Peace and Cooperation, the Order of the Day for China-India Relations


Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) shake hand beforethe group photo session of Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries, in sideline of 2017 BRICS Summit in Xiamen, Fujian province in China,, September 5th 2017. REUTERS/Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool

When there was the highest tension since the 1962 border war between China and India in their border standoff, quite a few Chinese people want a war with India. Their popular saying is “The only thing China lacks now is a war to show its strength.”

They only want one war much better than the six wars Li Qiuyue, a naïve young girl, wanted in her quite popular 2013 article “6 Wars China Must Fight in the Coming 50 years”.

There was also a surge of nationalism in India that advocates a war with China to retaliate India’s defeat in its 1962 border war with China.

Fortunately, both countries have wise leaders. They want peace and cooperation instead of war between the two giants.

SCMP says in its report on the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday titled “China, India should pursue peace on border, move on from dispute, leaders agree”:

“Modi told Xi that the two sides should increase mutual trust, expand pragmatic cooperation, deepen people-to-people exchanges and jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in border areas.

“India and China should not see each other as rivals; instead, cooperation should be the main characteristic of the relationship,” he said.

He later tweeted that “we had fruitful talks on bilateral relations between India and China”.

Reuters says in its report on the same event titled “China’s Xi wants to put relations with India on ‘right track’”

China wants to put its relationship with India on the “right track”, President Xi Jinping told Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, as the two countries sought to mend ties damaged by a recent tense Himalayan border standoff.

“China is willing to work with India … to increase political trust, advance mutually beneficial cooperation and promote the further development of China-India relations along the correct path,” Xi said.

A country shall first of all have a wise leader able to choose the right course for its country. India’s desire for win-win cooperation with other countries is very clear. It has joined the Russia- and China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as SCO’s new member along with Pakistan, its long-term enemy.

China’s Xi has a much bigger ambition for win-win cooperation, which is a long topic to be elaborated in my future posts.

Now both China and India are rising because they have wise leaders to choose the right courses for their countries’ long-term benefit, which they are able to convince their peoples to accept. If their countries are deeply divided with one part of people choosing a leader and the other part who has not elected him trying hard to bring him down. Even if the leader is wise, he can achieve nothing.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP and Reuters’ reports, full text of which can respectively be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2109902/china-india-should-pursue-peace-border-move-dispute and http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-brics-india/chinas-xi-wants-to-put-relations-with-india-on-right-track-idUSKCN1BG0JY.

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China Wise to Find Peaceful Solution to Border Standoff with India


In my post “China Stupid if It Started a Border War with India” on August 12, I said that China and Pakistan’s “Iron Buddy” relationship and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor regarded by China as a key project in China’s Silk Road economic belt initiative makes India fear that it is encircled by China and Pakistan, its long-term enemy.

To counter the encirclement, India wants to establish close ties with the US and Japan and hopefully the combined navies of the three nations may encircle China and Pakistan in the Indian Ocean.

I said in my post:

A modern war is fought for achieving a political goal which we regard as the strategic goal of a war. A country is a loser in the war if it wins the war without attaining its strategic goal but it is the winner if it attains its strategic goal even though it loses the war.

From that we see Indian Prime Minister Modi’s shrewdness. He knows well that India army is no match to Chinese army but he provoked China to fight and win a war with India so that he may attain the goal of developing close alliance with the US and Japan to counter-encircle China and Pakistan in the Indian Ocean.

China’s strategic goal must be resolution of its border dispute with India to turn India into its friend instead of enemy. China has been making great efforts in doing so. What can China attain even if it wins a border war with India now? It will turn India into its dead enemy if the war is a large-scale one like the countless border wars between France and Germany that gave rise to the two world wars.

Therefore, I said that China is stupid if it start a border war with India as China will get the opposite of its strategic goal while enable India to attain its strategic goal.

True enough, according to Reuters’ report “India and China agree to end border standoff”, the two nations have found solution to their border standoff and will both retreat.

India sent its troops to provoke China and China responded by sending troops there. Now India agrees to withdraw its troops so that China can withdraw hers.

Chinese leaders are wise enough to avoid military conflict with India in spite of India’s provocation.

The end of the standoff is obvious India’s failure in provoking China and China’s success in maintaining peaceful relations with India. That is very clearly shown in Reuters’ report, full text of which is reblogged below:

India and China agree to end border standoff

Sanjeev Miglani and Ben Blanchard August 28, 2017 / 2:56 PM / 11 hours ago

NEW DELHI/BEIJING (Reuters) – India and China have agreed to an “expeditious disengagement” of troops in a disputed border area where their soldiers have been locked in a stand-off for more than two months, India’s foreign ministry said on Monday.

The decision comes ahead of a summit of the BRICS nations – a grouping that also includes Brazil, Russia and South Africa – in China beginning on Sunday, which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend.

Indian and Chinese troops have been confronting each other at the Doklam plateau near the borders of India, its ally Bhutan, and China, in the most serious and prolonged standoff in decades along their disputed Himalayan border.

The Indian ministry said the two sides had agreed to defuse the crisis following diplomatic talks.

“In recent weeks, India and China have maintained diplomatic communication in respect of the incident at Doklam,” the ministry said in a statement.

“On this basis, expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to and is on-going,” it said in a statement.

It did not offer more details of the terms of disengagement from the area which had raised fears of a wider conflict between the Asian giants who fought a brief border war in 1962.

China said Indian troops had withdrawn from the remote area in the eastern Himalayas. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Chinese troops would continue to patrol the Doklam region.

“China will continue to exercise sovereignty rights to protect territorial sovereignty in accordance with the rules of the historical boundary,” she said.

The Chinese defense ministry said troops would remain on a state of alert.

“We remind the Indian side to learn the lesson from this incident, earnestly respect the historical boundary and the basic principles of international law, meet China half way and jointly protect the peace and tranquillity of the border region,” spokesman Wu Qian said in a statement.

“The world is not peaceful, and peace needs to be safeguarded. The Chinese military has the confidence and the ability to protect the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” Wu added.

SMOOTH SUMMIT

The trouble started in June when India sent troops to stop China building a road in the Doklam area, which is remote, uninhabited territory claimed by both China and Bhutan.

India said it sent its troops because Chinese military activity there was a threat to the security of its own northeast region.

But China has said India had no role to play in the area and insisted it withdraw unilaterally or face the prospect of an escalation. Chinese state media had warned India of a fate worse than its crushing defeat in the war in 1962.

Indian political commentator Shekhar Gupta said there was too much at stake for the two countries to fight over a small piece of territory.

“Hopefully, Doklam is a new chapter in India-China relations. Too much at stake for both big powers to let legacy real-estate issues linger,” he said in a Twitter post.

India and China have been unable to settle their 3,500-km (2,175-mile) frontier and large parts of territory are claimed by both sides.

Lin Minwang, an India expert and the deputy director of the Center for South Asia Studies at China’s Fudan University, said the detente would ensure a smooth BRICS meeting.

“Both sides should be happy. Modi is also happy. They can conduct a meeting smoothly and naturally. If there was still a stand-off, how could they meet?”


China Stupid if It Started a Border War with India


A man walks inside a conference room used for meetings between military commanders of China and India, at the Indian side of the Indo-China border at Bumla, in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, November 11, 2009. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

Reuters says in its report “India’s military steps up operational readiness on China border” yesterday that according to its sources, “India’s military has increased operational readiness along the eastern Indian border with China, sources said, as neither side shows any sign of backing off from a face-off in a remote Himalayan region near their disputed frontier.” However, the sources did not expect that the border tension would escalate into a border war.

That has been confirmed by Reuters’ other two sources, which told Reuters that “the military alert level had been raised as a matter of caution”.

India does not want to fight. It only wants to provoke China to attack it so that it can get more from the US.

China has become “iron buddy” of India’s major enemy Pakistan and is now building its China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that it regards as a priority project in China’s Silk Road economic belt and 21st century maritime Silk Road (Belt and Road) initiative.

The project aims at establishing China’s secure land access to the Middle East especially the oil and gas there, but is regarded by India as a great threat to India’s security as India is sandwiched between China and Pakistan.

India’s conspicuous absence at Chinese President Xi Jinping’s grand Belt and Road meeting gave China a clear signal.

India’s counter measure to deal with its encirclement by China and Pakistan on land is to encircle China and Pakistan on the Indian Ocean, for which it needs the US and Japan as its allies.

China is far from capable enough to deal with the combined navies of the US, Japan and India. It has to develop aerospace bombers to wipe out such navy and dominate the ocean. That takes time.

Even if China is strong enough, it shall not have enemy in its neighborhood. It has to win over Japan by making it believe that China will not retaliate Japanese invasion.

It shall also convince India that China want to be its friend.

China has even been able to turn its long-term enemy Russia into its close ally. Why shall China not be able to win over India?

In fact, India may get lots of benefit from its friendly relations with China. What can India get from the US? US protectionism will make India’s export of elite labor and cheap goods hard since the US is now making efforts to bring jobs back. Protectionism will keep on growing as the US keeps on declining.

True, India may obtain advanced weapons from the US to deal with China, but US weapons are so expensive!

Strategic Goal

A modern war is fought for achieving a political goal which we regard as the strategic goal of a war. A country is a loser in the war if it wins the war without attaining its strategic goal but it is the winner if it attains its strategic goal even though it loses the war.

From that we see Indian Prime Minister Modi’s shrewdness. He knows well that India army is no match to Chinese army but he provoked China to fight and win a war with India so that he may attain the goal of developing close alliance with the US and Japan to counter-encircle China and Pakistan in the Indian Ocean.

China’s strategic goal must be resolution of its border dispute with India to turn India into its friend instead of enemy. China has been making great efforts in doing so. What can China attain even if it wins a border war with India now? It will turn India into its dead enemy if the war is a large-scale one like the countless border wars between France and Germany that gave rise to the two world wars.

France and Germany are finally wise enough to become allies in establishing the EU. Why shall China and India not learn from their wise examples?

Therefore, we can foresee no war but a few small-scale skirmishes in the border. After all the area of standoff is so small that cannot be the battleground for a war with some scale.

China and Russia have succeeded in attracting both India and Pakistan into their Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). China shall make great efforts in putting an end to the enmity between India and Pakistan and resolving border disputes with India within SCO with Russia’s help. That is the wise strategic goal China must attain but impossible through a war.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which is reblogged below:

India’s military steps up operational readiness on China border

Sanjeev Miglani August 11, 2017 / 8:36 PM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s military has increased operational readiness along the eastern Indian border with China, sources said, as neither side shows any sign of backing off from a face-off in a remote Himalayan region near their disputed frontier.

Indian and Chinese troops have been embroiled in the seven-week confrontation on the Doklam plateau, claimed by both China and India’s tiny ally, Bhutan.

The sources, who were briefed on the deployment, said they did not expect the tensions, involving about 300 soldiers on each side standing a few hundred feet apart, to escalate into a conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors, who fought a brief but bloody border war in 1962.

But the military alert level had been raised as a matter of caution, two sources in New Delhi and in the eastern state of Sikkim told Reuters on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The crisis began in June when a Chinese construction crew was found to be trying to extend a road in the Doklam region that both China and the mountainous nation of Bhutan claim as theirs.

India, which has special ties with Bhutan, sent its troops to stop the construction, igniting anger in Beijing which said New Delhi had no business to intervene, and demanded a unilateral troop withdrawal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration, though, has dug in its heels and said that the Chinese road activity in the region near the borders of India, Bhutan and China was a threat to the security of its own northeast region.

“The army has moved to a state that is called ‘no war, no peace’,” one of the sources said. Under the order issued to all troop formations in the eastern command a week ago, soldiers are supposed take up positions that are earmarked for them in the event of a war, the source said.

Each year, Indian troop formations deployed on the border go on such an “operational alert” usually in September and October. But this year the activity has been advanced in the eastern sector, the source in Sikkim, above which lies the area of the current standoff, said.

“Its out of caution. It has been done because of the situation,” the source said. But the source stressed there was no additional force deployment and that the area was well defended.

The move comes as diplomatic efforts to break the stalemate failed to make headway, other sources with close ties to the Modi government told Reuters earlier in the week.

China has repeatedly warned of an escalation if India did not order its troops back. The state-controlled Global Times which has kept a barrage of hostile commentary said this week that if Modi continued the present course in the border, Beijing would have to take “counter-measures”.

Ties between the neighbors have been souring over China’s military assistance to India’s arch rival Pakistan and its expanding presence in smaller nations in South Asia which New Delhi long regarded as its area of influence.

China has criticized the Modi government’s public embrace of the Dalai Lama and its decision to let the Tibetan spiritual leader, whom it regards as a “dangerous splittist”, to the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh which China claims as its own.

China has also frowned at India’s expanding military ties with the United States as well as Japan.

Additional reporting by Zarir Hussain in GUWAHATI; Editing by Nick Macfie


China offers India a ‘handshake across the Himalayas’


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) and India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrive for a photo opportunity ahead of their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi May 20, 2013.  Credit: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) and India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrive for a photo opportunity ahead of their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi May 20, 2013.
Credit: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

India and China will study new ways to ease tensions on their ill-defined border after an army standoff in the Himalayas, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday on his first official foreign trip.

The number two in the Chinese leadership offered New Delhi a “handshake across the Himalayas” and said the world’s most populous nations could become a new engine for the global economy if they could avoid friction on the militarized border.

“Both sides believe that we need to improve the various border-related mechanisms that we have put into place and make them more efficient. We need to appropriately manage and resolve our differences,” Li said at a joint news conference with India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The two men appeared smiling and relaxed. India’s Foreign Ministry said they got on well. There were small breakthroughs on trade, but no major agreements were signed.

China and India disagree about large areas of their 4,000 km (2,500 mile) border and fought a brief war 50 years ago.

Among the measures being looked at to reduce the risk of confrontation is allowing higher level meetings between regional military commanders, an Indian official said.

While there has not been a shooting incident in decades, the long-running dispute gets in the way of improving economic relations between the neighbors, who account for 40 percent of the world’s population and whose fast growing markets stand in contrast to the stagnant economies of the West.

TRADE GAP

Bilateral trade reached $66 billion last year but both sides believe the potential is much greater. India runs a $29 billion deficit with China, a sore point that they sought to address in a joint statement, with specific reference to pharmaceuticals, IT services and agriculture.

However, similar promises made in previous joint statements failed to slow the ballooning trade gap.

India’s Essar Group conglomerate is nonetheless set to sign a $1 billion loan deal with China’s China Development Bank and China’s largest oil and gas producer PetroChina during the trip, sources said. They said the loan would be backed by the supply of refined products to PetroChina.

After a welcome ceremony at India’s presidential palace, Li said he wanted to build trust and cooperation.

“World peace and regional stability cannot be a reality without strategic mutual trust between India and China. And likewise, the development and prosperity of the world cannot be a reality without the cooperation and simultaneous development of China and India,” he said.

Li said he chose New Delhi as his first destination on his four-nation tour to show how important India is for China and also because he had fond memories of visiting as a Communist youth leader 27 years ago.

Srikanth Kondapalli, an academic and expert on China said progress was at best incremental, despite the warm words from Li and a media campaign around his trip apparently aimed at cooling Indian public anger following the three-week standoff on the Himalayan plateau that ended on May 3.

“There was a lot of hype created before this visit, but the new leadership didn’t show many new ideas,” Kondapalli said.

EARLY SOLUTION?

While most observers think it will take years to resolve the border dispute, recent statements suggest China’s new leaders would like to speed things up, perhaps to shift its attention to disputes elsewhere in Asia, including the South China Sea.

Singh said negotiators would meet soon to seek an early agreement on a framework to settle the border, a goal that has eluded representatives in 15 rounds of high level talks.

The stand-off on the border was the latest reminder that sensitivity runs high. It distracted diplomats’ attention from talks on investment and trade ahead of Li’s trip and soured public opinion toward China in India.

The disagreement over who owns barren patches of the Ladakh plateau and the entire Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh means there is almost no road or rail connectivity between the giants.

At a meeting with Singh in Durban this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the two countries should seek a solution “as soon as possible” – a departure from previous language. His urgency was echoed in Delhi last week by foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang, who said the two sides needed to “redouble efforts” to reach a solution at an “early date”.

It would be politically difficult for an Indian politician to concede territory to China. Protests by nationalist groups in Delhi and the northern state of Kashmir on Monday against Li’s visit highlighted anti-China feeling among some Indians.

Prior to Monday’s meetings, a senior official at the Foreign Ministry said India was skeptical of recent overtures and would wait to see if China would bring anything new to the table.

After India, Li is due to visit Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany and is likely to carry a message that China wants more open foreign relations and should not be seen as a threat.

Related posts:
Ladakh incursion: India and China face-off at the ‘Gate of Hell’ dated April 24 (chinadailymail.com)
India foreign minister Salman Khurshid to visit China dated April 28 (chinadailymail.com & tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com)
China-India border standoff makes little sense amid improving trade ties dated April 30 (ditto)
Li Keqiang greets ‘key partner and friend’ India in New Delhi dated May 20, 2013 (ditto)


China: Li Keqiang greets ‘key partner and friend’ India in New Delhi


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (centre) walks with Indian Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahmed after arriving in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (centre) walks with Indian Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahmed after arriving in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Indian workers tie Indian and Chinese national flags onto poles in front of The Indian Secretariat in New Delhi on May 18, 2013, ahead of a state visit by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Li Keqiang is scheduled to visit India from 19 to 22 May, the first leg on his first foreign trip since taking office. He is also scheduled to visit Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany as Beijing seeks to address security and economic disputes. AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRAN

Indian workers tie Indian and Chinese national flags onto poles in front of The Indian Secretariat in New Delhi on May 18, 2013, ahead of a state visit by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Li Keqiang is scheduled to visit India from 19 to 22 May, the first leg on his first foreign trip since taking office. He is also scheduled to visit Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany as Beijing seeks to address security and economic disputes. AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRAN

Premier calls for deepening mutual trust and co-operation between Asia’s two giants

Premier Li Keqiang arrived in New Delhi yesterday afternoon on the first leg of his maiden diplomatic trip, calling for deepening mutual trust and co-operation between the two Asian powers, which had a tense border stand-off last month.

In prepared written remarks delivered on arrival, Li said China regarded India as a “key partner and friend”, and that friendly ties between them would contribute to global peace and prosperity.

“China and India are friendly neighbours connected by common mountains and rivers,” Li said. “For millenniums, the Chinese and the Indian civilisations have drawn splendour from each other through exchanges and made significant contributions to the progress of mankind.”

Li added that he was confident his visit would help in enhancing communication, deepening co-operation, increasing mutual trust and cementing ties.

The visit would provide “new impetus to the strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity between China and India”, he said.

Shortly after his arrival in the Indian capital, Li met his Indian counterpart, Dr Manmohan Singh, who hosted a dinner at his residence for the premier.

Delegation-level talks between the two sides are scheduled for today, with topics ranging from border issues to trade imbalances. Li is to attend a business summit in India’s financial capital, Mumbai, on Tuesday, among other activities.

India has been pressing for greater access to mainland markets, as its trade deficit with China totalled US$29 billion last year. China is India’s biggest trading partner.

New Delhi also seeks assurance that a Chinese plan to build three more hydropower dams across the Brahmaputra River, known as the Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, will not affect India’s downstream water flow.

Other irritants in bilateral ties including Beijing’s close relationship with Pakistan, India’s bitter rival, and the presence in India of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and the self-declared Tibetan government-in-exile.

The border spat last month had threatened to see Li’s visit called off, but the Indian government chose to go ahead with the trip, highlighting its policy of trying to widen areas of co-operation with China while attempting to resolve key differences.

Related posts:
Ladakh incursion: India and China face-off at the ‘Gate of Hell’ dated April 24 (chinadailymail.com)
India foreign minister Salman Khurshid to visit China dated April 28 (tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com)
China-India border standoff makes little sense amid improving trade ties dated April 30 (ditto)