'China respects India' policy needed to improve ties: Think tank

Amid a continuing border standoff, an influential state-run Chinese think tank here has said that the country should initiate a "China respects India" policy to improve bilateral relations.

PTI| Updated: Sep 24, 2014, 13:31 PM IST

Beijing: Amid a continuing border standoff, an influential state-run Chinese think tank here has said that the country should initiate a "China respects India" policy to improve bilateral relations.

"We should implement a 'China respects India' policy, on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual respect," said an article in the state-run Global Times written by Chen Xiankui, Professor of School of Marxism at the Renmin University.

"We can also organise mutual visits between universities and even between religious groups. In these programmes, China needs to be modest and prudent, and put forward the slogan of 'learning from India', proposed by Xi in his address in New Delhi outlining China's thinking," the article said.

"This will help promote the integration of Asia and motivate India to join the embryonic Sino-Indian axis under the framework of 'Chinese respect for India'," it said.

"Even though our current national power is much stronger than India's, we should not indiscriminately imitate Western traditional realism. Instead, we should insist that China and India have equal rights, obligations and benefits, and we can even actively and appropriately surrender part of our rights and benefits to India," the article said.

China should support India to be the leader on significant international issues concerning environment, climate and the rights and benefits of other developing countries, to enhance India's international status, it said.

The article stressed that China should grant same decision-making powers to India in the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank mooted by Beijing even if India's contribution is less than China's, it added.

The article comes in the backdrop of a sense of unease prevailing between the two countries due to a border standoff in the Ladakh region which had also threatened to overshadow President Xi Jinping's visit.

The visit was described by both sides as having a positive influence on bilateral ties as it paved the way for more Chinese investments in India.

Chinese military and the Foreign Ministry have also played down the standoff between the troops focussing on the gains of Xi's visit.

The article said Chinese public and top leaders should stay modest and prudent and sincerely stick to the idea of learning from India.

This would help relieve the objective pressure that the rise of China has put on India after the border conflict in 1962. It would fundamentally improve the national psychology and public opinion about Sino-Indian cooperation, the article said.

"There are definitely things we can learn from India, such as the active role of private enterprises, which remains a tough problem for the Chinese economy," it said .

The Indian government has a high return on investment to achieve six percent growth rate, it said.

"In contrast, the Chinese government threw trillions of dollars into investment and barely retained economic growth of 7 to 8 per cent, while leaving behind a pile of problems such as structural and market distortions. We can greatly benefit from learning from India's experience," the article said.

Meanwhile, a state-run daily here said that grievances might loom over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first visit to the US and it will not be as fruitful as Chinese President Xi's maiden visit to India.

"It can be anticipated that Modi's US visit won't be as fruitful as Xi's visit to India. Washington requires payback for every investment and New Delhi has not offered anything back after reaping a lot of benefits from the US. Grievances might loom over Modi's visit," said the article in print edition of Global Times run by the ruling Communist Party.

"What Beijing and New Delhi have achieved during Xi's visit is beyond expectations. Not only has a whole package of 12 agreements has been signed, both nations have also made breakthroughs in some crucial fields," said the paper, known for its nationalistic views.