China-India Summit, What Prospects?

The latest India-China summit has an aim for creating a rapprochement between these two giant countries. But it is likely that they will remain rival powers. They have different political system. India is the biggest democracy in the world. In China is the biggest country in terms of human rights repressions. As an example, it is one of the few countries in the world that censor free accession to internet sites. But what they have in common is the largest population in the world. Both are struggling to cater for their large section of impoverished populations, especially in rural areas, which are striking examples of great disparities between the have and the have-not.

Economically, they need external markets. China has managed to have tight grip on many third world markets, especially in Africa. This must have left India with little opportunities to have access to them. India will need new market strategies to attract more customers and to compliment what China has brought to these markets.

The only good thing that can emerge from summit meetings between the leaders of the two countries is trust building, mainly on military issues. Both are nuclear powers. They should use this to create stability in Asia and not by having satellite states that can be used to impair their mutual relations. They can engage in solving political tensions as with North Korea.

India and China can have a great deal to offer to each other. But as giant countries, they shouldn’t use their pact to absorb small countries, making them helpless by exploiting their resources rather than helping them to stand on their feet.

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