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The tables turn; China woos India

November 29, 2012

Over the last few months, news reports, media pronouncements and state speeches from China, are increasingly toned towards improving relations with India. As compared to a few years ago, when India barely figured in Chinese media, let alone mindspace, the recent change is seeking to be a soothing balm over our bilateral relations.

Economics does influence politics and learning from past experiences, China knows hard tactics do not work on India. A sensitive relationship, the two nations are working on bridging softer, cultural relations as well as deepening economic collaborations before healing historical diplomatic wounds. Recent examples of China’s thrust of soft power in India includes the recently concluded India-China Music Festival sponsored by Huawei, the Chinese consulates proposal to add 20 new beds to a rural hospital and re-name it after the legendary Indian doctor who cured Chinese armymen during the Japanese War, the announcement that China will not block Indias UNSC seat by a CPC leader and the news articles on how India and China should together work in the South China Sea.

It has been well established before and China knows she can’t do without India in Asia, especially when Premier Wen Jiabao said that the world is big enough for both India and China to co-exist. and now when Western powers are fumbling for funds and the Indian economy is growing increasingly dependent o China for loans, equipment and infrastructure, Beijing knows this is a golden opportunity to woo Indians.

A new regime in place, China is keen to white-wash the policies of the past and start afresh, build stronger bridges and integrate better with India. Living in the present, Beijing is keen for Indian politicians to peace over the 1962 war and instead create stronger relationships based on our shared positive experiences and historical and cultural linkages.

Considering India is in much need of Chinese expertise to pull her out of her doldrums, maybe it is time she moves on, inculcates better ties with her neighbours and strengthens her international relations for good fences make good neighbours.

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