As Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 3-day China visit draws to a close, the primary question is how this visit will go down in the pages of history in years to come. Will it be termed as a successful one or would this be yet another futile diplomatic exercise. On the face of it there are many positives but when you look deep perhaps some of the core issues still do not have any constructive resolution.
Narendra Modi’s policy seems to put the thrust on better ties with business. 21 agreements have been signed between the two countries and it is worth over $22 billion. These pacts range across a wide spectrum of industries from financing to renewable energy and industrial parks. Many experts believe that this perhaps is a sign of change in India’s policy towards China, they have realised that shunning economic activity completely will not guarantee security or address any of the border related concerns that rank high on India’s worry list. In the Prime Minister’s words, “Harmonious partnership between India and China is essential for economic development and political stability.”
However on the crucial border related issues and the Line of Actual Control, there isn’t any constructive measure thus far. The silver lining though is Prime Minister Modi’s push for “clarifying the Line of Actual Control (LAC) without “prejudice to our position on the boundary question,” during his talks with his Chinese counterpart, Li Kequiang.
Recognizing the need for some urgent and speedy resolution, both the countries have agreed on the need for increased border meetings to maintain peace and stability of the region. India shares an extensive border with China and perhaps China’s territorial claims in Arunachal Pradesh is the biggest bone of contention. In this regard, Modi stressed on the need to revisit these issues urgently and asked Beijing to “reconsider its approach on some issues that hold us back”
Ranked among the major super [powers in the world, both India and China realize that resolution is the only way forward to enable constructive progress both economically and politically. Whether these talks and discussions remain limited to pen and paper or see actual day light is what needs to be seen.