Beijing: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's social media diplomacy in China can play a "constructive" role in Sino-India ties though no major progress has been made, with "irritants" like the border dispute remaining, a Chinese state-run think-tank said.
When Modi congratulated Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on his 60th birthday through his account in the Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo last week, he once again showed the high value he attaches to diplomacy through social media accounts, said an article by Zhao Gancheng, director of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies said.
His account on Weibo, akin to Twitter has tens of thousands of followers, the article carried by the web edition of the state- run Global Times said.
Noting that Modi's social media campaign is not exclusive to China as he "did the similar things" for the US, Russia and Japan, it said the move is aimed at delivering a message to the world that India is more open and is keeping up to date with the latest trends.
"In addition, the populations of the two countries do not see each other as friends. Some Indians consider China to be their biggest threat, while some Chinese also view India negatively.
"In this case, Modi's Weibo account and his interactions with Chinese people can have a positive effect on bilateral relations," it said, adding that Modi is trying to provide a "new perspective on India to the international community through his public diplomacy".
At the same time, "such public diplomacy will also play a constructive role in bilateral ties", it said.
"There are currently no huge irritants affecting bilateral ties, but there has been no major progress either in recent years, because more is said than done," it said.
"Besides, while certain difficult issues remain unsettled, it is still an open question as to when the two countries will completely settle on the track of healthy cooperation, especially with the backdrop of border disputes," it said.
While Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping were expected to meet on the sidelines of 7th BRICS Summit in Russia later this week, Sino-Indian relations will be on the threshold of a new breakthrough "if substantial progress is to be achieved, and the deadlock is to be broken", it said, referring to attempts by both the countries to speed up border talks.