Three days after China’s defence budget exceeded US$100 billion (US$106.4 billion (670 billion yuan)) and officially tallied to three times India’s budget, officials from both sides met in Beijing to discuss the particulars of the newly-established working mechanism for consultation and coordination on India-China border affairs. Aimed at ensuring peace and tranquillity at the border areas, the mechanism was devised during the 15th round of border talks held in New Delhi in January this year.
While the meeting didn’t revel any conclusive results or augur definitive decisions towards maintaining a safe, peaceful border, it did hint at a continuous dialogue between the two neighbors. Both China and India understand that an outright war between the two nations is out of the question. While many of India’s foreign policy faux pas and border insecurities insight the thought of a skirmish at the contentious border, the indifference and lack of trust is harming business, trade and commerce between the two nations.
Recently realizing a massive market potential in her neighbor, China has been upping the friendly ante, reaching across the lofty Himalayas to pick up business with India. China has said it would expand exchanges with India in the coming year and look to improve mutual trust. Keen on increasing overseas direct investments into one of her fastest growing and high return neighbors, China is looking to understand how better to do business with India. How to leap over her red tapes, schmooze with bureaucracy and successfully run a business in the only other nation that is keeping the world afloat.
It is this long term business strategy and patience for a profitable future which has kept China around. Known to be resilient, the Chinese economy has remained persistent with the Indian economy and is fully aware that settling border issues, building trust and creating a better understanding between the governments and people will lead to booming business. In the past few months, on China’s insistence, the two neighbors have been sitting down to try to reach a compromise. Yang Jiechi, China’s foreign minister has visited India several times and has invited his counterpart S M Krishna to Beijing to discuss and resolve the border issue soon.
Both China and India have had several chances in the past to patch up the border issue, negotiate, compromise and amicably sort out the issue, however in their pride, bad foreign policy strategy and vested interests neither nation managed to strike a deal, hopefully this time round they will inch closer to a deal.