The Asian Age – India looks to China for speeding-up of Bangalore-Chennai train corridor

The proposal was made at the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) held in Beijing between the two countries.

New Delhi/Beijing, 15 April 2018. India has sought China’s assistance to speed up Bangalore-Chennai railway corridor besides redevelopment of Agra and Jhansi railway stations, a senior Indian official said on Sunday.

The proposal was made at the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) held in Beijing between the two countries.

“We offered them speeding up of Bangalore-Chennai railway corridor,” NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Sunday.

The SED was held between delegations headed by Kumar and He Lifeng, the chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The proposal was made for increasing the speed of the corridor to 150 kmph.

India previously made a proposal to China for the redevelopment of Agra and Jhansi railway station. It has been re-emphasised at Saturday’s talks, officials said.

The Chinese side will respond after considering the proposals, they said.

Kumar said it was pointed out to the Chinese side that the railway station development plan is a big one involving about 600 of them. They can bid for any of them, he said.

However, there was no discussion in the just concluded SED about the collaboration to build high speed trains by China in India, he said.

China has been expressing interest to take up high speed train corridors in India and began conducting a feasibility study for New Delhi and Chennai high speed train corridor.

The first high-speed train corridor in India between Mumbai and Ahmedabad has been bagged by Japan.

China has the world’s longest high-speed rail network, with 22,000 km within the country linking various top cities.

http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/150418/india-looks-to-china-for-speeding-up-of-bangalore-chennai-train-corridor.html

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The News – A war with no winners

A Rauf K Khattak

Op/Ed, 10 April 2018. Do ideologies rule the world? Do they last? Yes, they rule and last as long as they serve the purpose of powerful nations or individuals. This is a cynical statement. But cynicism is not without reason or it would not have existed.

Adam Smith, a Scottish economist, wrote his book ‘The Wealth of Nations’ (1776), which is considered to be the Bible of capitalism. His ideas ran counter to the prevailing economic theories of his day, especially mercantilism. He propounded the idea of free trade.

Free trade does not have a single, unified definition. It generally refers to trade between nations without any artificial barriers introduced by the government. He said that free trade brought wealth and prosperity to individuals and nations and, thereby, increase the sum-total of human welfare.

Governments, he said, should allow the “invisible hand” to rule the markets. If everybody acts from self-interest and is spurred on by the profit motive, then the economy will work more efficiently.

Smith wrote that it is as if an “invisible hand” guides the actions of individuals for the common good. Government action, however, was required to impose anti-trust laws, enforce property rights, and police and protect the industry essential for national defence.

This idea was further developed and refined by British politician and economist David Ricardo in 1817 when he presented the law of comparative advantage.

Simply stated, if two nations trade and one of them is more efficient in producing both goods A and B, it should produce good A in which it is more efficient and leave good B to the other trading partner nation to produce.

As a result, trading goods A and B with each other becomes more beneficial, even when one nation is more productive than the other.

Britain adopted free trade and became the leading industrial nation of the 18th and 19th centuries. It gathered enormous amounts of wealth and riches. Unfortunately, the ideology applied to Britain only. Its vast colonies were excluded from this ideology.

Let’s not forget how it pulverised the weavers of Bengal. Textile was the leading industry of the Subcontinent at the time. Soldiers were sent to destroy the looms so that the factories owners of Lancashire could thrive.

The worst example was the Salt Act. Britain’s Salt Acts prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt – a staple in their diet. Citizens were forced to buy the vital mineral from the British who, in addition to exercising a monopoly over manufacturing and selling salt, also exerted a heavy salt tax.

Defying the Salt Act, Mahatma Gandhi started the Salt March or the Salt Satyagraha in March 1930 – a trek of 240 kilometres on foot to the sea to make their own salt. The British called it an act of rebellion.

The Roaring Nineties and globalisation, an era of great optimism and great expectations, heralded not only free movements of goods and services but also resulted in free movements of finance and ideas. The world is one village, it was proclaimed.

Reams of paper were wasted celebrating globalisation and high-minded pronouncements came from intellectuals of all stripes. Poor nations were given hope that their days of deprivation will soon be over. The West will become the East and the East will become the West and happily the twain shall live.

China appears on the world stage with economic reforms called ‘Socialism with Chinese characteristics’. These reforms were started in December 1978 by reformists within the Communist Party of China that was led by Deng Xiaoping.

In three or more decades, it became the second largest economy of the world and was referred to as the factory of the world. According to the World Bank, more than 500 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty over the last three or more decades.

Unable to cope with a surging China, America’s public opinion shifted inwards and compelled Trump to push his ‘America First’, agenda.

Adam Smith has once again been turned on his head. On March 9, Trump slapped a 25 percent tariff on steel and 15 percent tariff on aluminum imports, daring the world to start a trade war. He said: “Trade wars are good, and easy to win”.

Ignorance is a voluntary misfortune. It is the mother of impudence and the nurse of obstinacy. Wars, whether they involve physical warfare or trade, have never been won. It is the war that wins.

After independence from Britain, the US embraced free trade as a policy, but only when it was favourable to it. The most prominent trade war of the 20th century was ignited by the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, which imposed steep tariffs on almost 20,000 imported goods.

America’s trading partners retaliated with tariffs on US exports, which plunged to 61 percent from 1929 to 1933. America had to repeal tariffs in 1934. It was such a disaster that it held sway over American trade policy for 80 years.

Free trade between rich countries and poor countries usually does not work to the benefit of both
Man in Blue

The writer is a former civil servant and a former minister.

Email: ruafkkhattak@gmail.com

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/302444-a-war-with-no-winners

Dawn – Triangular cold war

Ashraf Jehangir Qazi

Op/Ed, 07 April 2018. A triangular cold war is developing which could be much more dangerous than the 20th-century Cold War. This new cold war ranges the US against Russia and China.

The US remains the world’s number one military, S&T, economic and financial power. However, despite its global full-spectrum dominance, it is challenged in Europe and the Middle East by Russia, in East Asia by China, and in Central and South Asia by both.

The Pentagon officially says the “long war” against international terrorism is drawing to a close. It argues “the US must bolster its competitive military advantage relative to the threats posed by China and Russia” because “inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security”.

It concludes “the US-dominated global order today is challenged not by Al Qaeda and ISIS but by the aggressive behaviour of China and Russia”.

According to Prof Michael Clare “a permanent campaign to contain Russia and China in Eurasia has begun. The US military has committed itself and the nation to a three-front geopolitical struggle to resist Chinese and Russian advances in Asia, Europe and the Middle East”.

Centcom commander, General Votel, told the Senate “the containment of China and Russia has become an integral part of Centcom’s future strategic mission”. Of particular concern is “the Chinese-managed port at Gwadar in Pakistan” which could contribute to “China’s military posture and force projection”.

What are the implications of a new cold war for Pakistan?

This answers questions why the US plans a long-term presence in Afghanistan and why it is concerned with Gwadar, CPEC and the Belt and Road Initiative. This is also the context within which it pressures Pakistan on Afghanistan, terrorism and its nuclear arsenal, and in which it has recruited India to its strategic camp.

The current spate of US and Western accusations against Russia and diplomatic expulsions increasingly seems an orchestrated prelude to a new cold war.

The US aims to sanction and isolate Russia into withdrawing from Ukraine and Syria, disengaging from its strategic embrace of China, abandoning its developing understanding with Iran and Turkey, and refraining from building a significant political presence in Afghanistan.

Russia may be economically vulnerable but militarily and politically it is strong. Moreover, Russians admire Putin because even if he has not delivered democracy and prosperity he embodies Russian defiance and resilience.

Russia has developed Sarmat 2 missiles which it claims the US cannot intercept. If true, it would have a nuclear first-strike capability. The US claims a similar capability. A US-Russian mutual first-strike capability is extremely destabilising.

In case of a serious military confrontation, neither side could risk not striking first. During the last cold war a shared second-strike capability helped avert such doomsday scenarios.

Despite mutual suspicion, China does not want Russia humiliated and destabilised by a US that regards China as its main adversary. The renewed American cold war with Russia and possible trade war with China brings both countries together.

The blustering Trump is a weak leader whom neither Moscow nor Beijing can trust to control his hawks. This is the opposite of what Nixon and Kissinger achieved. They exploited Sino-Soviet mistrust and enabled the US to become the preferred interlocutor for both China and Russia.

Today, according to Prof James Petras, “while China exports economic products, the US exports arms and wars”.

The US has a surplus of arms exports and a growing commercial deficit. China has multibillion-dollar infrastructure investments in over 50 countries that enhance trade surpluses. The US has multibillion-dollar expenditures in over 800 military bases that enhance trade deficits”.

Moreover, a “trade war with China will result in higher prices for the US consumer, unskilled labour, war debts and financial monopolies. China will simply divert trade from the US to other countries and redirect its investments towards deepening its domestic economy and increasing ties with Russia, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Oceania”.

America’s response is to rely on its military supremacy to compensate for its woeful diplomatic and economic strategies.

What are the implications of a new cold war for Pakistan? US demands to “do more” will further escalate.

The US-Indian strategic alliance will deepen as the US remains distant and demanding towards Pakistan. India will progressively if not completely downgrade its strategic relations with Russia. It will bide its time with China which in turn will keep a door open to India, especially if Pakistan remains dysfunctional.

India would expect very significant transfers of military and development technology from the US and its allies, enabling it to eventually engage with China on less disadvantageous terms, at the expense of Pakistan.

Apart from these grave implications of a new cold war for Pakistan, the 21st century poses existential challenges that have been largely ignored by derelict governments and educationally and ethically challenged leadership, abetted by the narrow security focus of an overwhelming ‘deep state’. Pakistan’s population will be 400 million in 30 years.

Climate change threatens water scarcity and loss of agricultural land leading to widespread famine and disease.

Human security is also threatened by deliberate underfunding for general, vocational and S&T education; generating family-supporting jobs in a global knowledge economy; providing adequate health and other basic services; developing institutional capacities and credibility; reforming the criminal justice and police systems; ensuring the rule of law; and guaranteeing human rights protections.

The government doesn’t even want to know about these challenges. They can only be addressed by good governance at home; deeper geostrategic and geo-economic cooperation with China and Russia; good and substantive if non-strategic relations with the US based on addressing each other’s concerns; a non-confrontational, dialogue-based and problem-solving working relationship with India despite outstanding differences and futile provocations; and developing mutual confidence with Afghanistan. I have suggested specific measures (see ‘Who is listening?’ in Dawn, 9 October 2017).

Longer-term perspectives, rational mindsets, due diligence and honest common sense are what is required for policies to develop credibility, direction and momentum. Political and other non-civilian policy decision-makers should listen to and consider objective, professional and relevant advice and input.

The writer is a former ambassador to the US, India and China and head of UN missions in Iraq and Sudan.

ashrafjqazi@gmail.com

www.ashrafjqazi.com

https://www.dawn.com/news/1400108/triangular-cold-war

Dawn – The China-India tango

Khurram Husain

Op/Ed, 08 March 2018. To those who have been paying attention despite the noise and fury of the domestic political scene, something very important appears to be changing between China and India.

It is worthwhile for Pakistan to pay attention, especially bearing in mind that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs was the first to publicly congratulate China on getting the vice presidency of the Financial Action Task Force on that Friday when the rest of Pakistan was busy trying to figure out what exactly happened during those meetings.

“Congratulations to China on its election as Vice President of Financial Action Task Force at the #FATF plenary meeting. on 23 February 2018. We remain hopeful that China would uphold & support the objectives & standards of FATF in a balanced, objective, impartial & holistic way” is what that midday tweet from the official spokesperson of the ministry said, leaving us all wondering what exactly had happened there in Paris.

But it doesn’t end here. More recently, the Indian government called on all its officials to refrain from attending a ‘Thank you India’ rally being organised by the Dalai Lama in Delhi, which is an annual affair and always sees attendance by high-level Indian officialdom, as well as searing rhetoric directed towards China during the speeches that take place there.

This time the event has been rescheduled and moved back to Dharamsala, where the Tibetan organisation is based, and will hold the rally on April 1.

There was no open advisory from the government to do this apparently, just a quiet word whispered to the Dalai Lama to keep things tame, and an internal communication letting government officials (including from the states) to refrain from attending.

The gesture has been interpreted by columnists and observers of Indian foreign policy as a clear bow to Chinese sensitivities.

Beneath the surface, we see other indications that something larger than a regional flashpoint and a few irritants might be in the driving seat.

What is interesting is that this bow comes after a flurry of articles in the Indian media announcing that China is hardening its positions in the Doklam plateau, the most sensitive point along the 4000 kilometre-long border between India and China because it is where three countries meet: China, India and Bhutan.

The Chinese acknowledged the building of the new infrastructure on the plateau as early as January, saying in an official statement that they are building in their own territory (the area is, in fact, disputed with Bhutan, while India supports Bhutan’s claim).

In the first few days of March, reports in the Indian media began to talk of new helipads being built in Doklam, housing sufficient to put up 1,800 troops, artillery, trenches and increased air defences.

Even in late February, there was mounting concern in India over these developments, with reports circulating that this was the first time that the Chinese hosted troops at that altitude, implying that their presence at the positions they held since August 2017, when last summer’s stand-off had come to a standstill, may be permanent.

As of a few days ago, this hardening of the Chinese positions in Doklam was officially acknowledged by the India’s defence minister. Yet, India’s diplomacy continues to favour going soft on Chinese sensitivities, by pulling away from the Dalai Lama as well as staying out of the ongoing crisis in the Maldives.

So what’s going on? One take is that India is doing all this with an eye to the forthcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit to be held in China this June.

Additionally, reports are also circulating that a high-level visit from Beijing to Delhi could take place later this year, possibly with President Xi Jinping or Premier Li Keqiang.

These are unconfirmed reports, but it is interesting to see that those Indian journalists who regularly interact with the external affairs ministry in Delhi are coming away with a sense that Indian diplomacy is now in pursuit of objectives that go beyond Doklam, the Maldives, Bhutan or Bangladesh or any of the other traditional regional issues that drive its foreign policy.

And in the course of doing so, Indian diplomats appear to be willing to look past a few trenches and helipads in Doklam, and ‘Thank you India’ rallies in Delhi.

What might these objectives be? One clue might be provided by another fact that hit the headlines at the same time as all these other developments.

“India-China bilateral trade hits historic high of $84.44 billion in 2017” the Times of India declared on Wednesday. This is a 19 per cent year-on-year increase, with Indian exports to China seeing a near 40pc increase in 2017.

Beneath the surface, we see other indications that something larger than a regional flashpoint and a few irritants might be in the driving seat in Delhi’s equation with Beijing. The appointment of Vijay Gokhale as the new foreign secretary in January of this year is another indication.

A seasoned China hand, the diplomat who played a key role in defusing the Doklam stand-off of last summer and the former Indian ambassador to China, Gokhale has been placed in the position for a reason, and given his track record, heightening tensions with China is unlikely to be that reason.

Any warming of ties between China and India, or more specifically, any graduation of ties beyond the border dispute and overlapping regional agendas, has deep implications for Pakistan, as the events in the Paris meeting of FATF might have just given us a glimpse of.

And such a warming of ties, if you look at the history, is almost inevitable, provided emotion doesn’t hold rationality hostage.

China and India don’t have a history the way China and Japan do, or even China and Korea.

So whatever is pulling them apart is nowhere near as powerful as what is bringing them together: the growing ties of trade and investment.

It is a matter of time before pragmatism prevails, and with the United States’ growing belligerence now spilling over into the economic realm with Mr Trump’s new tariffs, the pragmatic moment may well open up in 2018.

The writer is a member of staff.

khurram.husain@gmail.com

https://www.dawn.com/news/1393790/the-china-india-tango

BBC News – What could China do in a US trade war?

Karishma Vaswani, Asia business correspondent

Washington DC-USA, 24 January 2018. President Trump’s backing for slapping tariffs on imports of washing machines and solar panels will hit China and South Korea hardest.

And it has opened up the prospect of some retaliation, especially from Beijing.

The hardline Chinese publication Global Times says “nothing good” would come out of a trade war with President Trump, and has warned that China could fight back.

There’s lots at stake. The two countries did $578.6bn worth of trade in 2016.

And by the US government’s own estimates that trade supports just under a million American jobs.

So what could China do? Well here are a few options:

1) File complaints to the World Trade Organisation

China says the US tariffs are bad for global trade and has already said that it will work with other WTO members to defend itself.

Of course there will be plenty in Washington who won’t miss the irony of China, much-maligned for its own trade practices, complaining that it is being hard done by.

2) Limit US beef imports

Last May, the US and China signed a deal to allow, amongst other things, the resumption of US beef exports to China after 14 years.

But there are specific requirements from the Chinese that US beef companies need to adhere to.

Although trade has barely just begun, China could raise these health and safety standards and make life far more difficult for the US beef exporting businesses that are looking to capitalise on middle class Chinese consumers.

3) Tell Chinese customers not to buy American cars

China is the world’s biggest passenger car market. By 2022 it will contribute to over half of the world’s car growth.

China is also consistently among the top five export markets for US cars and car parts, so a directive from the government to stop buying American cars out of loyalty to the Chinese state would hurt US manufacturers.

It’s not unheard of for Beijing to dictate how Chinese consumers spend their money.

Korean retailer Lotte Mart for example, suffered massive losses in China because of the Beijing-Seoul spat over a US anti-missile system.

4) Tell tourists to stop visiting the US

China is the world’s leading outbound tourist market, with more than 130 million Chinese people travelling around the world each year, a number that just keeps rising.

They spend something like $260bn (£185.2bn) a year when they travel, and while the most popular Chinese tourist spots tend to be in Asia, the US has also benefited.

Chinese tourists are projected to spend $450bn on holidays and shopping overseas by 2025, so the US could lose out if Beijing says America is an unsavoury place to travel to.

5) Sell some US bonds

China owns more than a $1tn of US debt.

It has threatened to sell US Treasuries before, and many have worried that this level of debt could mean that Beijing has leverage over the US economy.

But the truth is even if China did sell US debt, it would most likely be picked up by other countries.

But will anything happen?

The reality is China doesn’t want a trade spat to escalate into a more damaging confrontation.

If a trade war between the two countries does escalate, it won’t just be Beijing and the USA losing out.

The wider Asian region could suffer too, simply because of how integrated global supply chains are.

But we might well be just days away from more tariffs, with President Trump to soon decide whether to slap extra duties on steel and aluminium imports. China is the world’s largest producer of both.

Then there’s the intellectual property theft investigation against China, or Section 301, the findings of which should be released soon.

Now, as I’ve said before, President Trump hasn’t really been as hard on China as he said he would during his election campaign, partly because he needs Beijing onside to help push North Korea into giving up its aggressive nuclear strategy.

But with more pressure coming from the voters who elected him, the Republican base, and mid-terms this year – President Trump could decide that now’s the time to finally push his ‘America first’ policy through.

@BBCKarishma on Twitter

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42798941

The Hindustan Times – Doklam is part of China, learn lessons from standoff: PLA to India

Troops from India and China were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam during June-August last year after Indian forces stopped the construction of a road by the Chinese Army in the disputed area.

Sutirtho Patranobis

Beijing-China, 26 January 2018. The Chinese military on Thursday criticised the Indian Army chief’s remarks referring to Doklam as disputed territory and warned India to learn “lessons” from last year’s standoff near the Sikkim border so that similar incidents do not occur in future.

In its first response to General Bipin Rawat’s remarks on the standoff, the People’s Liberation Army contended Doklam or Donglang is part of China. The PLA also said Rawat’s comments showed Indian troops had illegally crossed into Donglang.

The 73-day standoff had pitted border troops from the two countries against each other from June to August-end. It ended when both sides agreed to pull back their forces from the area that is under Chinese control but claimed by Bhutan.

“I have noticed many of the Indian journalists’ remarks (on Rawat’s comments). Donglang is part of China and the remarks of the Indian side also shows the illegal border crossing of the Indian troops is clear in fact and nature,” Senior Colonel Wu Qian, a spokesperson for the PLA and the defence ministry, told a conference.

“We hope the Indian side will draw lessons from the incident to avoid similar incidents (being) repeated in the future,” he said.

The PLA reacted to Rawat’s comments earlier this month while responding to a question from the Chinese media.

“The PLA of China has occupied the area in the west of Torsa nullah called northern Doklam. At the actual spot, the two sides have disengaged. The tents remain. The observation posts remain. This is a territory disputed between Bhutan and China,” Rawat had said on January 12 on the eve of Army Day.

“The issue was that we had actually stepped into territory that wasn’t ours. And when you step into a territory which is not yours, the ministry of external affairs comes in. It is not that you have stepped into your territory, but into territory which either belonged to China or to Bhutan. It didn’t belong to us,” he had said.

Rawat had suggested India needs to shift focus from its border with Pakistan to the Chinese frontier. He also suggested that India needs to take along its other neighbours.

The PLA spokesperson referred to this remark and said: “Apart from this, I also want to emphasise that countries should be treated regardless of (their) size. The concept of the sphere of influence is a demonstration of the Cold War mentality which the Chinese side is always opposed to.”

Earlier, the foreign ministry had criticised Rawat’s remarks, describing them as “unconstructive”.

“Last year, India-China relations have witnessed some twists and turns,” foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said. “The dialogue and consultation (between the leaders of the two countries) have shown sound momentum of improvement and development.

“Under such background, the unconstructive remarks by the Indian senior official not only go against the consensus reached by the two heads of state but also do not conform to the efforts made by the two sides to improve and develop bilateral relations,” Lu said, adding the remarks cannot help to preserve tranquillity and peace at the border.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/draw-lessons-to-avoid-another-dokalm-it-s-part-of-china-pla-to-india/story-btpGR6OrNV6Vav25evnp7L.html

The Hindu – Tibetan leader cautions India against China’s ‘Doklam plans’

Special Correspondent

New Delhi-India, 18 January 2018. India should be worried about China’s continued military build up in Doklam, said Lobsang Sangay, president of the Central Tibetan Administration in India.

Dr Sangay made his observations on the Doklam issue while announcing the upcoming events to mark the 60th anniversary of the arrival of the Dalai Lama and Tibetans in India.

“India has to be cautious about China’s plans in Doklam. China has traditionally maintained that Tibet is the palm and the five fingers are Bhutan, Nepal, Arunachal [Pradesh], Ladakh and Sikkim. Therefore its actions in the Doklam region should be taken seriously,” Dr Sangay said.

Dr Sangay announced that the Tibetan community in India will hold a major inter-religious event in New Delhi to commemorate March 31, 1959 arrival of the Dalai Lama in India. “We expect a representative of the Indian government to attend the event,” he said.

The Tibetan leader pointed out that Bhutan should also express concern about the Doklam situation. “Going to the UN is definitely one of the options for Bhutan,” he said.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tibetan-leader-cautions-india-against-chinas-doklam-plans/article22466290.ece

The Statesman – Doklam ‘severely’ strained India-China ties: Wang told Sushma

Beijing-China, 12 December 2017. At his meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the military stand-off in Doklam had put a “severe” strain on bilateral ties.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday released a statement detailing what Wang told Sushma Swaraj during their bilateral meet in New Delhi where the Chinese leader attended the Russia, India and China trilateral meet.

According to the statement, Wang also said that lessons should be learned from Doklam crisis so that it does not happen again even though the crisis was resolved peacefully.

“The viciousness caused by the cross-border infiltration of the Indian border guards put bilateral relations under severe pressure.

“The matter was finally settled peacefully through diplomatic means, reflecting the maturing of bilateral relations. However, lessons should be learned and (it) should not happen again,” Wang was quoted as saying.

“In 2017, relations between China and India have maintained their momentum of development as a whole. Both sides have made efforts in this regard, but they are not very satisfactory,” the Foreign Minister said.

The armies of both countries were locked in a 73-day stand-off at Doklam in the Sikkim section of Sino-Indian border over the building of a road by the Chinese military in the area that is claimed by Bhutan.

Indian troops stalled the work citing the disputed status of Doklam and its proximity to its key artery in the northeast. The crisis was resolved on August 28 after both the armies retreated from the point of the face-off.

It was Wang’s first visit to India since the Doklam crisis.

“The leaders of the two countries pointed out that both China and India should regard each other as partners rather than adversaries.”

Wang said that Sino-India relations were at a crucial period and the most important thing between them should be to cultivate mutual trust.

“With mutual trust, the specific problems are expected to be resolved on the basis of mutual understanding and mutual accommodation.

“Without mutual trust, individual problems will continue to overflow and erode the overall situation of bilateral relations.

“To this end, both sides should strengthen strategic communication at all levels, restore the established dialogue mechanism, deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields and at the same time control the existing differences and safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas.

“If China and India speak with one voice, the world will listen. I hope this day will come soon,” Wang was quoted as saying.

http://www.thestatesman.com/india/doklam-severely-strained-india-china-ties-wang-told-sushma-1502543988.html

The Hindu – A day in Delhi for Ghani and Tillerson

The visits will provide India opportunity to hold talks on crucial regional and security-related issues

Special Correspondent

New Delhi. 20 October 2017. Continuing with close bilateral consultation, Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani will visit India on October 24. The official confirmation about the visit came even as the Ministry of External Affairs reiterated India’s commitment to ‘rule-based international order’, setting the stage for the visit of USA Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to the capital on the same day.

The visit by President Ghani comes within days of a visit to Kabul by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Thursday’s Taliban attack on the Afghan National Army base in Kandahar province that killed at least fifty-eight security personnel.

When asked about the details of the Afghan leader’s agenda, an MEA official source said that the visit was being “worked upon” and a statement on the agenda would be made soon.

Mr Ghani’s visit, which is likely to last for half-a-day, is significant as it comes two-months after USA President Donald Trump announced his government’s new Afghanistan policy for which he has urged India to do more.

Crucial talks

The visits of Mr Ghani and Mr Tillerson to Delhi indicate that they will provide all three, the USA, Afghanistan and India, the opportunity to hold talks on crucial regional and security-related issues.

Indicating at India’s stance to Mr Tillerson’s visit, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “We appreciate his positive evaluation of the relationship and share his optimism about its future directions. We look forward to welcoming him in India next week for detailed discussions on further strengthening of our partnership.”

The Ministry’s statement was a response to Mr Tillerson’s October 18 comments at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington DC, where he highlighted his two decades-long personal ties with India and said:

Centre of gravity

“The world’s centre of gravity is shifting to the heart of the Indo-Pacific. The USA and India, with our shared goals of peace, security, freedom of navigation, and a free and open architecture, must serve as the eastern and western beacons of the Indo-Pacific.”

Mr Tillerson had also pointed out that China’s rise as an international power had been “less peaceful”. The Asia-Pacific component of the visit will unfold soon after the latest congress of the Communist Party of China which led to the consolidation of power of President Xi Jinping and his re-election for one more term.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/a-day-in-delhi-for-ghani-and-tillerson/article19891697.ece