It’s a sign of both India’s rising prominence and strained relations between the two superpowers that China failed to secure India’s backing for its mega Silk Road projects during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit last week, a Chinese state-run think tank said.
“Modi’s first journey to China since he assumed office constitutes a significant step in building the Sino-India strategic mutual trust,” an article written by Liu Zongyi, a researcher at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, said.
The paper continued with glowing words, as if to soothe the fact that Modi was having none of the two headed Chinese charm offensive.
“In the first place, the state heads of the two countries have strengthened mutual trust with practical actions,” it said, continuing that Modi had been given an “unprecedented welcome and reception in China”.
“Beijing received some return from New Delhi. Modi revealed at Tsinghua University that Chinese tourists would be able to apply for Indian e-visas, which, however, is not stated in the joint statement,” it said.
But China wants to accomplish big things in Asia, even as it riles it neighbors over disputed territory and continues to talk out of both sides of its mouth when it comes to foreign policy. It claims to know nothing about widespread cyber warfare, industrial espionage or a militarized space program, yet evidence is starkly to the contrary.
The recognized the diplomacy failure, acknowledging that “China has failed to gain support from India on issues concerning its key interests, especially in building the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR).”
The Silk Road projects included road connectivity between China and Europe through Central Asia, the Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar (BCIM) Corridor, the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the MSR.
While India is taking part in the BCIM, it has already expressed concerns over the CPEC as it traverses Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The overall failure of the trip highlights India’s distrust for China, particularly its weaponized space program and increasing militarization. The moves have caused India to respond with its own investment in these areas, which have primarily focused on China as the enemy of choice when designing weapons systems.
It also show’s India increasing self confidence, where it is able to pick and choose the deals it wishes to do and will dictate terms not have them dictated.