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Comparative Politics Foreign Policy Political Parties

China Worries in India’s RCEP Decision

India’s refusal to sign up for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement in Bangkok earlier this month says as much about the state of India’s relations with China as it does about its place in the global trading regime.

There is no doubt that India is in many way not ready for the additional challenges and pain its domestic industry and agriculture will face with accession to RCEP especially since the economy is still recovering from the self-inflicted damage of demonetisation in 2016 and a poorly-executed roll-out of the GST less than a year later.

But there is not an insubstantial argument to be made about the consequences of opening up under RCEP to a Chinese economy that still is far from being an open market economy.

Categories
Borders Foreign Policy War and Conflict

Vacuous Summitry

Following the Doklam stand-off between India and China in mid-2017, the Wuhan ‘informal summit’ between Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping the following April was seen as some sort of a tension-busting exercise and hosannas were sung to a new kind of diplomacy with talk of a ‘reset’ in the relationship. In the run-up to the second informal summit to be held at Chennai tomorrow[1], however, the shallowness of the exercise is now evident especially in the security and political realms.

Even if one were to ignore the fact that it was not until yesterday that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs finally confirmed that the summit was even on, the level of mutual suspicion today appears to be no less than was the case following Doklam.

Categories
Foreign Policy War and Conflict

Modi-Xi ‘Informal Summit’: Misplaced Hopes

China has many ways of affecting Indian politics. Indeed, an India-China ‘reset’, as envisaged by the Narendra Modi government and represented by the “informal summit” between Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has the very strong domestic context of several major state-level elections later this year and the general elections next year.

There are two big expectations that the Modi government appears to entertain here — both of which rest on shaky foundations.

Categories
Foreign Policy Sub-nationalism

Candour on the Red Carpet: Parsing the Sino-Indian Joint Statement

Published as जबिन टी. जेकब, ‘चीनी पीएम की यात्रा पर संतुलित रुख’, Business Bhaskar, 22 May 2013, p.4.

(Original in English follows below Hindi text)

देश के पश्चिमी इलाके में मौजूद दपसांग में चीनी ‘घुसपैठ’ की वजह से तीन सप्ताह का गतिरोध खत्म होने के दो सप्ताह बाद चीन के प्रधानमंत्री ली खचियांग भारत की पहली आधिकारिक यात्रा पर यहां पहुंचे। पिछले दिनों की गतिविधियों पर नजर रखने वालों के सामने यह साफ हो गया है कि भारत न तो लद्दाख की घटना की वजह से अपनी जगह से उखड़़ा और न ही ली खचियांग की पहली आधिकारिक यात्रा के दिए गए संकेत से बहुत अधिक प्रभावित दिखा। भारत ने वही किया जो एक परिपक्व, आत्मविश्वास से भरी ताकत करती है।

राजनीतिक और आर्थिक लिहाज से देखें तो चीन के लिए ग्लोबल और स्थानीय स्तर पर अपने कदमों का कोई आकलन करना तब तक मुश्किल है जब तक कि वह यह न जान ले कि भारत अपने हितों को किस तरह देखता है और इसके मुताबिक क्या कदम उठा सकता है।