China, India should strengthen mutual trust

By Wu Yongnian
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail People's Daily, February 15, 2012
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In the beginning of 2012, the Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo visited India and the 15th meeting of special representatives for the border issue between China and India was also held, leading to a good development trend of the China-India relations.

However, some contradictions and issues that still exist between China and India are still severely disturbing the normal development of the China-India relations.

The first issue is the China-India border negotiation. China and India have held 15 meetings of special representatives for the border issue. Although the meetings have made many positive achievements, it is still far away from reaching a fair, just and reasonable agreement.

The main barrier still comes from the Indian side. First, many Indian media insist that the border line between China and India should be based on the "McMahon Line" left by British colonists.

Second, the Indian side believes that the border dispute between China and India covers not only the eastern region of 90,000 square kilometers but also the western region of 30,000 square kilometers and the western region is India's too. This wrong argument, which totally disregards the history, still has supporters in India.

Third, India has a multi-party political system and its society is extremely complicated. Various Indian political parties have different understandings on the China-India border issue, and therefore, it is hard for them to reach an agreement on the issue.

Fourth, India argues that since China has compromised while solving its border issues with other countries, China should also make a concession in solving its border dispute with India. India believes it is not a "benefited side" but is a victim, and therefore, it should not accept the principle of "solving the border issue in a mutual understanding and mutual accommodation way" proposed by China.

Fifth, the viewpoint that China will attack India has not fully disappeared in India, and some Indian people still believe that China is strengthening military deployment in the border area.

Another issue is anti-dumping investigation and opinion of unfavorable balance existing in the Sino-India trade. Although the China-India trade has a great space for grow, it suffers a slow growth rate, mainly resulting from India's safety factors.

For instance, the opening of Nathula Port, a golden channel for the Sino-India trade was originally thought to bring great achievements to the Sino-India border trade, but ended quite differently. The root cause is that someone in India thinks the opening of Nathula Port will threaten India's security.

Besides, the Sino-India trade is seeing increasing and more complex conflicts. According to India's statistics, Chinese products account for 60 percent of those anti-dumping investigated by India each year. India worries batches of cheap goods made in China will hurt their domestic industrial production.

In addition, India calls China's move of importing raw materials from India as "seizing resources." Therefore, since 2007, India has increased its tariffs for exporting iron ore by 300 rupees per ton and it is said that India will cut export volume of raw materials to China.

The third one is the issue concerning the Dalai Lama and Tibet. Although the Indian government frequently asserts that Tibet is an integral part of Chinese territory, it holds a different attitude toward the Dalai Lama. India always holds that India should not interfere with and suppress the Dalai Lama's activities in India until such activities have damaged India's national interests and normal development of the China-India relations. It is just because of the Indian government's ambiguous attitude that the exile Dalai Clique carried out waves of activities such as a rally against the Chinese government and incited some domestic reactionary organization to conduct activities of undermining the social stability of Tibet.

There are still misunderstandings about the China- Pakistan relations. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the Indian government for the most part believes that China has adopted an "equal justice" policy in handling India-Pakistan relations, not only attaching importance to developing relations with Pakistan, but also paying attention to the bilateral relations with India.

But we also have to notice some other voices in India, which claim, "after Pakistan's Gwadar Port is completed, Chinese navy may appear in India's doorstep," or "inflow of nuclear technology from China to Pakistan will also enable the modernization of Pakistan's nuclear weapons and strengthen the nuclear confrontation forces of Pakistan and India."

What is more, the personnel sent by China to assist Pakistan in the earthquake relief work are referred to as "China's 7,000 troops into Pakistan-controlled Kashmir". The China threat theories like these are quite popular in India. Indian public opinion still holds that at present China is looking for a balance in relations between India and Pakistan to seek the best interest in South Asia and that once the India-Pakistan situation has changed, China will give full support to Pakistan and use Pakistan to curb and combat India.

Through the above contradictions and problems between China and India, the information passed to the people is that China and India do not have enough mutual trust. Suspicion and distrust are still the biggest obstacles to developing friendly relations between China and India.

The Chinese government and the Indian government should both stand on a higher level, and take a broader perspective, to enhance mutual trust and eliminate the problems; and give full play to the wisdom and talents of the people of China and India, to creatively draw a beautiful blueprint for the final settlement of the China-Indian conflicts and problems.


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