Many expected historic outcome from the visit of the Chinese President Hu. But Indian Prime Minister didn’t go to the airport to receive him though he did for Nepal’s Prime Minister.
Ideally, India would have forgotten the war of 1962 and shameful defeat. But many things happened in last 44 years. The most spectacular was the economic development of China. It has made even US to do many things just to save its face. Today with balance of payment of US in the Chinese favour, China is almost on its own and it hardly depends on US to get any favour as India is asking for. China has also built stronger relations with its bordering countries, and particularly the archrival of India such as Pakistan and Bangladesh. China is militarily helping Pakistan, and sustaining Bangladesh economy by using its labour force and its low cost products. Even India failed to get closer to Nepal than the Chinese are to it. Bangladesh as well as Pakistan, because of its history and religion based hatred can never be nearer to India. What can be more revealing than the fact that Bangladesh, a part of Bengal of yesterday imports from China more than what it buys from neighbouring India?
With huge foreign exchange reserve, China can buy the relationships in Latin America as well Africa; and it is already doing that expediently. It is also nearer to Southeast Asia because of the influential Chinese presence over the year and some ethnic similarity. Unfortunately, India never tried that route seriously. It is only with the emerging strength of China as superpower of tomorrow that India hesitatingly decided to look towards US. It may help to improve the position of India on a short term. However, India will have to develop strength of its own as China did to get a respectful support from the developed western countries as well as from South Korea and Japan. It is to be closer with China as that may help in finding the market for India’s products and services that will provide employment to its billion strong population. But it requires a very shrewd diplomacy. You can’t go on declaring China as enemy number one and friend too.
As independent nation with many strength and cultural closeness, India must get the maximum advantages from Japanese and Koreans in furthering its high end manufacturing sector with all the possible concessions grated to them. If Japan extends ‘special economic partner status’ as announced by its ambassador, India must accept that. Perhaps for that reason, the Prime Minister’s visit to Tokyo next month is very important.
Tokyo had not extended such a status even to its neighbours like China and South Korea.
Let the politicians and particularly Leftists not meddle in foreign policy demanding unrestricted entry to the Chinese business houses, otherwise the shrewd Chinese ready to offer every thing to Indian unscrupulous traders will kill all incentives for new entrepreneurs to enter key sectors such as manufacturing.
And when many companies such as Tata Steel can produce the cheapest steel, why not the government supports the steel industry to become the largest producers in world and use its resources of iron ore instead of taking a pride as the largest exporter of iron ore to China? Similar is the story in cotton textiles and apparel manufacturing sector. If Indian manufacturers can prove themselves in these two sectors, India will not have to worry about China. India can do in every sector.
However, I feel in some soft qualities too, Indian people must learn from the Chinese and that is more important. As I hear one hardly find any unscrupulous taxi driver cheating foreigners. Can’t this be emulated? Can’t all babas, now in plenty, in India help?