Monday, June 24, 2024

The international bridge


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PRIME Minister Narendra Modi recently concluded an eventful visit to Japan. Next week, Chinese President Xi Jinping comes to Delhi to meet Modi. Later this month, Modi is scheduled to visit the US and parley with President Barack Obama. New Delhi is anxious to form strategic and economic ties with Japan, China and the US and fashion its foreign policy accordingly. The Chinese President’s discussions with the Indian Prime Minister may encounter differences. Modi’s attitude to China shows contradictions. He admires China’s progress and wants India to gain from Chinese investment in his country. China has offered India nuclear reactors on favourable terms. India however takes a tough stand on strategic issues. China has territorial disputes with some of its neighbours in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. India has not taken a pro-China stand. Besides, Modi invited representatives of the Tibetan government-in-exile to his swearing in ceremony in May which could not have been to China’s liking.
Modi has to abandon Indian chauvinism with regard to China. Organizations like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh should not be allowed to interfere with the pragmatism of Indian foreign policy. The recent incursions by the Chinese Army across the Line of Actual Control and Beijing’s claim on Arunachal Pradesh have been obstacles to India-China amity. But diplomacy can whittle down such barriers. India wants to form an alliance with the US, Japan and Australia in its strategic and economic interest. But it will be injudicious for New Delhi to see the alliance targeted against China. Beijing should also reciprocate India’s gestures. Xi Jinping’s visit should lead to an expansion of trade partnership. But what is more important is to inspire mutual trust.


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