India-China ties: Forging a new idiom of major powers relations

It’s a transformational moment in the history of India-China relations, marked by an infusion of fresh energy, dynamism and creativity in the way the two neighbours engage with each other. This is the first time the leaders of the two Asian giants have visited each other’s country within nine months, signalling their resolve to proactively cooperate in fashioning an emerging Asian century. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s May 14-16 visit to three cities in China – Xian, Beijing and Shanghai – was unique in many ways and cohered multiple strands of variegated relationship between the two Asian juggernauts that comprise one-third of the world’s population and boast of a collective GDP of over $12 trillion.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to China consolidated the momentum generated by President Xi Jinping’s maiden visit to India in September 2014. Put together, these twin visits, and initiatives taken during the tenure of the previous government in Delhi, crystallize the emerging alphabet of India-China relations: A for Asia; B for Business; C for Culture; and D for Diplomacy and Development. This new vocabulary and semantics is set to script afresh new pathways of cooperation between the two neighbours, which are often portrayed as rivals and competitors in the Asian hemisphere, but are incrementally forging an ambitious and all-encompassing cooperative partnership straddling diverse areas.

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