation can have a major impact on shifting the global balance of power, as well as on the realisation of an Asian Century of Prosperity. With the new Indian Govt in office, a new wave of reform and development has been sweeping across India, greatly boosting the confidence of the Indian people and attracting keen international interest in its opportunities. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the new Indian Govt. is committed to building a united, strong and modern India —“ Shreshtha Bharat” and towards this endeavour has identified 10 priority areas including providing clean & efficient administration and improving infrastructure  & economy. China and India are both faced with historic opportunities to connect respective development strategies more closely and to jointly pursue common dream of national strength and prosperity.