Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Israel says, Article 370 is India's internal issue which India will deal appropriately

New Delhi: In a show of support to India's abrogation of article 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir, Israeli Ambassador to India Ron Malka said, 'we see it as something that’s an Indian issue. India is the biggest democracy in the world, respects individual rights, respects the rule of law and we are sure India will deal with this issue appropriately and a in peaceful way.' 

In the context of the cancellation of Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit to India just before his crucial elections on September 17, Malka said, 'there are may schedule constraints and they are not about importance but about urgency. Sometimes things that are less important are more urgent. India is very important and a meeting will be sketched out after elections in Israel.' About the issues of elections in Israel he said, 'Elections in Israel are first and foremost on security, then economic situation and some social issues.'

With a 100,000 Indian Jews living in Israel, India Israel enjoy strategic partnership and Israel being leader in technology and innovation has been partnering with India is diverse fields of defense, agriculture, water, cyber and space.

Ron Malka, an economist, emphasized on developing financial markets, a key component in progressing India Israel relations. He informed that Israel is engaging with India's leading financial institutions like SEBI, Central Banks, RBI and stock exchanges. Meetings have been held between their Chairman's' and CEO's in domains of mutual cooperation. He hopes companies of both nations will be soon listed in each others stock exchanges.    

Agriculture is a major collaboration area between Israel and India. Israel runs 28 centres of excellence with Israeli expertise for excellence sharing. In 2018, 1,47,000 Indian farmers were trained in these centres of excellence. They are now upgrading to villages of excellence. Israel is working on increasing farmers income, trying to cut middlemen to bring changes to improve farmers conditions.

Similarly mutual projects in the area of usage of water are a part of strategic partnership which also include water security, food security, cyber security, technology. Malka informed that water experts from Israel shared their experience, methods, techniques with 1200 experts from 256 districts in India suffering from scarcity of water. Israel, once a water parched country that started with low availability of water now has abundance of water through their innovative techniques of harvesting water. With innovation Israel has achieved a turnaround in water sector. Malka said, 'rainfall in Israel has doubled 50%, multiplied 5 times. We declared a policy of water independence as we couldn't rely on weather for water. So we developed technologies for harvesting rain, desalination, particularly sea water and brackish water. We reuse 90% of water.' Israel has developed 'Precision Agriculture' which is essentially using satellites and drones to monitor fields that will tell exact amount of water each field/ plant uses. 'We are keen to share our techniques with India using frontier and state of the art technologies and prevent doing the mistakes that we did.' 

Israel is collaborating in Ayushman Bharat too. Mincing no words Malka said, 'With PM Modi's Invest in India call, for Israel companies make in India is natural as Israel a small country and there's shortage of manpower in all kind of skills. So for us to come to India, upscale our technology and Make in India is only natural. For Israel, Make in India and exporting the products to other countries, we need to spread innovation. We want to see India a strong economic power and a strong player in international arena.' Under the same flagship programme a new plant has been set up in Hyderabad which is a joint venture of Israeli company and an Indian defense company.

Israel being a leader in cyber security, Malka says, 'The most important thing about cyber security is to be one step ahead to defend yourself. Since India is a close friend and strategic partner we shared with India many frameworks eg there is a national cyber security adviser. We are working together on systems to protect power plants against cyber attacks.'

On the vexed issue of Palestine, Malka said, 'We cannot negotiate our existence unless we have a partner that recognize the basic right to live and exist. We will find solution.'

Advocating tough sanctions for keeping Iran under pressure, Israel feels that this will bring Iran to the table of negotiations to settle a new and lasting agreement that will bring prosperity of Iranian people and country which is necessary for stopping the 'radical regime expansion which has mass destruction weapons specially that will lead to total annihilation of Iran.'

'Any kind of terrorism should be a cause of concern. Terrorism is not only the problem of India and Israel, its a world problem and so we should get united and work,' he said in the context of terrorist attacks in India. 

Tags: #Ron Malka #Israel #India Israel relations #Article 370 #India Pakistan #Israel technology #Prime Minister Netanyahu #Israel Elections 2019

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Chinese envoy Sun Weidong says we are partners and friends, likes Bollywood's 'Hindi Medium'

New Delhi: 'China and India are neighbors, partners and friends. Today over 1,000 Chinese companies are doing business in India, with a cumulative investment of 8 billion US dollars, which has created 200,000 local jobs. More than two-thirds of Indian companies investing in China are making handsome profits, 40 percent of them would like to increase their investment in China this year,' said the Chinese ambassador to India Sun Weidong. He stressed that China-India relations have extended beyond bilateral dimensions and are significant in maintaining regional and global peace, prosperity and development.  

Cautioning on trade wars that are effecting world economies he said, 'We resolutely oppose provoking trade frictions, openly interfering in China's internal affairs and undermining our interests, and we will firmly defend our legitimate interests. We are willing to properly handle differences on the basis of mutual respect and resolve issues through dialogue and negotiation.'

Sun Weidong who is an Asia expert and has come to India on his second stint, the first one as Councillor from 2005-08 in the Chinese embassy in India, struck similarities between Indian and Chinese society. Revealing admiration for Bollywood films he said, 'Recently, I watched an Indian movie called Hindi Medium. It is about a young Indian couple, who tried desperately to get a better education for their daughter. Such feelings of parents are not only seen in India, but also in Chinese families',said Sun. The box office of Indian films is twice as much in China as in India. The Indian pavilion at the Beijing International Horticultural Expo has attracted millions of Chinese visitors. With the long history, large population and economic volume of the two countries, China-India cooperation enjoys vast potential for development, he informed the mixed audience of Heads of Missions, media, Chinese guests, business representatives and others present.

Reminding of common history and future goals that China and India share Sun said, 'As the only two large developing countries with over one billion population, China and India have so many similarities than any other country in the world. We had splendid ancient civilizations, suffered from colonial and imperial aggression, achieved national liberation and independence almost at the same time, and jointly advocated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. At present, both of us face the common task of growing the economy and improving people's livelihoods. China is striving for its "two centenary goals", and India is working towards the goal of building a "new India". China and India should learn from and help each other to realize win-win cooperation and common development.'

Calling Wuhan Summit and the following meetings between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping in Ahmedabad as "hometown diplomacy", Sun emphasized the importance of China India partnership. 'If China and India speak in one voice, the whole world will listen. We both advocate world multi-polarity, economic globalization, trade liberalization and oppose unilateralism and protectionism. We can closely coordinate under the framework of BRICS, G20 and SCO, to jointly tackle global challenges and to promote a fair and just global governance order. China and India both uphold the concepts of "Great Harmony" and "The World as One Family".

Interestingly having been China's envoy to Pakistan (2013-17) and Malaysia, Sun surely understands the diplomactic nuances of India and its neighbourhood. 'For neighbors and major countries, differences are hard to avoid. The key is to properly handle them. We should put issues in the bigger picture, reduce differences through consultation, settle disputes through dialogue, promote peace through development, and enhance mutual trust through cooperation, he said'

'Over the past 7 decades, China has successfully embarked on a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and made great strides from standing up and growing wealthy to becoming stronger. In 2018, the retail sales of consumer goods in China totaled 5.76 trillion US dollars, making it the second largest consumer market in the world.'

The changing world order with US pushing for protectionism, China is opening wider to the outside world. Sun informed that China has recently announced the establishment of six new pilot free trade zones, bringing the total number to 18. 'All countries in the world will benefit from China's greater opening-up,' he said.

Hong Kong, that is witnessing huge protests on the issue of Extradition laws is being watched by the world. Ambassador Sun Weidong clarifying China's stand on Hong Kong said, 'Some external forces meddled in China's internal affairs, deliberately calling violent crimes as peaceful protest. This is an outright "double standard". Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs. There is no sovereign issue over Hong Kong at all. We would never allow any external forces to interfere in Hong Kong affairs. Be it in the past, present or future, China has all the ability, confidence and resilience to overcome any risk and challenge.'

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Viet Nam Tourism a strategic industry, tourist increase four times

New Delhi: Viet Nam, with its open policy, rich natural landscape and cultural heritage, is one of the major and potential tourist attractions of Southeast Asia, and around the world.

The Embassy of Viet Nam organized a Tourism Road Show with the aim to facilitate B2B interactions. The event saw representatives of nearly 200 travel agencies, tour operators, hoteliers and flight operators from India and Viet Nam including IndiGo Airline showcasing their product and services in order to attract maximum tourists.

Speaking at the occasion Ambassador of Viet Nam to India Pham Sanh Chau said, ‘Viet Nam and India have a traditional and long-standing relationship. 2000-year ago an Indian monk came to “Phat Tich” and took with him the spirit and philosophy of Lord Buddha. Hindu imprints of Cham ruins in central Viet Nam are also examples of this relationship. This friendship has been preserved, nurtured and continuously developed by the generations of leaders of the two countries since our independence.’

He said, ‘With Act East Policy, the Government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi stresses the need to increase the number of visitors from ASEAN region in general and Viet Nam in particular to India and vice versa. This is not the first but the biggest event ever organized so far. We will continue to do it in order to give Indian and Vietnamese visitors a more diverse and new destination options.’

As per statistics global tourism demand is booming and is forecast to grow at approximately 4% per year over the next decade (2019-2029), higher than the projected global economic growth rate. Chau said ‘Viet Nam, with its diverse cultural and natural tourism heritage, can fully benefit from the above favourable demand context.’

At the moment, Viet Nam ranks 32nd globally (out of 120 countries), 3rd in Southeast Asia in terms of the number of foreign visitors and attractiveness of her cultural and natural beauty. Viet Nam has up to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, on par with Indonesia as compared to most other countries in Southeast Asia, besides having top urban tourism like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang and Da Nang.

Ambassador Chau informed that currently, the Government of Viet Nam is taking tourism as a strategic industry and will focus on (i) developing tourism infrastructure, (ii) promoting tourism destinations, (iii) developing tourism skilled human resources, and (iv) improving state policies in the area of the tourism industry.    YouTube link of Ambassador of Vietnam Pham Sanh Chau interview in New Delhi

Over the past years, Viet Nam has made dramatic overall improvements in competitiveness such as ICT readiness, security and safety, port and ground infrastructure, development and ease of doing business.

Figures say over the last decade, international visitors to Viet Nam increased nearly four times from 4.2 million in 2008 to 15.5 million in 2018. Growth in international arrivals reached 25% during 2016-2018. Viet Nam's domestic tourism with a much larger number of visitors than international ones, is also growing sharply, quadrupling from 20.5 million in 2008 to 80 million in 2018 thanks to the rapid growth of the middle class in Viet Nam.

Airways connectivity eases travel

With Vietjet Air scheduled to open direct flights from Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City to New Delhi daily and alternatively from 6th December 2019, and Indian Airline IndiGo opening direct flights to Viet Nam from 3rd October, the number of Vietnamese tourists coming to India will increase tremendously. The number of Indian tourists coming to Viet Nam which has reached nearly 90,000 (over the past 7 months), an increase year-on-year by 124.4% will surely increase substantially.

A few tour operators and service providers that took part in the show were Jewel Tours, Hello Asia Travel, VieTravel, Windows DMC, Travel Anz, Astra Network, ThreeLand Travel, BWP Premier Best Western, Indi China Travel & Liesure, Global Destinations and Victoria Tour. Indigo was a participant too. VFS Global was partner company.

Tags: #Viet Nam #About Viet Nam, #Viet Nam Tourism, #Places to see in Viet Nam, #Ambassador of Viet Nam to India Pham Sanh Chau, #Viet Nam Tours

Vietnam Tourism Promotion Video ShowVID 20190828 172616

In talks with Ambassador of Vietnam to India Pham Sanh Chau

Tags: #Ambassador of Viet Nam to India Pham Sanh Chau #Viet Nam #Viet Nam Tourism #Travel 

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Tibet President Lobsang Sangay says, 'Trade with China, be cautious, study Tibet'; on Dalal Lama reincarnation & investment in Buddhism

New Delhi: Sounding caution on relations with China, President of Central Tibetan Administration in India Lobsang Sangay said, ‘You must do business with China, have diplomatic relations with them but see that are you bringing china to the international fort or we are becoming more influenced by china.' He said, ‘Be careful, study Tibet, look at the blueprint of Tibet and then decide.’ 'How it all started in Tibet. Then in Australia. You start with trade and then it becomes politics and then it becomes security then it becomes academic and it becomes everything'. He said, 'China has completely taken over Australia in business and has good cultural ties with it too. It uses the blueprint of elite cooptation, buying all influence makers. India should be cautious’.

Tibet is facing an existential crisis with China since last 60 years. Regarding talks with China he said, ‘We are open to talks with all, Chinese, journalists, scholars. We seek autonomy within China and we want to resolve our issue peacefully through dialogue.’
‘Tibet is your litmus test as to your commitment to democracy, human rights and non violence’, he emphasized, for all countries vouching for them.

Dalai Lama's own business

India educated Sangay, in an interaction with Foreign Affairs Correspondents on Dalai Lama’s reincarnation issue said that, ‘Dalai Lama’s reincarnation is Dalai Lama’s business. It is for him to decide whether he comes back or not and in what form. The Chinese have no role whatsoever.’ He said, 'The Chinese, who are wanting to name their own Dalai Lama, like their Panchen Lama, who will follow him? China has destroyed all our monasteries and monks, how can they decide on the Dalai Lama?''

‘We are not scared of China. We sincerely think we will win. Chinese came in 1959, by 1963 they destroyed 90 % of Tibetan monasteries. 99.9% monks and nuns were killed by Chinese army. Buddhism was physically destroyed. No one could practice Buddhism. His holiness and 20,000 of his followers fled Tibet and stayed in exile in India. We had only 2% chance of survival. In that we rebuilt all the monasteries in India, thanks to India. We are rebuilding Nalanda University. We revived Buddhism institutions in the whole of Himalayan belt from Sikkim to Ladakh to Himachal, Lahaul Spiti, Nepal, Bhutan.

'Now oddly China has become the largest Buddhist country in the world. 300 million Buddhists are in China. It has surpassed India. Buddhism is back in Tibet too. They may have destroyed Buddhist monasteries for dilution of Buddhism physically but in private social spaces they practice Buddhism like never before. Under the guidance of his holiness Dalai Lama we have rebuilt in exile.'

 India birthplace of Buddhism, China showing itself as leader 

‘India is the birthplace of Buddhism. All the sacred signs of Buddha are in India. But as far as Buddhist diplomacy is concerned India is far behind China’, said Lobsang Sangay, President of Tibetan government-in-exile.

Though Buddhist people in India are 10% of its population, Sangay suggested, ‘even if out of the estimated 600 million to 1 billion Buddhists which means 1%, also comes here, which further means 10 million spending 1000 dollars each, will be 100 billion dollars. UP and Bihar will prosper within 10 yrs. With 1 million investments you can have 100 billions in return.’

He said, ‘Every year China organizes World Buddhist Congress and leaders from around the world are invited including from neighboring countries. Chinese government spends billions of dollars. They look at China as a leader of the Buddhist world. Not India. India is a low hanging fruit. All the Buddhist leaders will come to India on a mere invite for an event at Bodh Gaya. Bodh Gaya is the land of enlightenment. China does not have Sarnath, Varanasi, they have the tallest statue of Buddha, biggest Buddhist monastery, deepest Buddhist cave and all Buddhist leaders are amazed with china’s development and investment. The largest cheapest export has been Buddhism, least investment highest and the longest return. India is land of Buddha. All Buddhist countries are your natural ally.’    

Tibetan identity in India

With literacy rate of 94% in Tibet, Tibetans born and educated in India love cricket, Bollywood movies, dance and songs but there is an evolution too. With 3rd generation Tibetans coming from kindergarten to school are taught everything in Tibetan till primary. In Tibetan gatherings, Gorshey, a Tibetan dance form and songs sung by Tibetan singers have replaced Bollywood and Hollywood songs which is seen as an assertion of their identity. Wearing Tibetan shirt is fashion. In Dharamshala on Wednesday everyone wears Tibetan dress mostly. In the national capital of Delhi, Majnu ka Tila, place that Tibetans have made home, Wednesday is vegetarian. Majnu ka Tila, famous for its Thopa and Momos observes White Wednesday, adopted in 2011, when they adorn Tibetan dress, eat Tibetan and drink Tibetan. Sangey says its like Gandhiji’s civil disobedience. Although Tibetan food is primarily non vegetarian, White Wednesdays are Vegetarian for laying emphasis and going back to Buddha.  

Back in Tibet, Tibetans live with bleak prospects. Sources say, even when Tibetans educated from china return back to Tibet good positions are not their share and are a fiefdom of Han Chinese. Like in the Tibet Autonoums region Chinese Secretary is the most powerful official and nothing has changed in the last 60 yrs. Not even Executive Secretary is a Tibetan. If there are 13 Standing Committees of the Polit Bureau, first one is a pure Han Chinese following in order. The 13th may be a Tibetan.

Forced migration from China is usual. All road are built to send Chinese migrants to Tibet. Han Chinese get double promotion. After one promotion they go to Tibet, with another they return to china and get promoted,(under the hardship posting). It is because of subsidies that the Chinese go to Tibet, to get license in business. The moment subsidy and license ends they come back. 80-90% of males are sent to Tibet and no females, as Chinese believe that if you give birth in high altitude the child will have a heart problem. In summer towns and cities in Tibet are Chinese majority because all migrants come to do business and in winter they return back. Tibet being at 3500 m height with -50 degrees, difficult and harsh winter season keeps Chinese away. 

President Sangay informed that according to Freedom House, an international organization measuring freedom in the world has ranked Tibet the least free region after Syria with no journalist being allowed to go to Tibet unless for an organized trip.

 #Lobsang Sangay  #Tibet #President CTA Tibet #China #Buddhism #Buddhism in Tibet #Dharamshala #China in Tibet

Sunday, June 23, 2019

After Masood, time to think larger connect between the India and China

Out of the three significant issues that majorly dot India China relations, NSG and BRI being the others, UN sanctions on global terrorist Masood Azhar, given a leg up by China lately, can be said to be the start of realizing of the Wuhan spirit on which a lot of indirect capital has been invested by Prime Minister Modi. In that template both leaders, Xi Jinping and Modi recently met at the SCO summit in Biskek and will be meeting soon again at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. Both leaders are aware of their powers as big nations, of not just the region but in the present global structure and are willing to walk the talk.

In this rapidly changing geo political geo economic scenario India China relations are being watched by the world. US China in a tug of war over trade and tariff, Gulf feeling the looming of war as tensions rise in the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and US, North Korea trying hard to convince US of its non nuclear intentions and the EU struggling hard to keep its stock intact, are some of the major touch points which have the potential of pushing the world order to a brink. In such times relations between India and China can be positively leveraged to exemplify peace and growth in the whole region.

“We should make joint efforts to make China-India friendship and cooperation surge forward like the Yangtze river and the Ganges, write a new chapter in the tango between the ‘dragon’ and the ‘elephant’, and enable the ‘Peacock’ and ‘Phoenix’ to fly in unison,” former envoy to India Luo Zhaohui said a couple of months before returning back to his country in May 2019.

Foreign experts have rightly pointed out that our ties with China range from being complex to that of both cooperation as well as competition. Any two large neighboring countries in their relationship is likely to be complex and difficult, as they are likely to have strong opinions on most issues and are unlikely to share identical or similar perspectives on many bilateral or international issues.

At Wuhan after Doklam it was analyzed and India and China independently came to the decision that it was much more important to have a relatively harmonious and balanced relationship between the two most populous states on this globe and that talking to each other was important.

Legacy of boundary issues

Even though India and China have differences of opinion about the boundary between them we do agree that some of these boundary related issues have been left to us by history which makes it incredibly difficult due to the nature of our borders. Interestingly both nations have agreed that even while we attempt to resolve the boundary issue, we shall do our very best at maintaining peace and tranquility on the border. Defence sources say elaborate and fairly successful Standard Operating Procedures have been put into place to ensure that our Armed Forces do not get into situations which will raise temperatures in the relatively cool climes of the India – China boundary. Yet, we have had what we call as “close proximity situations” at Depsang in 2013, at Chumar in 2014 and most recently at Doklam in 2017. Why do such situations take place at all!

Experts believe and there is no denying that better technologies and more importantly better roads available to both sides (the Indian Armed Forces also have better roads on our side of the border as compared to 20 or 25 years ago) have brought the two armed forces closer on this border than ever before in history. In this scenario, if any one of the two sides makes an attempt to change the status quo or a set pattern of behaviour, there is an immediate reaction from the other side. This is exactly what happened in each of these instances in 2013, 2014 and 2017. In each case, the Chinese PLA attempted to change the status quo on our frontier and in each case the Indian Army blocked such an attempt. Once the status quo was resumed, the situation went back to normal, although it may be a new normal.

The inside of the reachout

Since both Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping were keen to bring the bilateral India – China relationship on to an even keel, they agreed to meet at an informal summit at Wuhan. Former Ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale says, ''The idea of an informal summit meant that there was no need for the bells and whistles of a formal state visit but the two leaders could spend a whole lot of time by themselves, talking to each other on any subject they felt was important for a strategic conversation. The offer to have the Summit at Wuhan in central China was made by the Chinese side, since they felt they had the facilities for such a meeting there and because Prime Minister Modi had not visited Wuhan before this event. Eventually, PM Modi and President Xi spent anywhere from 8 to 10 hours communicating with each other on some of the important bilateral, regional and global issues of the day. They also spoke to each other about the history and culture of their respective countries and societies, thereby adding to understanding and trust in each other.'' The meeting was a reiteration of our belief that India and China can talk with one another rather than past each other. That is why the High Level Mechanism to boost such contacts was established and held its first meeting in December 2018 led by the Foreign Ministers of the two countries. The importance of being sensitive to the concerns of the other country was an integral aspect.

Experts on China believe that one of the understandings emanating from the Informal Summit at Wuhan was the fact that although the Governments of India and China have been in close touch over the decades and even though business has boomed over the past few years, the one area of bilateral contact which lacks intensity is people-to-people exchanges. Given the fact that India and China are the two most populous nations on earth, that we are ancient civilizations with our own individual ways of thinking, it is very important to foster greater interaction between our peoples.

China has changed due to the fast paced economic growth she has undergone in last 3 decades. Bollywood films are popular amongst the youth of that country. Rising popularity of Yoga in China comes from its obvious health benefits and enhance understanding amongst ordinary people.

Controlling the rising trade deficit 

According to Ministry of Commerce India's trade deficit with China stood at $53 billion in 2018-19. Such a large and expanding deficit is dictated by the very composition of bilateral trade. When we mainly export primary produce to China while importing every kind of manufactured product including iron and steel, electronic items, power equipment and mobile handsets then we will end up with a trade deficit which will increase over time. Even if we are able to sell more rice, sugar, tea, sapota and mangoes to China it will not bridge the trade gap. Therefore, as Ambassador Bambawale says, that we need to focus not so much on the Balance of Trade in our bilateral payments but on Invisibles.

Spinoff Tourism sector

Another area which is untouched and untapped between the dragon and the elephant is tourism. Working towards attracting more Chinese tourists to India can be an unimaginably lucrative situation. This will prove to be a less herculean task as compared with selling more pharmaceuticals or software in the Chinese market that invite huge non tariff barriers. A public-private effort by India can result in up to 1.5 million Chinese tourists visiting our country by 2020.

Our Buddhist trail will be attractive but so too will our beaches, our mountain resorts, our temples and other historical sites. We must focus our efforts in this direction. For this we should undertake a massive marketing effort in China to ensure that our message of Incredible India goes down from the metropolitan cities to the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities where the real heft of Chinese tourism abroad comes. The results will be quick and very obvious. They will not merely help us meet our tourism targets but will provide employment to large numbers of our countrymen and women, while balancing out our trade deficit. It will have the additional spinoff that understanding of the other country will be enhanced amongst our peoples.

Tapping Education market

As per a study of the Pune Plan of Action on India China Relations, Indian Universities have the potential to attract more Chinese students. What we only need to do is to provide these potential students a rationale and a value proposition of why they should study in India rather than in the United States, the UK, Australia or Canada. That value proposition can be to do their Bachelors degree in India, learn fluent English in the process and then at the Master’s level, the student will have a good shot at relatively easy admission into and study at Universities in any of the western countries. Once again we will need to market this well and we shall be surprised at the interest we can generate amongst the Chinese youth. I suspect that the new private Universities in India may be able to pull in many more Chinese students in a 3 year perspective due to their cleaner premises, better catering facilities and good faculty and curricula.

International Solar Alliance

Amongst international and global issues there are many where India and China do see eye to eye and on which we work together. In the context of the stellar work done by the BASIC countries of India, China, Brazil and South Africa in the context of climate change negotiations. Today, India must devote some energy and persuasion to convincing China to become a member of the International Solar Alliance or ISA. There is little doubt that this will be a win-win proposition as China will benefit from becoming a member and the ISA will gain from China’s membership. Now that Japan and Saudi Arabia have joined this international organization, China is very likely to follow suit if we devote some attention and time to them, according to a report of the Pune based think tank.

Railways, a good idea

On the economic side, India and China can work together on modernizing one of our railway stations. All those who have travelled in China have been impressed by the nature and state of her infrastructure including her railway stations. Many Indians have admiringly stated that, Chinese railway stations look and feel like airports. Since India is working on modernizing her railway stations surely there can be some way we can include China in this effort. We shall have to work on and perfect a financial model which works for both countries and for the firms from both nations involved in this work. If we are able to build and finalize such a model we will indeed be in business, say experts.

Water and trans-boundary rivers

The subject of trans-boundary rivers is one which has received considerable attention in both India and China. The Brahmaputra, in particular, and Chinese dam building and other construction on that river is a matter of great concern in the lower riparian countries such as India and Bangladesh. Recent experience is that China, although very cagey on this subject, and all the while playing up the fact that they are cooperating even though it is not mandatory for them to do so, has indeed worked with India in several instances particularly when a blockage of the main body of that river in Tibet is likely to burst and cause potential havoc downstream in India. Chinese and Indian authorities have stayed awake through the night in certain recent cases exchanging data and information on the flood level and in projecting when the flood peak is likely to reach the populated and settled areas in India. In some cases such warnings and continuous monitoring of the situation has enabled the affected areas in India to either evacuate those segments of its population living in the low lying areas which were likely to be submerged or helped them in putting out a more general alert. Such recent cooperation has been under the radar but needs to be acknowledged adequately. It provides hope that trans boundary rivers could become an area of cooperation rather than one of contention.

The sense overall is that an India – China relationship on relatively even keel, will not and does not restrict our diplomatic space with the rest of the world. In fact, it enhances the scope for India to do more with Russia as well as the United States, with Japan as well as Europe and ASEAN. The only challenge is internal, whether we shall have the bandwidth to be able to expand our interaction with all our partners.

As China rises and India grows to reclaim their earlier positions on the world stage as two of the largest economies and most important countries, there will indeed be some contention between these two powers. There will also be plenty of space and room for cooperation amongst the two of us. That while there will remain some areas of competition between India and China, cooperation will be the dominant theme between us.

China experts say, ''While it is going to be one of the most important relationships of the 21st Century there is very little doubt that both countries and their Governments will have to navigate incredibly difficult waters as they move ahead on their respective paths of regaining their historical, pre-eminent places in the world order. Predictably, there will indeed be ups and downs in this bilateral relationship, but it will also be immensely important for each of our nations to work hard at ensuring a balanced but forward looking approach to our ties. Only such greater interaction and the resultant understanding will provide the basis for a better relationship between us and make each of us more sensitive to the other.'' There's a huge world out there for cooperation.

Tags: #India China relations #Political Blog #India China trade #India Tourism #Clickty Click Blog

Also read at :