When Wen comes

The border at the margin

It is widely expected that India and China will arrive at some kind of de facto settlement over a decades-old border dispute during the Chinese prime minister’s visit to India next week. Yet, apart from those with a keen interest in such matters, the border dispute is of marginal interest to the nation at large.

To a large degree, fear of cheap Chinese goods has also passed, so it is business and trade issues that capture popular imagination in India. Whether China will close the IT gap and catch up with India on IT-enabled services? Should India should sign a free-trade agreement with China? Can the two countries cooperate to boost their agriculture sector? Being large consumers of oil, should the two countries form a buyer’s bloc?

With China people-to-people contracts have proven to be the best confidence-building measure. Strategic concerns remain — as they will be — but the Ordinary Joginder does not quite see China as a dangerous enemy across the border. Putting the border dispute on the back burner was the best thing that happened to India-China relations. That suggests that India take the same approach with Pakistan. That would also mean asking Musharraf to shut up about Kashmir.

6 thoughts on “When Wen comes”

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  3. Mush can do all his hand wringing and arms-flapping abt Kashmir as he wants. Fact still remains that no Indian Govt can afford to even think of giving away Kashmir on a platter and yet survive till the next vote in parliament.

  4. Nitin:
    Apart from the Buyer’s Bloc for Oil to get better deals with oil equity & joint exploration, I believe time has come to explore ways to reduce the dependence on oil while simultaneously securing our energy security.
    Imagine an India, China, Brazil grouping that would jointly research the ethanol-oil based alternative fuel solution that would reduce the economy’s dependence on mideast-oil, boost agriculture & rural employment through increased cultivation of sugarcane, oilseeds etc required for these oil-alternatives.
    Imagine a common automobile technology & emissions standard that could legislate the automobile standards for nearly 2.5 billion of the 6-8 billion population of the world that would shift auto industry to a greener alternative.

  5. Nice, I just wrote on my blog how I had forgotton about Holi this year until a friend in China wished me. Thanks to the Blogs and Flickr, more and more young people between India and China are talking. While we see very little interaction (even online) between the people in India and Pakistan.

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