Xi has been conducting such peace offensives all over the world. One of his two major offensives is the establishment of the Free Trade Area Asian Pacific (FTAAP), for which he has already set up free trade areas with many Asian Pacific countries. The other is the establishment of the Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road (One Belt And One Road).
China’s free trade area with ASEAN has been particularly successful and made most ASEAN members deaf to Vietnam’s and Philippines’ complaints against China concerning their maritime territorial disputes with China.
India has shown its interest in cooperation with China, Russia and other Asian countries by becoming an observer state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Now, being an Asian state, India certainly wants to join the FTAAP if it is established.
For that, it will need to resolve its border disputes with China. According to Reuter’s report on Modi’s visit to China by the end of May, the solution of border disputes with China will be a major item in his agenda.
The US, whose previous defence secretary visited India in vain to have India join US encirclement of China, now wants to take advantage of India’s fear of potential Chinese threat in China’s establishment of One Belt And One Road.
What can the US offer India? Just as the US is used to do in pitting Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines against China, it promised to provide India with its expensive weapons and weapon technology.
Then which is more attractive, trade with and investment from China or weapons from the US?
Modi is clever. He makes no comparison between the two and wants both trade and investment from China and weapons from the US as long as the two countries have no objection.
That is why after courting US President Obama, he will soon visit China to court Chinese President Xi Jinping.
However, India is close to Russia and wants to improve ties with China while Modi lacks trust in the US due to US enmity towards him before he won the election.
According to SCMP, on February 2, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted a conference with Russian and Indian foreign ministers as a counterbalance to Washington soon after Obama’s visit to India.
In their joint communique, the three countries vowed to “build a more just, fair and stable international political and economic order” and a “multi-polar” world, hinting their opposition to US hegemony.
SCMP says in its report on Indian Secretary of Foreign Affairs Sushima Swaraj’s Beijing visit that Chinese President Xi Jinping remained positive on Sino-Indian ties in spite of Obama’s Indian visit.
When Xi met Swaraj yesterday, he said Sino-Indian relationship had entered a new stage and that China and India had to properly and patiently control their differences and that the differences should not affect the overall picture of their relations.
The following is Reuters report on Modi’s coming visit to China:
After Obama visit, India’s Modi heads to China by end of May
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit China before his first anniversary in government on May 26, the foreign ministry said on Monday, in the latest symbolic move by the nationalist leader to cement India’s ties with the world’s major powers.
The announcement came a week after Modi received U.S. President Barack Obama in New Delhi, promising closer cooperation to maintain free navigation in the South China Sea, deeper defence ties including work on aircraft carrier technology and more civil nuclear collaboration.
China had agreed that the visit would be before the end of May, India’s foreign ministry spokesman said, but the final date has yet to be set.
“We want the visit to happen in the first year of the government,” spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.
While Modi is keen to work more closely with Washington than his predecessors, he also wants to build strong relations with other powers including China, with whom India shares $66 billion in annual trade but has a long-running border dispute and fought a brief war in 1962.
Modi’s travels since assuming office have included trips to Japan, the United States, Brazil and Australia.
During a trip to Beijing at the weekend, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj promised “out of the box” ideas to jump-start talks about the disputed territory in the east and west of the Himalayas, according to media reports. Discussions have made little progress in 17 rounds since 2003.
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited India in September and promised some $30 billion of investment, but the trip was overshadowed by a standoff between Chinese and India troops on the remote Himalayan plateau of Ladakh.
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Categories: Politics & Law