By Indrani Bagchi, TNN
Time of India-Dec 29, 2012, 01.38 AM IST
Văn Ngọc Thành: Các cuộc gặp gỡ giữa 2 Thủ tướng, Ngoại trưởng và các quan chức để giải quyết tranh chấp biên giới chỉ có tác dụng khai thông thông tin; Mặc dù thương mại 2 bên năm 2012 đạt 40 tỷ USD nhưng vẫn giảm 8% so với trước; “Xuất khẩu lớn nhất của Trung Quốc sang Ấn Độ là lừi hứa” (China’s greatest export to India is promises”)… Và một loạt những hoạt động nhằm chống lại chiến lược “Chuỗi ngọc trai” của Trung Quốc thông qua các mối quan hệ với South Korea, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar, kết quả Hội nghị Thượng đỉnh Ấn Độ – ASEAN (12/2012)… cho thấy: Ấn Độ đã quyết định sẵn sàng chống trả chú Tàu hung hãn, xâm lược.
Hoan hô Ấn Độ! Vietnam – India Bhai, bhai!
Regular interaction between PM Manmohan Singh and both Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao has kept channels of communication open.
NEW DELHI: Foreign minister Salman Khurshid held his first conversation with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi only last week. National Security Advisor (NSA) Shivshankar Menon will once again host the outgoing state councillor Dai Bingguo in early January for a meeting of BRICS NSAs after having met him only a few weeks ago. The new year will also see a new Chinese ambassador in New Delhi in Wei Wei, a senior Chinese diplomat who will take over from Zhang Yan.
On the face of it, India and China have had a minimal-problem year. “Our aim is to have more interaction, more exchanges, to help us understand each other better,” said senior government sources. The past year has seen much greater communication between the two governments — India and China have started a dialogue on West Asia and Africa. A maritime dialogue and talks on central Asia are on the cards. At the top level, regular interaction between PM Manmohan Singh and both Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao has kept channels of communication open. Even the working group on the boundary has met twice this year, while Menon recently held the second meeting with Dai Bingguo on the dispute. The Chinese defence minister Gen Liang Guanglie made his first visit to India earlier this year, as did the Chinese commerce minister. Whether this has made for better ties is questionable, but it has certainly improved communication.
The complexity of the relationship is illustrated by the fact that while 2012 was the “year of friendship”, it was also the 50th anniversary of the humiliating 1962 war. As a consequence of the former, more Chinese visited India than ever before. But the latter date reminded every Indian that China is only growing as a military challenge. The collective breast beating in India over 1962 was not matched in China, but it served a useful purpose here: to focus attention on the military challenge of living next door to a budding superpower with weapons to match and a festering territorial dispute to solve.
China’s rapid military modernization is a challenge that could have been easier to deal with, but it is accompanied by an ascending aggressive posture by Beijing, particularly on territorial disputes, which is putting Indian military planners on edge. The brewing China-Japan conflict over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands and the South China Sea dispute is being followed with some interest by Indian strategic planners. Besides, it is a great exhibition of Chinese war planning.
China has been steadily pushing the envelope on both conflicts. For instance, in recent weeks, China has flown surveillance planes over the Senkaku/Daioyu islands, declared that Hainan police would engage in search and seizure of vessels in the South China Sea. Beijing even printed its territorial claims on its new e-passports.
New Delhi’s response has been pro-active. India stamped its own map on top of China’s, while others have protested diplomatically. Defence sources have pointed out that China’s patrolling on the India boundary is equally aggressive, inching forward where they don’t encounter a pushback. This has compelled Indian forces to patrol equally aggressively on the border.
Despite a feel-good position on bilateral trade, there is no satisfaction on the ballooning trade deficit between the two countries. Bilateral trade has fallen 8% in the past year, a function of the slowing economic growth in both countries. But the trade deficit remains at a stubborn $40 billion. China’s leadership has repeatedly promised to open up their markets to Indian exports of software and pharmaceuticals, but there is nothing on the ground. “China’s greatest export to India is promises,” said officials involved in trade negotiations.
This year, India worked hard to counter China’s “string of pearls” working on relations with South Korea, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar. In December, an India-ASEAN summit brought leaders of all 10 ASEAN nations to Delhi. India pushed the idea of ASEAN’s centrality and its unity — both of which are under threat because of Beijing’s disruptive moves in that part of the world. The success, or otherwise, of India’s efforts will only be visible a few years from now, but South Block has bought into the idea of a fight back.