India and China: Can two tigers share a mountain?

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    India and China: Conflict and Cooperation by David M Malone and Rohan Mukherjee, Survival, 2010)

    India and China: Can two tigers share a mountain? Lecture at The Australian National University by David M Malone, 20 April 2010.

    To outsiders, India and China show some striking similarities. Both are ancient civilizations reincarnated as modern republics in the mid twentieth century, and are now rising powers. Both have nuclear weapons, burgeoning economies, expanding military budgets and large reservoirs of manpower, and seem to be vying for influence in the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, Africa, Central Asia and East Asia. Yet little attention is paid to the relationships between them.
    (From India and China: Conflict and Cooperation by David M Malone and Rohan Mukherjee, Survival, 2010)

    David M Malone is the President of the Canadian International Development Research Centre. Mr. Malone served as Canadas High Commissioner to India and non-resident Ambassador to Bhutan and Nepal. Other positions he has held include: Assistant Deputy Minister (Global Issues) in Canadas Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; President, International Peace Academy, New York; and as a Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations in New York.

    Mr. Malone has published extensively on peace and security issues. He has taught at Columbia University and the University of Toronto. He currently serves as Adjunct Professor at the New York University School of Law and is a Senior Fellow of Massey College in the University of Toronto. His most recent book is The Law and Practice of the United Nations (OUP, 2008). He is completing work on a book addressing contemporary Indian foreign policy, Does the Elephant Dance?, to be published by OUP in 2011.

     
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    India and China: Conflict and Cooperation


    Not much has changed in the rhetoric of Sino-Indian relations since Mao Zedong, speaking in 1951 in honour of the first anniversary of India’s constitution, declared that ‘excellent friendship’ had existed between the two countries ‘for thousands of years’. Yet few of the lofty proclamations made by Indian and Chinese leaders over the years truly reflect the reality of relations between the neighbours. It is surprising that two states with such a rich and sometimes fractious history, including a border conflict in 1962, should have what appears to be a largely reactive relationship. But neither has developed a grand strategy with regard to the other. An unshakeable and largely unprofitable preoccupation with the past on the Indian side, and an equally intense preoccupation with domestic consolidation on the Chinese side, have left the relationship under-tended. It might best be seen as one of geostrategic competition qualified by growing commercial cooperation. And there is some asymmetry: China is a more fraught subject in Indian national debates than India is for China. China does not appear to feel threatened in any serious way by India, while India at times displays tremendous insecurity in the face of Chinese economic success and military expansion.
    To outsiders, India and China show some striking similarities. Both are ancient civilisations reincarnated as modern republics in the mid twentieth century, and are now rising powers. Both have nuclear weapons, burgeoning economies, expanding military budgets and large reservoirs of manpower, and seem to be vying for influence in the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, Africa, Central Asia and East Asia. Yet little attention is paid to the relationship between them. Most scholarship has focused on Beijing’s relations with the United States, Japan and East Asia or New Delhi’s relations with Pakistan, South Asia and the United States. Whereas Sino-US ties are often cast as a one-to-one contest for global pre-eminence, moreover, the Sino-Indian relationship is more often seen in terms of the countries’ interactions with extraneous actors such as the United States, Pakistan and other South Asian nations. It is also defined by contrasting polities and models of development, with the parties silently competing not just for capital, resources and markets, but also for legitimacy in the arena of great and emerging global powers.

    From enthusiasm to uncertainty
    The modern Sino-Indian relationship has been marked by four distinct phases. Purported friendship and ideological congruence around anti-imperialist foreign-policy objectives from 1950 deteriorated into a bitter yet brief border conflict in 1962, followed by a Sino-Indian ‘Cold War’. Bilateral normalisation efforts after 1976 led to attempts to address differences through dialogue. This was by no means easy, given Indian sensitivities, frequently expressed in the media and in parliament. In 1998, India pointed to China as the justification for its second round of nuclear tests (the first had occurred in 1974). Although this might have been expected to create significant tensions between the two nations, economic relations have since intensified. Nonetheless, the period from 1998 onward remains one of uncertainty and…
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    David M. Malone, a former Canadian Ambassador to the UN and High Commissioner to India, is president of Canada’s International Development Research Centre. He is completing a survey of Indian foreign policy called Does the Elephant Dance? (forthcoming in 2011 from Oxford University Press). The views expressed here are his own and not those of his employer. Rohan Mukherjee is a senior research specialist at Princeton University. He has also worked with the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, and the National Knowledge Commission, Government of India.
     
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    India and China: Conflict, Competition, and Cooperation in the Age of Globalization

    It is time for India and China to move beyond a history of conflicts and start cooperating politically, economically and technologically for mutual benefits, writes Dr Aqueil Ahmad.


    21st Feb 08 - Dr. Aqueil Ahmad ~ STWR
    India and China are two of the world’s most ancient civilizations. For centuries they shared advanced ideas, inventions, religious and philosophical traditions. But their economies and societies stagnated during the colonial period. In the post-colonial era mutual relations suffered a setback due to political and boundary disputes. In contemporary times they have reemerged as leading techno-economic nations. It is high time for them to move beyond conflicts and start cooperating politically, economically, and technologically for mutual benefits.

    Recent developments and exchanges indicate that the ball is already rolling in that direction. Globalization for common good requires coming together rather than falling apart, sharing resources and assets rather than wasting them in endless conflicts. In the context of currently shifting global political and economic power, no two nations are better equipped than India and China to show the world how the common concerns of humanity can be addressed through mutual respect, friendship, healthy competition, and sharing of resources.

    Background

    India and China are two of the world’s most ancient surviving civilizations. The Chinese built the 4000-mile Great Wall some 2000 years ago, about the time of the birth of Jesus Christ. As an awesome marvel of engineering, most of the wall still stands intact, the only man-made object visible from the outer space. They invented bureaucracy even earlier, thousands of years before Max Weber brought it eloquently to the attention of the western world (Gerth and Mills, 1958). There is not a single country anywhere that bureaucracies do not govern, manage or mismanage, corrupt and plunder, redeem or reform. The Terracotta Army built by Emperor Qin in the 3rd century BC is in almost perfect state of preservation to this day. Some of the greatest inventions that we live by even today came from China, including the gun powder – the most infamous of them all, the paper, paper money, printing, viaducts, dams, clocks, the compass, astronomical observatories, and countless other inventions (Needham, 1954).

    As for India, R. K. Narayan, the famous Indian novelist tells the interesting story of his meeting with British philosopher and iconoclast, Sir Bertrand Russell. While extolling the contributions of ancient Chinese thinkers, Russell said to Narayan, “but you Indians created nothing.” Narayan vigorously protested this insulting remark. But Sir Russell kept on repeating, “You Indians created nothing, nothing, nothing.” Exasperated, Narayan got up and was about to walk out when Russell drew him near, looked him in the eye and said, “You Indians gave us the zero, which stands as the greatest contribution to the development of mathematics, and consequently, that of modern science.” Thereupon they embraced each other with delightful twinkle in their eyes.

    Indian contributions to algebra, textile, chemistry, medicine, metallurgy, and astronomy in the Ancient and Medieval periods are legion. Sophisticated agricultural practices, architecture, and sewage systems were developed by the engineers in the Indus Valley civilizations of Harrappa and Mohanjadaro (Rahman, 1984; Habib, 1988). The wisdom of the Buddha flowed from India to China, while Confucius’ precepts of compassion, humility, and right conduct by merciful rulers influenced the behavior of emperor Ashoka in the 3 rd century B.C. who inscribed on his commemorative pillars, Satya amar jayte (Truth alone shall triumph).

    India and China, along with the rest of the non-western world, lost their edge somewhere during the 16th and 17th centuries when the center of scientific and technological activity shifted to Europe, and later to North America for a set of complex cultural, political, and economic reasons (Needham, 1986). Contacts between these two great civilizations almost ceased during the colonial period because the new rulers of the world did not encourage such contacts. When the contacts were revived in more recent times between a democratic IndiaChina, they turned into conflict and hostility over rival territorial claims in the Himalayan region, the Chinese annexation of Tibet, and the Exile of Dalai Lama into (Dharamsala) India .

    Recent Development History

    India became a free country through peaceful transition of sovereignty from Britain in 1947. China had a proletarian revolution in 1949 led by Mao Zedong. Both democratic India and Communist China embarked upon ambitious science, technology, and economic development programs through centralized planning. Both emphasized self-reliance through local initiatives, restricting the flow of foreign capital and technology for nearly three decades. During this time, the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) controlled its economy and protected it from outside influences far more than did India. For at least 10-15 years since the revolution in 1949, the only source of foreign capital and technology for China was its ideological partner, the Soviet Union. That relationship began to crack in 1962 because of the USSR’s reluctance to transfer nuclear technology to the Peoples Republic. China continued its isolation and suffered serious stagnation for 20 or so more years, until after Mao’s death in 1976 (Ahmad, 1991).

    During this period India also strictly regulated its economy, allowing only partial and highly restricted entry of foreign capital and technology. The Indian economy began to open its door a bit more widely by the middle of the 1980s, at about the same time as did China. By this time, the global economy had already taken hold of the national economies in North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. Post-Independence era regulations proved a mixed blessing for India. It missed 20 years of the information technology revolution that was sweeping the world and driving the global economy – remember how the IBM and Coca-Cola were kicked out of India in the middle of 1970s. The private sector stagnated under those regulations. The protected government sector thrived despite its magnificent mismanagement. India’s industrial development suffered. While these negative trends were the legacy of regulations, government policy of self-reliance helped built robust networks of techno-economic institutions and individuals that were ready to march forward when the global economy did finally reach India. Through regulations India was also able to protect its local industries and markets from unbridled speculation and exploitation by multinational corporations (Ahmad, 1998). Let me return to China for a minute.

    Deng Xiaoping took command of China in 1979, three years after Mao’s death. With a massive shift of public policy, Deng opened the Chinese economy to foreign capital, technology, and competition. The scene that I witnessed in China when I went there for the first time in 1980 was a totally different scene than what is going on there today. Despite the open door policy, economic modernization remained laggard during the entire decade of the 1980s. Things began to change rapidly in the next decade. Since then, the Chinese economy has been growing at about 9-10% per year, surpassing any other country for a sustained growth at such a high rate. In terms of GDP per capita, modern China is the world’s 4th largest economy, and is likely to overtake Japan within the next 5-10 years. It is one of the world’s largest exporters of consumer items through retailers like Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Target, and Tesco. Even garlic in the United States is being imported from China. The American Wal-Mart is probably the biggest buyer of consumer goods made in China. “It bought $19 billion worth of Chinese goods in 2004, amounting to some 15% of China’s total exports to America in that year. (The Economist, September 23rd, 2006, p. 43)

    Since 2000, China’s contribution to global GDP growth (in purchasing-power-parity terms) has been bigger than America’s, and more than half as big again as the combined contribution of India, Brazil and Russia, the three next largest emerging economies. China’s massive build-up of American Treasury bonds affects American interest rates and thus Americans’ willingness to spend. Its low-priced manufactures give western consumers more buying power. Its thirst for energy has helped push oil prices to record highs. Its entry to the World Trade Organization in 2001 has speeded up the opening of the world’s biggest market. (“A Survey of China,” The Economist, March 25th, 2006, p. 3)

    India has finally left behind its “Hindu growth rate” of 3% to hit an annual growth rate of 8+%. Its technological capability is strong. It is the most preferred destination of IT outsourcing, now moving away from being the world’s call center to being a vital feeder to the global knowledge industry. India’s economic base is vast – 4th largest in the world in terms of purchasing power parity and 12th largest in terms of per capita GDP. It is projected to become one of the five largest economies in the world by 2050 along with China and Brazil. Its markets are huge, with the current consumer class estimated to be around 350 million, about the size of the entire European Community (Bhagwati, 2004).

    The combined economies of India and China are already bigger than that of the EU countries put together. At the present rate of growth, the consumer class in the two countries will reach about a billion people within the next decade. But per capita incomes remain low and income disparities are wide in both countries in international comparisons. These developments have far-reaching implications for the two countries themselves and the world at large in the 21st century (Engardio, 2007).

    Science, Technology, and Economy in India and China: Conflict, Competition, and/or Cooperation:

    The West is becoming alarmist about what is happening in the world’s two most populous nations. In the United States, JapanChina bashing. China’s military machine is one of the most formidable in the world. But it is the Chinese economy that scares both the Indians and the Americans. Many Americans see both India and China stealing American jobs – China stealing manufacturing jobs (textile, shoes, furniture, hand tools, consumer electronics, Christmas ornaments, etc.); while India taking away IT jobs. Some in America have gone to the extent of suggesting that China is about to take over the United States’ economy by next year; as it was used to be said abut Japan in the 1980s and the 1990s. Of course, there is some truth in these morbid fears as Americans look back to the disappearance of their steel and consumer electronics industries through competition with Japan. And now here comes China, closely followed by India. Not to be left behind in IT outsourcing, China is rapidly developing its English and software development skills to compete with India in the American high-tech industry. Listen to what Tony Blair, the ex-British Prime Minister said in a major policy speech in Oxford, England:

    But the international competition is intense and getting more so. Chinese R&D has been rising by 20% a year over the past five years. South Korean R&D has increased ten-fold since 1971. Indian R&D is even more astonishing - it has trebled in a decade. Indian engineers are flooding into the world's markets - 350,000 a year, forecast to 1.4m a year by 2015…. It is a warning to us that we have to remain world-leaders and that knowledge also needs to be transferred from the academy to the marketplace. (Speech at the Royal Society in Oxford, Nov. 3, 2006)

    There is intense competition globally for R&D dollars. Technology and industry leaders understand that research and innovation are absolutely necessary for maintaining competitive advantage in their core competencies. Finding and hiring qualified scientists and engineers in the western countries is difficult and prohibitively expensive. “The truth is, China and India are increasingly attractive places for companies to do research and development.” (“Can Anyone Steer this Economy,” Cover Story, Business Week, Nov. 20, 2006, p. 62) India has an edge over China in attracting R&D investments due to the availability of more well-trained, English speaking scientists and engineers than in China. A high-tech company can hire an engineer in India at one-fourth the cost for a similar hire in North America, for example. Such investments will be growing rapidly in the coming years in both India and China, perhaps more so in India than in China.

    Population in the western countries, excluding the USA, is declining. It is already below replacement levels in Russia and the Scandinavian countries. The current demographic balance between the West and the rest favors the latter: West = 1 billion; rest = 5.5 billion. It will continue to move in this direction. The same is true for the S&T human resources balance of power. Per capita production of scientists and engineers in the West (particularly the US) is still well ahead of the world average; but the total annual production in China and India surpass the US in about 4 to 1 ratio: US = 84,898; India = 103,000; China = 292,569 (India-China combined total = 395,569).

    The American magazine Business Week organized its 10th annual CEO Forum in Beijing in early November (1-3) 2006. More than 700 global executives and government officials from many countries participated. Much of the discussion focused on competitiveness in ChinaIndia and the competition between them for world resources and markets. Is China with its command economy or India as world’s largest and most boisterous democracy better poised to utilize foreign domestic investment for sustained social and economic development, was one of the hotly debated topics. The experience so far suggests that without much public debate or dissension about its national plans and priorities, China has done much better than India in that respect. From the Indian point of view, the issue is that the values of individual freedoms, self reliance, and social development must not be sacrificed at the altar of economic development. These are indeed fine values to uphold in a democratic society, but the Indian policy planners need to look hard and fast how much they have or have not achieved by way of all-round social and economic progress and what needs to be done to correct the remaining gaps and imbalances.

    The fact is both of these Asian giants have their own strengths and weaknesses, their own unique cultural traditions and political histories. They both are only half way home and a long way to go, as the saying goes, toward becoming advanced industrial societies. They have serious social and environmental problems to encounter – problems of poverty and disparity, the problem of rapidly deteriorating environments due to rapid industrialization, and a host of other problems like rural-urban disparity, and inadequate education, housing, health-care, and employment for their large populations. These are the areas where they can cooperate and learn from each other while they compete for world markets and resources. The CEO Forum in Beijing spent considerable time on the issue of global competition and rivalry between the two Asian superstars.

    With the likes of China Mobile (with 300 million subscribers and a $177 billion market capitalization), telecom gear maker Huawei Technologies, and India’s Tata Steel on the prowl for acquisitions overseas, China and India are “reshaping the global economy.” Can these giants get along? Their rivalry is bound to intensify as India moves more into low-wage manufacturing, a Chinese specialty. Both must create 15 million new jobs every year just to keep their young people employed. (“The Dragon’s Way or the Tiger’s?” Business Week, Nov. 20, 2006, p. 55)

    Increasing energy use in India and China due to industrialization and rising automobile ownership is also a source of worldwide concern as is the intense competition between them for global energy resources. The issue is how to satisfy their voracious appetite for oil. With 17% of the world’s population, only 0.8% oil reserves, and an economy growing at breakneck speed, China is naturally frantic about meeting its energy needs through imports. It is actively courting African leaders and investing in African development and oil exploration. During a recent (Nov. 3-5, 06) summit of top African leaders in Beijing, the latter were lavishly treated by the Chinese President, Hue JinTao. Despite some setbacks, the Chinese push for African raw materials and markets has been quite successful:

    Chinese companies have been sucking up oil from Sudan, cutting down timber in Guinea and mining copper and zinc from the Congo. Beijing recently bought a major stake in South Africa’s Standard Bank to fund infrastructure projects throughout the continent. And the Chinese are far outpacing their Western rivals……Last year’s trade between Africa and China topped $50 billion. By 2010 it’s expected to reach $100 billion. (Newsweek, December 3, 2007, p. 46)

    The huge Chinese oil conglomerate, CNOOC, is actively seeking to buy oil companies overseas, including a failed bid to buy American UNOCAL. It has since invested in oil interests in Russia and the Middle East. India is faced with a similar energy crunch having only meager oil resources of its own. It is competing with China for oil in world markets. But that is also an area where the two countries can effectively cooperate. Discussions on these lines have already taken place between CNOOC and India’s Oil and Natural Gas Commission. India’s ex-energy Minister Iyar came up with an interesting idea while discussing cooperative energy exploration and acquisition strategy with his Chinese counterpart sometime ago. He suggested that there should be a Consortium of Oil Importing Countries to negotiate the supply and price of crude oil for the benefit of heavy developing country oil importers. Such cooperative strategies have been mooted from time to time in other areas as well but their implementation remains problematic, perhaps due to unresolved boundary issues and suspicions about their geopolitical intentions.

    The history of border disputes between India and China going back to the war of 1962 is well-known. That dispute is yet to be resolved and continues to be a source of friction and mistrust between them. The friction is exacerbated by China’s military and nuclear cooperation with archrival Pakistan. In its economic expansionist mode, China does want to increase its investment in India but feels resistance by the Indian government. It claims double standards by India in the matter of economic cooperation. For examples, the Indian government requires four bureaucratic levels of approval for Chinese FDI instead of only the Reserve Bank of India clearance for others. Prospective Chinese workers in Indian enterprises face similar bureaucratic hassles. One of the cases in point was visa problems faced by 1,800 engineers from the Chinese Petroleum hired by Reliance India to lay a gas pipeline sometimes ago. I wonder why Reliance could not find Indian engineers to do the job; and whether the visas were finally issued.

    Despite these problems, cooperative science, technology, and trade have been steadily increasing between the two countries. Late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India signed an Indo-China inter-governmental science and technology agreement during his visit to Beijing in 1988. This led to a Joint S&T Committee to initiate broad-based cooperative programs. Specific joint projects are mooted at inter-agency levels in such diverse fields as meteorology, ocean science and technology, space science and technology, and biotechnology. As recently as September 2006, India’s Minister for Science and Technology, Kapil Sibal and his Chinese counterpart signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further cement S&T cooperation between the two countries as part of the India-China Friendship Year 2006.

    India-China trade is currently running at $20 billion from only $1.8 billion in 1989-90. A substantial share of India’s mobile-phone market is run by Hutchison Telecommunications of China. Huawei Technologies has a software center in Bangalore that employs 1,150 Indian and 50 Chinese engineers. I understand that most of the Diwali lanterns for 2006 celebrations came from China. The Chinese computer giant Lenovo has recently established its global marketing hub in Bangalore to be run and managed by Indians. China imports iron ore and other minerals from India. From the Indian side, an estimated 150 companies are currently doing business in China, although India claims these business ventures are with other foreign firms operating in China, not with the Chinese companies. (The Economist, October 28th, 2006, pp. 50-51; and Nov. 18th, 2006, pp.43-44) The trend, nonetheless, is definitely pointing in the direction of increasing bilateral trade and technology agreements.

    Concluding Remarks

    This brief discussion of India and China in the context of globalization suggests several things. Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, reports his teacher Joan Robinson at Cambridge University once telling him, “The frustrating thing about India is that whatever you can rightly say about it, the opposite is also true.” Interestingly enough, you can say exactly the same thing about China. It combines capitalism with communism, poverty and disparity with fast economic growth, impressive industrial development with neglect of its environment, and a massive rural-urban divide. These contradictions exist in India as well, with the exception of the first one. But they are due largely to long-standing historical and social factors, not exclusively to globalization, as some tend to suggest.

    Theoretically, globalization is about worldwide systemic interdependence, integration, mobilization, and redistribution of global resources that should lead to partial if not complete economic parity and equilibrium among the system members in due course of time. Generally speaking, all modern economies today are global in character. As Robert Reich (1991) said in his well-known book, The Work of Nations, there are no truly national economies any more. India and China are no exceptions. Economic globalization is driving and shaping national politics, economies, histories, social structures, environments, and international relations, and connecting them through interdependent networks as never before. A global power shift is indeed occurring that is still unseen and unrecognized by many among us. There are two major implications of this power shift. Ideology and politics are becoming the handmaidens of global economic forces, rather than the other way round, as the case used to be. The other development is unraveling of erstwhile hegemonies. The United States of America and Europe are no longer in the drivers’ seats. The balance of power is shifting from West to East, from North to South (Meredith, 2007). The recent demographic, economic, and political developments in China, India, Russia, Latin America, and the Middle East (barring some temporary setbacks here and there) all point in that direction (see endnotes). This shifting landscape strongly suggests that this century is poised to be an Asian century. And India and China, along with the Pacific Rim countries and Russia with her enormous natural resources, will be its biggest winners – unless the trend is reversed by unimaginative political and economic leadership in these countries, which is unlikely.

    As mentioned above, perhaps the strongest factor causing this power shift is the worldwide distribution of qualified manpower that overwhelmingly favors both China and India. For example, there is intense competition globally for R&D dollars. China and India are increasingly attractive places for multinational corporations to conduct their R&D operations. India has an edge over China in R&D capacity due to the availability of more well-trained, English speaking scientists and engineers than in China. With increasing difficulty to recruit qualified scientists and engineers at affordable prices in the West, or at any price, for that matter, joint R&D projects involving Indian, Chinese, and third country scientists should soon be emerging within India, China, and some other more developed developing countries in such fields as biotechnology, alternative energy systems, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, environmental technologies, and perhaps even in space explorations. A recent report from Control Engineering, a free-lance think-tank, observes:

    The vast majority of U.S. manufacturers are experiencing a serious shortage of qualified employees, which in turn is causing significant impact on business and the ability of the country as a whole to compete in a global economy. This is the key finding of the "2005 Skills Gap Survey"…. by the National Association of Manufacturers…. The problem for U.S.India, China, and Russia, are graduating millions more students each year…than the United States. These…individuals are actively participating in the development of innovative new products without regard for historical barriers, such as geography— thanks to technologies such as broadband, inexpensive Internet-ready laptops, and collaborative tools. With such international talent readily available and significant shortages existing at home, it is clear that the future of U.S. manufacturers is that this challenge is not universal. Countries with rich educational heritages, such as manufacturing may now be at stake, the report suggests. Details behind the talent shortage reveal a stark reality. More than 80% of respondents indicated that they are experiencing a shortage of qualified workers overall—with 13% reporting severe shortages.

    The surfeit of qualified manpower out of China and India is yet to be fully and gainfully employed in the global production of knowledge, goods, and public services. In addition to being the knowledge factory for the world, these large numbers, if tapped properly, can be a source of enormous mutual benefit to the two countries themselves in their quest for excellence and a rightful place in the community of nations.

    In 2002 (precisely 40 years after the{1962}war, the then Chinese premier, Zhu Rongji, visited India and told his hosts: “You are the first in software, and we are the first in hardware. When we put these two together, we can become the world’s number one” (The Economist, The World in 2005, p. 49)

    This forecast may not be too far off to come true.

    (Courtesy of Globalization, second special issue, December 2007)

    Endnotes

    Emergence of leaders like Hugo Chavez (Venezuela), Fidel Castro (Cuba), Lula de Sylva (Brazil), and Evo Morales (Bolivia) clearly indicate declining American hegemony in that part of the world. Their more independent (of America) and socialist leaning economic and foreign policies are redefining the nature of global economy in South and Central America.

    The nuclear postures of North Korea and Iran indicate the declining influence of the European Union, NATO, and the United States on world politics. These postures are buffeted by the support of new international power brokers, notably China and Russia, both members of the UN Security Council.

    The enormous economic power of the Middle East and Russia with their oil is going to play a significant role in defining world politics. Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the conglomerate of small Gulf States are bursting with economic activity. So is the Russian Federation.

    American and British policy failures in Iraq and Afghanistan clearly indicate the impotence of these two largest military-industrial complexes. Such failures over a span of six years have turned them into paper tigers by their own counter-intuitive policies in world politics.

    References

    Ahmad, Aqueil (1991). "China's Quest for Advanced Technologies: Nagging Questions," in D. Vajpayei and R. Natarajan, (Eds.), Technology and Development: Public Policy and Managerial Issues. Jaipur, India: Rawat Publications.

    Ahmad, Aqueil (1998). "India's Quest for Technological Self‑Reliance," in Y. Malik and A. Kapur (Eds), India‑Fifty Years of Democracy and Development. New Delhi: APH Publications Corp.

    Bhagwati, Jagdish (2004). In Defense of Globalization. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Engardio, Pete, Ed. (2007). Chindia: How China and India are Revolutionizing Global Business. New York: McGraw-Hill.

    Gerth, H. H. and C. Wright Mills, Eds. (1958). From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Habib, Irfan (1988). “Interaction of Scientific Ideas in the Asian Culture Area,” in Aqueil Ahmad & Hugh Russell (Eds.), Science and Technology Policy for National Development. Paris, France and Toronto, Ca: UNESCO and Foundation for International Training.

    Meredith, Robyn (2007). The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What it Means for All of Us. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

    Needham, Joseph, a. (1954). Science and Civilization in China, volume 1. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press.

    Needham, Joseph, b. (1986). Science and Civilization in China, volume 4, part 2. Taipei, Taiwan: Caves Books, Ltd.

    Rahman, A. Ed. (1984). Science and Technology in Indian Culture – A Historical Perspective. New Delhi: National Institute for Science, Technology & Development Studies (NISTADS).

    Reich, Robert B (1991). The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism. New York: AA Knopf.
     
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    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Asian century: Cooperation or conflict?



    Statesmen, public policymakers and transnational financial institutions and reputed credit rating and fund-giving agencies of the advanced capitalist countries are asserting that the erstwhile underdeveloped Asia has left behind its status of the Third World. The 21st century has been heralded as the age of Asia that is marching forward, and the rate of economic growth of emerging Asian giants like China and India is much more than that of the US and EU. A few important facts can be mentioned to substantiate the argument that the Western capitalist countries are looking at Asia much more closely.

    First, General Motors Corp managing director stated on July 5, 2010, that ‘We know that to remain a global leader, we have to maintain our commitment to expanding GM’s presence and success in critical markets such as India and China’.

    Second, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank had always been acting as ‘watchdogs’ of the fate of Asian economies, and in the first decade of the 21st century, these two institutions have become quite euphoric about the rate of economic growth and bright future of Asia. The IMF has projected 9.4% growth for India during January-December, and it is second only to China’s at 10.5%. The IMF has projected that the world’s rate of growth during 2010 may be 4.6% and global economies have been pulled out of the grand recession of 2008 because China and India have performed quite well.

    Third, the erstwhile Asian markets that were completely dependent for investments and aid for trade on the Western capitalist countries have now become global players and they are not only making investments in the US and European markets, but are also actively engaged in acquisitions of Western companies. Thus, it has become appropriate to describe the present situation as being Asia’s century. It has led even World Bank president Robert Zoellick to declare that ‘2009 saw the end of what was known as the Third World’.

    The other perspective is that Asians are plagued with serious domestic challenges of the eradication of mass poverty. Not only China and India, but many Asian countries such as Thailand, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal et al are tied down with violent domestic social challenges, and in many Asian countries, social unrest has spread to an extent that the institutional authority of the state is under siege.

    The majority of the nation-states of Asia still have to establish their legal authority over their socially-discontented and volatile sections. If on the one hand, emerging Asian countries are facing serious challenges arising out of conflicts and acute social divisions within their own societies, on the other, the whole continent of Asia is engaged in inter-state bilateral and multilateral disputes that have many a time led to actual war or war-like situations.

    The idea of peaceful co-existence and mutual cooperation talked about by Jawaharlal Nehru and Chou-en-Lai in the 1950s was abandoned by both India and China in the 1962 Sino-Indian war. Both the countries still have a high level of mutual distrust, even compete lack of confidence. The reality is that both are competing against one another for extending their areas of influence around the world. It deserves to be clearly stated that Asia is confronted with a serious challenge from nuclear weapon states like China, India, Pakistan and North Korea.

    This dangerous nuclearisation of Asia is sufficient evidence to substantiate the argument that Asian countries are competing against one another and are taking recourse to military power for resolving their inter-state bilateral disputes, many of which have been inherited from their colonial past.

    THE EU took shape only after forgetting the memories of their past mutual conflicts and wars. After WWII, Europe was divided into hostile Cold War blocs, and with the end of Cold War, moves started for establishing unity in highly-diverse Europe. The moral of this story is that possibilities of peaceful co-existence with a spirit of mutuality and reciprocity cannot be achieved in Asia because its countries are guided by the spirit of distrust and the historical memories of the colonial phase of its history has not faded out of Asia.

    The best example of mutual distrust among Asian countries is provided by Shanghai Cooperation Organization that consists of members such as China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Countries like India and Pakistan that have legitimate stakes in Asian cooperation have been kept out by China, the originator of the idea of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

    The idea of an Asian age cannot become a reality unless India, China and Japan arrive at a level of mutual understanding and abandon the path of resolving historical disputes on the basis of military competitiveness. This is a time of great opportunities for Asia if India and China can come to terms with one another with a spirit of accommodation and cooperation.

    China and India reciprocate negatively to any action by any of the countries perceived to be a challenge to their security. India reacted very strongly against China when it vetoed the loan for Arunachal Pradesh, which was to be approved by the Asian Development Bank in 2009.

    China and India have not reached a state of mutual trust where they can bury their border disputes inherited from the past. India scrutinises every action of China when it supports the building of the armed forces of Pakistan. The Chinese defence minister stated on June 16, 2010, that ‘Cooperation between the Chinese and Pakistani armed forces is exemplary and has been fruitful’. Further, the level of distrust between two large counties of Asia increased when China raised the level of military cooperation with Pakistan or when it laid claim on the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

    The above narrative highlights that unlike the idea of an American century or the age of European unity, Asia cannot graduate to the levels of stable Western centres of power because the growing economic power of Asian countries is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for Asians to emerge as a centre of power.

    Asian countries are saddled with serious domestic problems of poverty, inequality and social strife. And with mutual relations among these countries being based on distrust and conflicts, Asia has miles to go before it can become a real centre of power in the global context.
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    China, India not opponents but partners: Chinese Premier


    China and India were not competitive opponents but cooperative partners, said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing on Tuesday.

    "Only if China and India achieve common development and prosperity could we have a real Asia century," Wen told Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma.

    Both China and India were large developing nations in Asia, and the total population of the two countries accounted for 40 percent of the world, Wen noted.

    "We share broad common interests," he said.

    The premier said his country would work with India to boost good-neighborly friendship, increase coordinations in major international issues, and expand cooperation in trade, investment and other sectors in line with the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits."This will help promote the continuous stable growth of China-India ties," Wen said.

    Wen also asked Sharma to convey his greetings to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President of Indian National Congress Party Sonia Gandhi.

    Sharma said the Indian leaders were devoted to strengthening the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries."This accords with fundamental interests of the two peoples and is also conducive to the development of Asia and the world at large," he noted.

    Sharma was here on a visit at the invitation of China's Ministry of Commerce. He attended the eighth meeting of the China-India joint group on economy, trade, science and technology.
     
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The China-India Relations: Protracted Conflict or Growing Cooperation?

    AKM Khairul Islam

    Post-colonial India and Communist China faced similar types of problems such as extreme poverty, unemployment, and lack of modernization of their economies. Both countries adopted state-led economic development strategies (communism in case of China, and socialism in case of India) to improve their economic conditions. However, despite some initial success, state-led development strategies failed to solve their economic problems. China abandoned its state-led economic growth strategy in the late 1970s and India in early 1990’s. Since their market and outward-oriented and western technology driven economic reforms, both countries have been growing very rapidly. Simultaneous and high economic growth of these two countries has been providing enough resources to their state leaders to modernize their military and pursue strategic interests beyond East and South Asia (Tellis, 2004). Now both China and India are growing powers in Asia. Future Asian security, prosperity, and peace will depend on the relationship between India and China. The questions are: what are the patters and trends in Sino-Indian relations? What factors are influencing their relations? This paper tries to answer these two questions. The paper is divided into the following sections: section one looks at the brief history of the relationship; section two discusses positive aspects of their relationship; section three analyzes negative aspects of their relationship that may hinder cooperation; and the last section synthesizes the paper and makes conclusion.
    Both India and China were a part of great ancient civilizations in the history of the human race. Due to geographical proximity, both countries have common cultural and historical legacies. There is plenty of evidence of continuous trade and exchange of ideas through the centuries without either political cooperation or conflict (Sidhu and Yuan, 2003). There is little historical evidence of intense political interactions between them due to various reasons (Sidhu and Yuan, 2003): first, both countries were self-sufficient for their existence; second, the geographical barrier imposed by the Himalayas prevented mass migration, territorial occupation and huge trade; third, the epicenters of both of the civilizations were too far from each other that discouraged direct interactions. The epicenter of China’s civilization was east of today’s Great Wall near Beijing, and India’s was primarily centered in the Indo-Gangetic plain, too far from China’s civilization (Sidhu and Yuan, 2003).
    Both China and India were dominant economies in Asia for a long time. In 1700, China’s and India’s combined gross domestic products were 45.7 per cent of the global national income (Table – 1). Like many other countries, China and India were also the victims of European colonial domination and subjugation. Although colonial experiences of China and India were different, still both countries were subjugated and exploited immensely and in equal measures (Sidhu and Yuan, 2003). British colonial power imposed many treaties that were harmful for both countries and distorted their natural economic development. Due to colonial exploitation, by the end of 19thth century their gross domestic products declined to 24.2 per cent and further reduced to 9 per cent of the global income in the middle of 20thth century (Maddison, 1998).
    India became independent on 15thth August 1947 after a long and non-violent struggle against the British colonial rule. China emerged as a communist country after a long and a violent internal political upheaval and a civil war. They established diplomatic relations on April 1, 1950 (Hongyu, 1995). It was expected that the two great ancient civilizations would build a viable partnership that would help other post-colonial states to fight against neo-imperialism, and post-colonial exploitation. As was expected, the first few years of their relationship was peaceful and harmonious (Shirk, 2004). India played a more active role in promoting a harmonious relationship between the two countries. India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru initiated an accommodative foreign policy with China (Harding, 2004; Sidhu and Yuan, 2003). India was one of the first countries who recognized the People’s Republic of China after the communist revolution and broke relations with Taiwan (Sidhu and Yuan, 2003; Jain, 2008). It also supported China’s position on Taiwan and made stringent efforts to bring China into the family of Afro-Asian community (Sidhu and Yuan, 2003). India further supported China’s membership to the United Nations, opposed the U.S. intervention in Taiwan Strait in 1950, and refused to sign peace treaty with Japan in 1951 (Harding, 2004). New Delhi also acceptedChina’s sovereignty over Tibet by 1954 Sino-Indian treaty, and denounced its special privileges over Tibet that it inherited from the British rule (Harding, 2004). Nehru believed that a harmonious relationship between the two countries was essential for the success of the non-alignment movement, stabilization of Asia and reduction of the super power involvement in Asia (Shirk, 2004). Similarly, China also responded positively to develop a good relationship with India (Shirk, 2004). During the early 1950s, both countries initiated an anti-imperialist foreign policy against the west (Shirk, 2004; Harding, 2004). China more or less acknowledged India’s leadership role in the non-alignment movement (Sidhu and Yuan, 2003). It also sought friendly relations with other newly independent countries even though they were not communist countries (Harding, 2004).
    However, despite cordial relationship in the 1950s, the relationship was neither intimate nor enduring (Harding, 2004). China was always suspicious about non-communist countries like India about their seriousness to fight against imperial west (Harding, 2004). Their national interests were also divergent. Both countries sought to play the leadership role with regard to the newly independent countries (Harding, 2004). Border talks between India and China were also unsuccessful. The relationship started to deteriorate due to border disputes after 1959 that led to border clashes 1962. Like other areas in the world, colonial legacy was the main reason for border dispute (Sidhu and Yuan, 2003). The border between India and China was based on British designed McMahon Line1. Representative of British India, Tibet and China attended the 1913-1914 Simla meeting and demarcated the border. Chinese officials attended the meeting, but they did not officially accept the border imposed by British imperial power.
     
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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