Revolutionary changes could take place in Asia if China and India forge closer ties overcoming mistrust, the Chinese state media said on Thursday as Prime Minister began his three-day visit to the country.
“Anyone with some geopolitical knowledge understands what revolutionary changes would happen to the political and economic landscape in Asia if China and India could join hands to forge ahead,” an article in the state-run Global Times said.
“But people are also aware that there seems always to be a lack of mutual trust between the dragon and the elephant,” the article said.
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Noting that China is the world’s largest textile exporter followed by India, it said the ranking implies where the Sino-Indian relationship stands and unveils one of the reasons for “the lack of trust: There is more competition than complementarity”.
“As the global supply chain has been largely formed today, the lack of economic complementarity between China and India directly leads to a zero-sum game. In other words, one side moving up on the supply chain will likely squeeze the domain of the other,” the article said.
It also talked about unsustainable factors in the trade structure of China and India. “To tackle them, the two countries must devise and expand the complementarity of their industries,” it said.
After talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Xi’an, Modi will arrive in Beijing and meet Premier Li Keqiang on Friday.
On the third day of his visit, he would go to Shanghai where he would address the Chinese CEOs besides attending a business get-together and address the Indian community in China.
“Some scholars have said that complementarity can be enhanced if China invests more in India’s infrastructure. However, this may prove the reverse since better transportation by rail and road will cause more concerns for India about the flooding of Chinese commodities,” the article said.
“Besides, it will likely get Chinese enterprises tangled into India’s perplexing land system, which may produce unexpected troubles,” it said.
“The key lies in more industrial coordination. China can make well-planned and targeted industrial transfers in accordance with the development and investment ability of its enterprises and set up production bases in India to make use of its cheaper labour force,” it added.