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‘India, China should realise each other’s weight and vitality’

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Beijing: India and China should realise each other’s weight and vitality and create a conducive environment to boost bilateral ties, a state-run newspaper said today, a day after it accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “playing little tricks” against the communist nation.

In an op-ed piece titled ‘Trade expected to bridge gap between Delhi and Beijing’, the Global Times said China is India’s biggest trading partner with bilateral commerce totalling USD 70 billion.

However, India’s trade deficit with China rose to USD 37.8 billion last year and Modi is trying to “bridge the gap by seeking greater access to the Chinese market through the upcoming visit, his first to China since being elected prime minister”.

“Since Modi took office one year ago, his embrace of pragmatism has become an established fact,” it said.

“Both China and India should realise each other’s weight and vitality and try to create a favourable environment for bilateral ties.

“Both governments should try to lead public opinion to focus on positive development,” it said.

The article came a day after the same newspaper, a sister publication of the ruling Communist Party of China, published an article accusing Modi of “playing little tricks over border disputes and security issues, hoping to boost his domestic prestige while increasing his leverage in negotiations with China”.

His visit, beginning tomorrow, is taking place at a time when China has unveiled new regional visions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative.

“This has led the Indian media to speculate about China’s strategic calculations and India’s security paradigm,” it said.

“Meanwhile, the Sino-Indian relationship has constantly been overshadowed by negative issues, especially border disputes.

“A strategic conflict has often been articulated primarily by Indian media, and encirclement or containment seem to be the key words when strategic analysts try to define this bilateral relationship,” it said.

“Disputed borders are a symptom of tensions between big neighbours, but close economic ties can outweigh such rivalries,” it said.

Economic cooperation between China and India is pushing bilateral relationship in a positive direction, because their economies are not competitive, but complementary in nature.

“As India is striving to achieve infrastructure-driven growth, China’s rich experience in infrastructure will be a boon for India,” it said.

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