XI JINPING’S INDIA VISIT & CHUMAR STANDOFF: THANKFULLY, THE INDUCED BONHOMIE WORKED

India China bonhomie was in the air. It was in full throttle when the Chinese President was here earlier this month. And had a natural downslide after the visit. Even during the visit, yet another standoff on yet another Chinese incursion in Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir, was in full swing.

So, if the Indian hospitality in making the Chinese President Xi Jinping feel at home will be remembered, it will also be remembered for the cultural elements that enveloped the bilateral tension under the wrap of a makeshift bonhomie.

So, if it was 10%, the wrap of the cultural bonhomie made it 50%. The personal touch of Narendra Modi and the Gujarat element took it to 75% (Xi landed in Gujarat to begin his India visit). And the rest was done by the media, making it complete, taking it to the absolute figure of 100%, so much so that long discussions were held out on the possible (say proposed) $100 Billion Chinese investment in India.

No one can say from where this $100 Billion investment figure cropped up which was nowhere near to the actual $30 Billion that Chinese President agreed on while leaving the country.

The two Asian nations and neighbours fought a war in 1962 and there have been very little in the name of diplomatic ties and high-level bilateral efforts. The general perception about political and public sentiments has been of hostility, bilaterally. India has had an all-weather ally in Japan, China’s historical adversary. And China has done all to prop Pakistan against India, India’s backstabbing neighbour.

But times are changing and economic compulsions are rewriting the global equations. And economic compulsions forced the two most populous nations, and thus the larger markets, to looks for options to explore the avenues of enhanced economic cooperation. A strong trade tie between the two nations has the potential to rewrite the world economic order and can offer a great leverage in bringing their populations to the level of a dignified quality of life.

Though China is much ahead, both India and China have been growing strongly and at higher pace than the world average. The markets in the both the nations need investors and buyers now and two big and mature markets sharing a long territorial border can throw a wonderful opportunity.

The border that has been the main bone of contention between the two nations inciting a war and numerous incidents of incursions and standoffs.

And one of such prolonged standoffs was in full flow while the Chinese President was on state visit to India from September 17-19.

But, thankfully, the induced bonhomie worked, at least during the visit, and the incident didn’t mar the prospects of the visit. Even MoUs for $30 Billion are practically a good deal to talk about given the patchy history between the two nations.

It will take much more than a bilateral Summit talk to bring India and China on cordial terms, and much is needed to be done. The ice will break slowly because the temperature has been frigid for decades.

For the moment, the border standoff in Ladakh, at Chumar, has been resolved and the troops will be withdrawn completely by September 30.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

MEA’S UPDATED FILE SAYS JIANG ZEMIN DIDN’T VISIT INDIA

As of now, while writing this – on September 18, 2014

Owing to the checkered history of India-China bilateral ties, there have been very few state-level visits. Now with initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping, there is a sense of optimism that the process to set the relation back of track can begin now. While searching for information in the context of Xi’s visit to India from the concerned government platform, the Ministry of External Affairs, I came across this interesting anomaly.

The link http://www.mea.gov.in/foreign-relations.htm has sub-links to ‘the Briefs on India’s Bilateral Relations’. Clicking on each country’s name opens a PDF file with a primer on information pertaining to the bilateral relations between India and that particular country. The format usually categorizes information in sections like Political Relations, Visits of Heads of States/Heads of Governments, Other High Level Visits, Major Dialogue Mechanisms, Commercial and Economic Relations, Defence Relations, Cultural Relations and Education Relations.

The information packets hosted here, being on the official gateway of India’s foreign relations, are expected to reflect every major milestone in the bilateral relations, and need to be updated scrupulously.

With this thought in mind, I clicked the sub-link to the file on China. And the sub-link http://www.mea.gov.in/Portal/ForeignRelation/China_September_2014.pdf indeed had a good file with neatly packed information to serve as a useful primer. And the link told me it was updated this month only (China_September_2014). But while going through it, I came across a serious flaw.

I thought it would be rectified soon as the Chinese President was come calling on Wednesday and China-related information on official platforms would be looked into and updated. But it wasn’t. I visited the link and the file on September 15, on September 16, on September 17, and today, on September 18. But the missing information has not been updated in this basic file and Mr. Xi Jinping is leaving tomorrow.

Here are the screen shots of the file that I captured yesterday (and which don’t show the expected changes yet).

MEA-CHINA-1

MEA-CHINA-2

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