Xi-Modi meeting to show diplomatic wisdom of China, India

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/4/23 21:38:39

Chinese President Xi Jinping will have an informal meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 27-28 in the Central China city of Wuhan, foreign ministers of the two countries announced in Beijing on Sunday.

Indian leaders attach importance to reciprocity in diplomacy. After visiting China in 2015, Modi attended the Ninth BRICS Summit in Xiamen last year and will attend the summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Qingdao in June. He is visiting China before June to meet Xi. This unusual move highlights how much the two sides value this meeting.

The meeting can be as significant as the one in 1988 when Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and then Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi met, and will set the course for bilateral ties. The Indian external affairs minister, defense minister and national security adviser recently visited China in succession. Indian academia and political circles have agreed the country needs to develop cooperative ties with China. It appears that India is changing its radical attitude toward China highlighted in Doklam standoff last year.

Within China, hostility toward India is being replaced by hopes for friendly ties. The two countries need more communication to enhance mutual trust and eliminate the possibility of another border crisis.

Asian powers and emerging countries, both China and India share many common interests in international affairs. They both have to strive for the right to develop and face Western  pressure on issues like trade and intellectual property rights. There is large room for economic cooperation.

Many conflicts between China and India broke out due to a lack of trust or at Western instigation, like the border disputes and so-called dragon-elephant competition.

The US and Japan began underscoring Indo-Pacific strategy last year in an explicit attempt to rope in India against China. But the strategy hasn't brought India any strategic benefit except to trigger vigilance between New Delhi and Beijing. Indian elites now realize that India shouldn't develop cooperation with the US at the cost of ties with China.

China and India cooled down soon after the Doklam standoff, which indicates the solid foundation for ties. The West wanted China and India to confront each other, but it didn't work out that way. The Xi-Modi meeting will be a dialogue between the two countries with ancient wisdom and also their dialogue with the outside world. China and India have a more robust economic development than other emerging countries and are both independent. Any attempt to manipulate the way they deal with each other will likely fail.

If China and India can promote their own development and bilateral ties, they will be more competitive in the world. We hope the high-level meeting set this week in Wuhan will enhance friendship and push forward the strategic trust of the two nations. The cooperation of two countries, home to about 40 percent of the global population, is highly significant for the whole world.

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