Chinese President Xi’s impending visit to India is being watched with interest due to a variety of reasons. First, India has a government with clear mandate to rule (without restrictions of a coalition) headed by a dynamic, no-nonsense Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has so far shown that he is decisive (a welcome change after a decade). So all eyes are on which way we go.
Continued internal disturbance in Pakistan has made that country intrinsically unstable. Fundamentalists operating from Pakistan are creating unrest within Pakistan, Xinjiang province of China and Kashmir in India. The Chinese are not very happy about Pakistan government’s inability to contain these groups encouraging activists in Xinjiang. Democratically elected governments in Pakistan always have to reckon with a Army with a past of forcibly seizing power. The country may even break up.
Mr Xi has cancelled his visit to Pakistan. It would be premature to read it as a re-ordering of priority in their relationship between India and Pakistan. Probably it has more to do with security concerns as well as futility of efforts since the Government in Islamabad is itself grappling with internal disturbances.
India has a unique opportunity to have joint declaration with China specifically asking Pakistan to dismantle base and network of hardcore fundamentalists and hand hover the most wanted to both countries. Sincerity of the Chinese could be gauged by their stand on this.
The media is abuzz with news of Chinese willing to make billions of investment in India , specifically in railway (Bullet Train) and what not. Here one needs to be careful. Apart from security concerns (every month we hear of border intrusions- which does not enthuse confidence), what does the country really need ? Technology can be bought
If India could send a spacecraft to Mars, then Bullet Train should not be difficult.
Modi Government must evaluate- is money earned from India going to make China stronger to challenge India subsequently. Are these investments going to cost domestic workers their jobs?
These concerns have been raised and merit close attention.
India is one of the biggest arms importer in the world. Why so? This is because of the threat perception from China (Pakistan are their own enemy, so they do not need much attention).
The Chinese are supposed to be master in the art of deception. Having learnt our lessons once in 1962, we need to watch out.