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Xi Jinping's India visit

China's President Xi Jinping, who arrived on his maiden visit to India, may have experienced the great Indian hospitality, but he has also realized that now India is not an easy country to make inroads. Though there is no denial that as the world’s two largest populated countries, China and India, share a strong common interest in upgrading their national economies, but the boundary dispute and transgressions by Chinese troops will always affect the relations. Yet, Modi has clearly indicated to China that now there is a slash to be put into. What was going on for last 10 years along the LAC must stop now. Indeed, Xi's visit was being closely followed by Japan and United States-both of whom are keen to develop stronger ties with India to counter China’s rise in the region.


China, which is feeling threatened with the growing cooperation between India and Japan, is trying very hard to impress India with the lucrative investment and developmental programs. However, with a strong Indian leadership under PM Modi, China is now finding it difficult to maintain a balance.

China, which promised USD 20 billion investment in India in the coming five years, is not comfortable with the aggressive stand of India on the unsettled border dispute and its growing regional influence.

Though India needs Chinese investment in the country for economic revival and better infrastructure, it has also realized that China needs India equally to maintain a strategic balance of relationship among Asian countries.

Modi’s engagement with China has been deep since he was Gujarat chief minister therefore Chinese leadership thought that this India visit will be a fruitful one.

But the firm stand of Modi on fresh round of incursions from the Chinese side in Ladakh and refusal to enter into the visa pact till Beijing stops issuing stapled visas, India has asserted that Beijing needs to rework its strategy if it wants a genuine and peaceful economic cooperation with India.

Under UPA rule Indian leaders hardly ever accepted the Chinese intrusion, but this time PM Narendra Modi raised the border issue during the bilateral talks firmly. Beijing’s strategy of issuing stapled visas to the Arunachal Pradesh residents and thereby undermining One India Policy was also protested by Modi.

India has realized that it cannot trust China blindly, therefore it is engaging into deep strategic and economic cooperation with other countries especially in the Asia Pacific region.

China, on the other hand, has made inroads into many neighboring countries of India in the last decade as result of inefficient UPA leadership and its failed foreign policy.

Now the BJP government is finding it as a challenge to counter increasing influence of China in the region. However the recent successful visit of Modi to Japan has alerted China that Modi’s strong leadership in India will be a big hurdle in realizing its long term dreams in the region.

Just before Xi Jinping visit, India had sent President Pranab Mukherjee for a three day visit to Vietnam, a close neighbor of China and claimant in South China Sea dispute.

This has irked the Chinese government but also has given a strong signal that India knows well how to play the same game, which China has been playing for years.

Modi’s statement regarding the PLA troops who had advanced in the Chumar sector, that even such small incidents can impact the biggest of relationships just as a little toothache can paralyze the entire body, should be clear indication for Chinese leadership to evaluate the flow of the wind.

China is not used to being encountered by India on equal footing, but Modi has shown that he can walk the line between friendship and firmness with exceptional finesse.

He has managed to uphold the nation’s sovereignty over its land and foreign policy without defaulting on his role as a gracious host and a collaborative partner.

With this visit, China, along with business interest, also wanted to assess the strength of changed leadership in India by sending troops in Chumar.

However, with the tough stance of Modi over border issues, China must realize that Indian government is no longer too diplomatic when it comes to securing its own national interest.

Now it remains to be seen how China is going to react to India’s concern on border settlement and how this strategic cooperation between two Asian giants will unfold in the coming years.