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  • India and China Enhance Economic Ties Amidst Growing Maritime Tension

    The most recent reminder of the complex relationship dynamics between India and China was the first “Strategic Economic Dialogue” that took place last week.

    The diplomatic relationship between India and China has been less than warm in the last few years, with simmering border disputes and recent disagreements over China’s much disputed claims in the South China Sea. Many of the countries in the Indo-Pacific region, from India to Vietnam and the Philippines, are deeply concerned about China’s military modernization and intentions in the region. Today, and in the years to come, they are bound to find common cause in tempering Chinese ambition.

    This does not mean, however, that India is interested in playing an overt balancing role vis-à-vis the Chinese. It, like the U.S., is actively engaged with the Chinese, especially on economic issues and will likely continue to strengthen economic ties with Beijing even as it builds closer strategic relations with Washington.

    At the Strategic Dialogue, though, there were signs of rapprochement.

    Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Planning Commission deputy chairman and leader of the Indian delegation, lauded China’s economic transformation, stating that India has much to learn from China. Topics of interest between Ahluwalia and Zhang Ping, National Development and Reform Commission chairman and point man for the Chinese delegation, focused on the mutual widening and accessibility to each other’s markets.

    Despite India’s concern regarding Chinese access to cyber materials and potentially sensitive information, India has been pushing to gain access to China’s IT market. India has also been courting China for the opportunity to introduce Indian pharmaceuticals to Chinese markets, a sector in which India excels. Other areas of interest focus on the environment—specifically water resources and energy efficiency—as well as railway projects.

    Last December, China–India trade hit the $70 billion mark, with the two nations setting a goal of $100 billion by 2015. China has been India’s largest trading partner since 2008, and both countries are projected to be the two leading economies by 2025.

    This willingness to work together, in spite of a history of disagreements and conflict, will not be overturned by a dust-up or two in the South China Sea. The U.S. should continue to build its ties with India, as both countries hedge against a rising China, but it should realize that India’s objectives are as complex as its own.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to India and China Enhance Economic Ties Amidst Growing Maritime Tension

    1. JJJackxon says:

      For reaons elaborated upon in many places, India and Indians are much more at ease with US and Americans when compared to China or even Russia as also the Americans are much more at ease with Indians. The US India partnership is destined to secure the liberal international order founded by the US. This will take time, many years, while India finds its global legs. India needs the US to continue the modeernization of its defense, technology and democratic institutions. US needs India to provide a reliable partner in Asia and a natural counter to China. So trade among India and China is growing, yes, but the coming decades will demonstrate the robust all round trade, governmental and cultural congruence between the US and India. And the free world, anticipating this, already welcomes this.

    2. DSW says:

      ok, we know that China cannot "feed itself," a key requirement for Super Power status…can India? If not, the U.S. should not EVER forfeit its sovereign states even if default is necessary. Given that, then, a 1/3 cut to the military is all that should be taken for now. We need to maintain superior strike force capability to fend off increasingly wealthy investments in military capability by China…India? Peaceful? Monitor.

    3. Jennifer Varnum says:

      I would suggest that India fears US may be instigating cross border attacks from Pakistani militants that the CIA is training and paying. It is in the US interest to keep Pakistan and India from ever having economic ties. Afghanistan in the past had agreed with Pakistan to run an oil pipeline to India and the US put the kibosh on it because it would strengthen the economies of all three countries and possible supply China with oil in the future. The US would not have control via its PetroDollar monopoly and this is not going to happen without a huge war in the are. This is why the CIA has embedded itself and has been training, paying and arming these terrorists to cause friction in the region. It will not work in the long run as nothing they have done militarily has been a long term success. It just runs interference and delays other countries from succeeding. Time for the US to pack its bags and realize they are out of options. The world is growing weary of their barbarism.

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