India should give up its contradictory China policies

By Shi Tian Source:Global Times - AFP Published: 2019/9/22 22:13:40

Photo: IC

After a "rare integrated military exercise" in eastern Ladakh bordering China last week, the Indian Army and Air Force will conduct joint war games in South Tibet - alleged as "Arunachal Pradesh" by India - in October, according to Indian media reports.

Frequently carrying out military exercises along the Chinese border, India is clearly targeting China by seeing the latter as an imaginary enemy.

Since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August revoked the special status of India-controlled Kashmir, his personal popularity has reached a new peak within his country. It seems that the tough leader has tasted the sweetness of such a practice and hopes to continue hyping nationalism by aiming at other countries.

India is experiencing a severe economic downturn. In the second quarter of 2019, the country's GDP growth decreased to an over five-year low of 5 percent, way below analysts' expectations. In 2018, many economists believed that India had the potential to become the world's fastest-growing economy. Nonetheless, the growth rate of India's economy dropped drastically from 8 percent in the same quarter of the last fiscal year to 5 percent, making the prediction unlikely to come true.

Against such a backdrop, it is more apparent that Modi's recent moves are a bid to cover up domestic troubles as well as consolidate his public support.

Be as it may, as China-India relations are entering a crucial phase, Modi also expects a stable bilateral relationship with China, which is a significant partner of India in various domains. In 2018, the trade between the two countries reached $955.4 billion. Chinese venture capital funds in India pumped in more than $5 billion, surpassing investments from the US and Japan. Worsening ties with China amid the economic downturn will bring India nothing but adverse impacts. The Modi administration is well aware of this. 

Modi's policies are contradictory. His administration is loath to give up its cooperative relationship with China on the one hand, but does not stop inciting nationalism against China on the other. Such a paradox can never be sustainable. It will only hurt mutual trust and harm India's own interests.

China has been putting efforts in enhancing cooperation with India. Given New Delhi's concerns over its trade deficit with Beijing, China is adjusting accordingly. For instance, China's revised drug law removes drugs that are legal in other countries but illegal in China from the list of fake medicines, opening a door for Indian generic medicines. 

Contradictory policies can solve neither domestic nor diplomatic problems. It is hoped that New Delhi will adopt effective measures, rather than relying on national sentiments, to deal with its issues and get along with China. 

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