Between War and Peace
With lessons of history in mind, efforts should be focused on defending peace in Asia and around the world
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Top Story
Top Story
UPDATED: September 2, 2014 NO. 24 JUNE 12, 2014
Modi Moment
India's new prime minister could make economic growth a top priority
By Yu Lintao

It is widely believed that Modi has close connection with China. Modi visited China four times when he was in charge of Gujarat for meetings on cooperation and how the two countries might best pool their knowledge. He was also known for celebrating the Chinese Spring Festival in Gujarat as a gesture of Sino-Indian friendship.

Most of the more than $900 million of Chinese investment in India has been made in Gujarat. The Indian media reported recently that a Chinese business delegation of about 20 corporations would visit Modi's hometown Gujarat in June for business opportunities with an intention to invest $1 billion in the state this year.

In an interview with Xinhua, Arvind Subramanian, a senior research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a U.S. think tank, said Modi wishes to learn earnestly from China's efforts and has a deep appreciation for China's administrative efficiency. It is possible India will follow a Chinese way in economic governance during Modi's term.

Ravi Agrawal, CNN's New Delhi Bureau Chief, also said in a CNN commentary titled What India Can Learn From China that "China gets things done; India invents ways not to," and that the reason why it's fascinating to watch the rise of Modi is that his sales pitch is that "he gets things done."

Cementing bonds

In a recent press release by the Indian Embassy in Beijing, Indian diplomats told reporters that in Modi's first telephone conversation with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang after taking office, he hailed China as India's foreign policy priority. Modi welcomed greater economic engagement between the two countries. He has also expressed his desire to utilize the full potential of India's strategic and cooperative partnership with China.

Observers speculated that the prime task for Modi will be reviving the currently sluggish Indian economy. To do this, he will probably piggy-back on the momentum of the previous Indian Administration's relations with China to attract more Chinese investment.

Ma Jiali, another researcher with the CICIR, said Modi's victory will mean closer economic ties between China and India, which conform to the Indian prime minister's aspirations and India's current needs.

Ma said Modi attached great importance to infrastructure construction when he was chief minister of Gujarat. Poor infrastructure presents itself as a formidable obstacle for the economic development of India as a whole.

"It is very possible that Modi will introduce the knowledge he gained working in Gujarat to the whole country. This means bigger Sino-Indian cooperation opportunities in India's infrastructure construction as China has huge advantages in the field, including technology, expertise as well as funds," said Ma.

In fact, over the past two decades, the economic developments of the two countries have had different focuses. China is known as the "factory of the world" for its manufacturing edge while India's service industry has provided it with most of its growth.

Chen Lijun, a researcher on South Asian studies with the Yunnan Provincial Academy of Social Sciences, said the different economic structures of the two countries helped to create a complementary environment for further cooperation of the two though trade imbalance also exists.

Chen noted that the increasing of mutual investment can be a good approach to reduce the trade imbalance. China should increase its investment in India while India needs to open its domestic market further, which benefits both, added Chen.

Chinese observers generally believe Sino-Indian relations will remain stable under the Modi administration. However, there are also those who worry that these relations may meet obstacles if Modi plays up the Tibet issue.

After Modi won the general election, the Dalai Lama sent a message of congratulations to him. Modi expressed his thanks to the Dalai Lama through Twitter. Tibetan separatists have also publicly celebrated the close personal "friendship" between Modi and the Dalai Lama. On May 26, India invited the head of the so-called "Tibetan government-in-exile" to attend the inauguration ceremony of the new prime minister.

Some observers believe Modi's attitude toward the Tibet issue could potentially ruffle China's feathers, adding unwanted trouble to their relations.

Email us at: yulintao@bjreview.com

   Previous   1   2  

Top Story
-Somber Celebrations
-Special Report: Archival Evidence of Japanese Atrocities
-Deng Xiaoping: Economist, Diplomat, Reformer
-Xi Embraces Deng Xiaoping's Legacy by Upholding China's Unique Path
-Winding Road to the Wild West
Related Stories
-China-India Border Talks
-India's Electoral Endeavor
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved