`Narendra Modi not to be nationalist but pragmatic towards China, Pakistan`

Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi will follow more "pragmatic" policies towards China and Pakistan despite his nationalistic postures during the election campaign, official Chinese media said on Friday.

Beijing: Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi will follow more "pragmatic" policies towards China and Pakistan despite his nationalistic postures during the election campaign, official Chinese media said on Friday.

"While the concerns are fair considering Modi`s tough rhetoric on a series of issues, the political landscape of India indicates that the new Prime Minister will stick to pragmatism rather than nationalism," an article in the state-run Global Times daily said today.

The daily, an official publication of the ruling Communist Party of China, carried several articles by official Chinese think tanks in the last few days projecting a positive outlook towards future Sino-Indian ties under Modi`s rule considering his close association with China during his tenure as chief minister of Gujarat, which attracted most of the Chinese investments in India.

Modi also visited China four times to study the country`s economic success story as well as to scout for Chinese investments.

"Take his possible policy options toward Pakistan and China. A resolution of the Kashmir issue is unlikely to come in near future. But with a slow rapprochement, Indian attitudes toward Pakistan may undergo a change," the Global Times article said.

In 2001, India reacted with a massive military mobilisation along the Pakistan border after an attack on the Indian parliament.

"In 2008, however, New Delhi stayed largely calm by constraining itself from a confrontation with Islamabad after the Mumbai terrorist attacks," it said.
"Instead, India insisted that it would continue to talk to Pakistan and to push the process of bilateral trade and normalisation. And there has been no major crisis since 2008."

"Some argue that China could accelerate India`s strategic evolution. But recent progress in bilateral relations has softened such expectations by China acknowledging India`s concern for a greater international role and displaying a willingness of coexistence and cooperation with India."

India`s confidence in future great power status comes from its population, size and history, but also its growing military and nuclear capability, and a booming economy, the article said.

"Destabilising the relationship with Pakistan and China would consume a larger share of such resources," it said.

"What direction Indian foreign policy will go has yet to be seen. But in a general sense, as a mature power, India will take a pragmatic combination of idealism and realism, to match specific foreign policy goals with corresponding means."

"Modi has positioned himself as a pragmatic technocrat, focusing his election campaign on reviving India`s stagnant economy, cleaning up a corrupt government, and a tough stance on national security. Domestic front will be his touchstone for reviving and furthering Indian momentum on the international stage," the article said.

Outlining the Chinese official perception about Modi`s victory, Hu Shisheng, Director of the South and South East Studies of the China Institute of Contemporary International Studies, an official think tank attached to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said the massive mandate will make him a strong leader.

"With such a big mandate from the people, and due to the fact that Modi has been decisive and assertive in nature, he will be a strong leader as he was so in the past ten years in Indian political arena," Hu told.

Besides helping to increase Chinese investments in India, Modi`s election could even brighten the prospects of settlement of the vexed border dispute, which so far limited the scope of bilateral ties, he said.

"The BJP has no historical legacies and burden. India and China will have more space to find some initiatives out of the box.

"The biggest difference is that the Modi government will have more implementation capacity, executive capacities in practicing and promoting reforms and any policy made," he said.

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