Xi Meets Modi: A Historic Opportunity for Sino-Indian Leadership

Published as 郑嘉宾, ‘中印面临一个历史性机遇’, 环球网, 19 September 2014.

当前,印中两国被视为全球经济增长的关键推动者,也是改革以西方为中心国际秩序的不可缺少的力量。现阶段,两国经济关系的最大问题是经贸不平衡。印度继续承受逆差, 这也影响着两国经济合作。解决这个问题或者把经贸差额保持在一定程度,要用一个简单的经济逻辑来处理。为了避免经济过热,中国必须把呆在银行的巨额资本拿到境外来投资。毫无疑问,鉴于经济的规模,印度就是中国投资的最佳场所。当然,中国也可以投资于美国或欧洲国债或者到世界上任何一个地方,但在印度投资一定会收获更多。

中国和印度之间最突出的政治问题是什么?边界争端通常被视为一个历史上“剩”下来的问题,把这问题暂时搁置,或者不让它阻碍中印两国关系在其他方面的进步,这已是共识。中印关系史上早有一些更积极的例子,比方说,那烂陀大学的合作可以看作印度和中国之间的文明联系,还有在印度和尼泊尔建立一条佛教基地旅游路线,中国游客可能会喜欢到这些地方旅游。我们所面临的问题是,一些人有意抓住两国历史纠纷,如果打不开这个“心结”,中国和印度之间的矛盾只会更突出。

此外,为了本国和第三世界的利益,作为亚洲的两个大国,印度和中国在国际舞台应发挥更大的、更相称的作用。印度总理莫迪和中国主席习近平都是敢做敢为的领导,他们都获得各自国家民众的大力支持,期望这两位领导全力实现反腐败和国内的发展及其外部目标。不过,若印度和中国不能更成熟、更有远见地解决两国间的双边问题,那么实现国内外的这些目标会更难一些。不言而喻,莫迪和习近平都已认识到他们面前有一个历史性机遇,那就是解决历史遗留问题的政治意愿。

中印还有更多机会创造历史。去年年底习主席宣布“新丝绸之路”政策。古老的丝绸之路是中国和印度共享的,是两国关系史的辉煌成就。现在两个国家有机会重新建立这些路线和沟通渠道。新丝绸之路工程的两个路线是丝绸之路经济带和海上丝绸之路,在很大程度上也需要印度。比如说,印度在中亚和阿富汗享受善意,印度参与是绝对有益的。同样,也是经济的原因,海上丝绸之路广泛涉及印度港口,并依赖于印度维持印度洋上交通线安全的能力。

新丝绸之路也包括中巴经济走廊和孟中印缅经济带,鉴于巴基斯坦目前的经济情况,如果能同印度这个更大、更成熟的市场联在一起,中巴经济走廊成功的机会将更高。这对中国在新疆西部大开发战略及印巴边疆邦发展计划也有利。对于印度的北方邦 和比哈尔邦, 经过西藏进入尼泊尔的丝绸之路也可以受益。孟中印缅经济带连接中国西南与云南处于领先地位,但广西和四川到印度的东部地区也有潜在可能。

中国媒体对印度与美国、日本和越南的关系日益关心。其实,印度有必要改善与这些国家的政治、经济、军事关系,因为中国和这些国家已有非常好的经济关系,并试图改善军事关系,显而易见的就是今年环太平洋军演。同时,随着 印中两国人民接触以及两国之间的军事交流增多,两国关系迅速发展远超过其他任何国家,这已受到印度领导和专家学者高度重视。他们认为,中印两国加强普通市民之间的好感和信心是必要的。

(作者是印度新德里中国研究所副主任)

huanqiu wang

Original Chinese Version:

(translated from English by Debasish Chaudhuri, my colleague at the ICS)

当前,印中两国被视为全球经济增长的关键推动者,也是改革以西方为中心国际秩序的不必缺少势力。目前,两国经济关系的最大问题是,经贸不平衡,印度继续遭受逆差,这也影响着两国关系。解决这个问题或者把经贸差额保持一定程度,也要用一个简单的经济逻辑来管理。为了避免经济过热  中国必须把已存储的巨额资本拿到境外来投资。毫无疑问,鉴于经济的规模,印度就是中国投资的最佳场所。投资于美国或欧洲国债或者到世界上任何一个地方去投资,当然在印度投资,一定会收获最多。

中国和印度之间最突出的政治问题是什么?边界争端平常称为一个历史上‘剩’下来的问题,把这问题一时搁下,或者不让这问题阻碍两国关系的其他方面的进步,这就是共识。中印关系史上也有一些更积极的例子,比方说,在那烂陀大学的合作上可以看作印度和中国之间的文明联系,还有在印度和尼泊尔建立一条佛教基地旅游路线,中国旅客可以喜欢旅游这些地方。我们所面对的问题是,我们能不能挑选或者放弃历史上的事情和现象?要是我们挑选历史,中国和印度之间的矛盾会跟突出。

再说,为本国和第三世界的利益,作为亚洲的两个大国,印度和中国在国际舞台要发挥更大的 、更相称的作用。印度总理莫迪和中国总统习近平看作为敢做敢为领导,不久以前,他们都获取了各自国家的大众人口的大力支持,与期望着这两位领导全心全意地实现反腐败和国内的发展及其外部目标。不过,要是印度和中国不能使用更成熟地、更有远见地解决两国之间双边问题,那么,实现国内外的这些目标会更难一些。不言而喻,莫迪和习近平两个领导人都已经认识到他们面前有一个历史性机会,那就是政治意愿来接解决从历史上留下来的问题。

中印关系上还是有更多机会创造历史。去年年底习总统宣布新丝绸之路政策。古老的丝绸之路是中国和印度都共享的,两国关系史的辉煌成就,也许这条路上印度产品运输的更多一些,在印度渊源的思想流传更多一些,包括创造佛教,现在两个国家有机会重新建立过去的这些路线和沟通渠道。新丝绸之路工程的两个路线是丝绸之路经济带和海上丝绸之路,在很大程度上也要靠印度,才能成功。比如说,印度在中亚和阿富汗享受善意,印度参与是绝对有益的,丝绸之路经济带一定会收到欢呼。同样,这也是经济的原因,海上丝绸之路广泛使用印度港口,并依赖于印度维持和印度洋上交通线的安全的能力。

再说,新丝绸之路也包括中巴经济走廊和孟中印缅经济带。鉴于巴基斯坦的经济状态不佳,如果能同印度的更大、更成熟的市场联在一起,中巴经济走廊成功的机会会提高。这对中国在新疆西部大开发战略及印度在沿着巴基斯坦边境的 Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, 和Gujarat邦计划开发也有利。对于印度的Uttar Pradesh邦和Bihar邦,经过西藏进入尼泊尔的丝绸之路也可以受益。孟中印缅经济带连接中国西南与云南处于领先地位,但广西和四川到印度的东部地区也有潜在。

在此背景下,中国的著作和媒体对印度与美国,日本和越南关系日益密切的关心,世界上与中国关系不好的国家应该直接解释,而且必须解决这些。与这些国家,印度应该增加改善政治、经济、军事的关系,因为中国和这些国家的经济关系也有非常好,也试图改善军事关系,显而易见的是环太演习。

此外, 印中两国人民接触以及印度和中国之间的军事对军事交流,两国关系迅速发展以及 远远超过其他任何国家,这是印度的领导和专家学者给予高度重视。他们认为,中印两个政府关系和普通市民之间的好感和信心是必要的。希望莫迪和习近平抓好这个机遇。

 

Original English Version

India and China are today seen as crucial to global economic growth as well as essential to the reform of a West-centric international political order. Economic growth has a momentum of its own and this is evident in the rapid growth of Sino-Indian economic ties despite their difficult political relations. Even the massive Indian trade deficit that currently troubles the relationship will be resolved or brought to manageable levels because of a simple economic logic – China has huge capital that needs to be invested outside the country in order to prevent overheating of the Chinese economy and without doubt, India is the best place for such investment given the scale of its economy. Certainly, investments in India promise to greater returns than investing in US or European treasury bonds or indeed in any other part of the world.

But what of the outstanding political issues between India and China? The boundary dispute is often referred to as a problem ‘leftover’ from history that can be set aside for the moment or should not be allowed to impede progress in other parts of the relationship. But there are also more positive references to history such as the civilizational ties between India and China as seen in the cooperation on the Nalanda University and the creation of a Buddhist circuit in India and Nepal that Chinese tourists can also be part of. The question then is can we choose to selectively ignore or forget history? This cannot be for it will create contradictions in Sino-Indian relations.

Further, as Asia’s two largest powers, India and China are also expected to achieve a greater, more commensurate role on the global stage both for themselves and the Third World, in general. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are both perceived as decisive leaders who have received a strong mandate from their respective peoples to carry out anti-corruption and development domestically as well as these external goals. However, both their domestic and external objectives will be difficult to achieve if India and China cannot resolve issues in their bilateral ties with maturity and vision. It must therefore, be self-evident to the two leaders that they have before them a historic opportunity to resolve questions of history by political will.

There are still further opportunities for making history in the Sino-Indian relationship. President Xi announced his government’s new Silk Roads policy late last year. The ancient Silk Roads were as much Indian as they were Chinese having carried Indian products, ideas and influence, as well, including Buddhism to China and there is an opportunity for both countries to redevelop past linkages for the modern era. The new Silk Roads – the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road – will also rely heavily on India for their success. For instance, India’s goodwill in Central Asia and Afghanistan and its participation will be absolutely helpful for the Silk Road Economic Belt to find greater welcome in the region. The Maritime Silk Road meanwhile, will extensively link with Indian ports for economic reasons and rely on India’s ability to maintain order and safety of sea lines of communication in the Indian Ocean.

Similarly, two other Silk Roads include the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the BCIM Economic Corridor. Given the poor state of the Pakistani economy, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor improves its chances of success if it can link up with the larger, more mature market economy of India. This also helps along China’s Western Development Strategy in Xinjiang province as well as India’s plans to develop its own border provinces with Pakistan of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat. For India, the extension of the Silk Roads through Tibet and into Nepal could also benefit its provinces of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The BCIM Economic Corridor, meanwhile, links China’s southwest with Yunnan in the lead but also potentially Guangxi and Sichuan to India’s eastern regions. Again, all of these proposed economic corridors and routes that offer the potential of economic development for both India’s and China’s smaller neighbours and their underdeveloped border regions have historical precedents. To the Chinese new leadership, however, must go the credit for reimagining its relations with its neighbours in such historically-referenced and innovative ways.

As two rising powers with increasing regional and global responsibilities, India and China will have to work closely together. It is inevitable that their economic relations and political ties will grow still further. In this context, it is necessary to address a concern evident in Chinese writings and media about India’s growing ties with the United States, Japan and Vietnam, all countries with which China has difficult relations. India will most certainly increase and improve its political, economic and military relations with these countries – after all China also has excellent economic relations with these countries and is also trying to improve military relations as evident in the RIMPAC exercises. Moreover, India is focused on improving its ties not with just with these countries but also with others, including China. The old stage where India used to get worried about China ties with India’s neighbours is fast disappearing as India understands that China’s economic growth can be a positive transformation factor for these countries as well.

Indian leaders and scholars give great importance to the rapid enhancement of people-to-people contacts and military-to-military exchanges between India and China, as well – more so than with any other country. This they see as necessary to create goodwill and confidence in the Sino-Indian relationship both among the governments and among ordinary citizens.

Meetings between India and China should also take place at all levels – senior, middle, and junior. Indeed, those between the middle and junior levels of civilian and military officials as well as between young students and scholars and intellectuals, are perhaps the most crucial to laying the foundation of better understanding between the two countries for the future. As first leaders of their countries born after Indian Independence and Chinese Liberation, Prime Minister Modi and President Xi should understand how important it is to involve young people more in bilateral exchanges. Further, the Modi-Xi meeting will also be an occasion also to remember that interactions between the two countries should take place not just at the national level but at the level of provincial leaders and officials in the two countries. Both leaders were successful provincial leaders before they became national leaders and this background offers both a direction and trend for the future.

India and China have to take care of the development aspirations of their people as well as achieve growth in a sustainable, environment-friendly manner. They also have the responsibility to help other Third World countries to achieve development and political stability both through bilateral cooperation and by pushing reform of global multilateral institutions. They have, thus, the opportunity to craft a new kind of relationship between great powers that is very different from the Western-dominated post-World War II model of great power ties. Modi and Xi must together summon the vision and statesmanship needed to grab the opportunity.

 

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2 thoughts on “Xi Meets Modi: A Historic Opportunity for Sino-Indian Leadership

  1. The two giant heads of giant nations meet and bring with them the hope of greater development and harmony in this part of the world. It is also the beginning of proactive collaboration in South Asia, which has till now remained disjointed.

    Like

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