Modi in Xi’an: Terracotta warriors, temple & Bollywood redefines diplomatic style

What has set Prime Minister Modi’s China’s visit apart is that he seeks to maintain a fine balance between economics, politics, ideology, sentiment and symbolism. Modi’s choice of Xi’an as the first venue of his China visit depicts a much broader agenda of managing relations with Asia’s largest economy. Prime Minister Modi’s arrival in Xian is significant and a departure from protocol by the Chinese government. The fact that President Xi Jinping personally received Mr Modi in his hometown underscores the importance China is attaching to his visit.
The visit by the Indian prime minister to Xian is a milestone of sort. Prime Minister Modi and President Xi holding summit talks in restricted format in the ancient city of Xian, PM Modi’s interaction with people in the city, his use of Hindi in his address, the grand welcome accorded to him and the break of the protocol in hosting the Indian PM first in Xi’an – these features mark a different diplomatic style that bodes well for the future trajectory of the India-China relations.

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Modi’s China visit: Can India and China think differently?

In the times of globalization and intertwining economic interests at regional and trans-regional levels, the cooperation and crisis management has become increasingly important for a sustainable domestic as well as external economic development and environment. No one denies the role played by confidence building measures (CBMs) in maintaining peace and tranquility along the border, avoiding conflict, and thus creating a congenial atmosphere for cooperation not only at bilateral level but also at regional and multilateral organizations. CBMs signed between India and China in 1993, 1996, 2005, 2012 and latest Border Defense Cooperation Agreement of 2013 is a pointer as most of the border negotiations have been held under the aegis of these mechanisms. However, the sensitive nature of the border has also called for ‘out of the box’ resolutions, for these have fallen short of finding a solution.
From bilateralism to multilateralism

It is owing to CBMs that India and China have struck some real convergence of interests on issues such as climate change, democratization of international financial institutions through multilateral forums such as Russia-China-India Strategic Triangle, Brazil; Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS); Brazil-South Africa-India-China (BASIC); the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF); East Asian Summits (EAS); G 20 and other multilateral forums such Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

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Modi mantra for India-China ties: Cooperate and Compete, while keeping border peaceful

Cooperation and competition are inextricably woven into the fabric of India-China relations. Ahead of his maiden multi-city tour of China, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a long-range view, saying India cooperates with China on the global stage, but at the same time the two countries also compete in the economic arena.

In an interview with TIME magazine, Mr Modi also underscored that the two Asian giants have “learnt from history” and have managed to maintain peace and tranquillity on their disputed border.
Mr Modi’s three-day visit to China, starting May 14, will be keenly watched not just in the two countries, but also in the region and the world. All issues will be on the table, but the prime ministerial agenda will be primarily economic and will focus on getting Chinese finance and expertise to boost the Make in India project and to bolster the manufacturing base in India. During Xi Jinping’s visit to India in September last year, China pledged to plough in $20 billion investments over the next five years, but only around $1 billion have trickled in so far. Mr Modi will, therefore, be pitching for fast-tracking Chinese investments into India.

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