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Inching with a grain of rice

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Inching with a grain of rice
India and China seem to have agreed not to agree on historical irritants or redefining each other’s territoriality and sovereignty issues as evidenced by Prime Minister Modi’s assertion on not yielding to China’s Belt and Road Initiative at the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). If China had thought that admission of India into the regional club would have elicited some sort of acquiescence and accommodation from our side, as it did from smaller players in the region, it ought to know that it cannot afford to lose the huge Indian market if it sticks to imperialist economic practices.
 
Hence both nations are buffering the bilateral dialogue and expanding its scope to  a series of informal meetings to get work done without the scrutiny through known prisms and official dialogues. While Chinese President Xi Jinping has agreed to the next round of informal meetings, there has been some movement on other areas. China has agreed to release hydrological data of the Tsangpo, which becomes Brahmaputra in India, during flood season. This resumption is important considering that with the lack of transparency we have regarded hydel projects upstream in China as being manipulated for its needs without considering the cascading impact in India.
 
The trade list has been widened to include non-basmati rice and sugar. And there is a pledge by both sides to work together on capacity-building in Afghanistan. These may be just a cladding on the structure but one that’s a start at a time when US protectionist policies necessitate that China engages with India practically and justifiably.
 
 
 
 
 

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