India China bonhomie was in the air. It was in full
throttle when the Chinese President was here earlier this month. And had a
natural downslide after the visit. Even during the visit, yet another standoff
on yet another Chinese incursion in Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir, was in full
So, if the Indian hospitality in making the Chinese
President Xi Jinping feel at home will be remembered, it will also be
remembered for the cultural elements that enveloped the bilateral tension under
the wrap of a makeshift bonhomie.
So, if it was 10%, the wrap of the cultural
bonhomie made it 50%. The personal touch of Narendra Modi and the Gujarat
element took it to 75% (Xi landed in Gujarat to begin his India visit). And the
rest was done by the media, making it complete, taking it to the absolute
figure of 100%, so much so that long discussions were held out on the possible
(say proposed) $100 Billion Chinese investment in India.
No one can say from where this $100 Billion
investment figure cropped up which was nowhere near to the actual $30 Billion that
Chinese President agreed on while leaving the country.
The two Asian nations and neighbours fought a war
in 1962 and there have been very little in the name of diplomatic ties and
high-level bilateral efforts. The general perception about political and public
sentiments has been of hostility, bilaterally. India has had an all-weather
ally in Japan, China’s historical adversary. And China has done all to prop
Pakistan against India, India's backstabbing neighbour.
But times are changing and economic compulsions are
rewriting the global equations. And economic compulsions forced the two most populous
nations, and thus the larger markets, to looks for options to explore the avenues
of enhanced economic cooperation. A strong trade tie between the two nations
has the potential to rewrite the world economic order and can offer a great
leverage in bringing their populations to the level of a dignified quality of
Though China is much ahead, both India and China
have been growing strongly and at higher pace than the world average. The
markets in the both the nations need investors and buyers now and two big and
mature markets sharing a long territorial border can throw a wonderful opportunity.
The border that has been the main bone of
contention between the two nations inciting a war and numerous incidents of
incursions and standoffs.
And one of such prolonged standoffs was in full
flow while the Chinese President was on state visit to India from September 17-19.
But, thankfully, the induced bonhomie worked, at
least during the visit, and the incident didn't mar the prospects of the visit.
Even MoUs for $30 Billion are practically a good deal to talk about given the
patchy history between the two nations.
It will take much more than a bilateral Summit talk
to bring India and China on cordial terms, and much is needed to be done. The
ice will break slowly because the temperature has been frigid for decades.
For the moment, the border standoff in Ladakh, at
Chumar, has been resolved and the troops will be withdrawn completely by