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People in the Know: China, India Eye New Era
2005-4-16 17:25:44     
How do we look at the Chinese premier's just-concluded visit to India? Join us on People in the Know to hear the insights of Chinese and India scholars.

An important visit with three major achievements -- strategic cooperation, border talks and greater two-way trade.  The significance will be far felt.
Welcome to People in the Know, or on I'm Lin Shaowen.

Premier Wen Jiabao ended his visit to India and returned to Beijing to last Tuesday.  Commenting on the tour, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing says it has met the desired targets of promoting mutual trust, deepening friendship, widening cooperation and making plans for the future.  The world media has devoted extensive coverage of Wen Jiabao's handshakes with Indian leaders, saying this may reshape the goe-political map. 

How do we look the tour? 

How would the two sides further proceed in solving the decades-old border issue and promoting bilateral trade cooperation? 

What does their strategic partnership mean to the region and the world? 

I now talk to two scholars for the answers.  In Delhi is Professor Sujit Dutta, which is India's premier think tank on strategic affairs, and member of the India-China Eminent Person's Group.  And joining us from Shanghai is Professor Shen Dingli, renowned diplomatic commentator and international studies expert from Fudan University.

A reminder.  Your are listening to CRI's Monday forum, People in the Know.  The topic for today is Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India.  The guest speakers are Prof. Sujit Dutta in Helhi and Prof. Shen Dingli in Shanghai.

Web-Promo: China, India Eye New Era
Scholars of both countries discuss the achievements made during the Chinese Premier's visit to India and possible implications.

Questions for Professor Dr.Prof. Sujit Dutta:
Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, India's premier think tank on strategic affairs, and member of the India-China Eminent Person's Group.

1) Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to your country aroused international attention.  Perhaps the most frequent words used by the media to describe the tour are "strategic partnership" or "fundamental changes".  Are these appropriate phrases to you?  What do you make of the visit? 

2) The premier himself said his visit has made three major achievements agreeing on developing strategic partnership, reaching guiding principles on solve the border issue and mapping out future economic and trade cooperation, including a short term goal of boosting trade to 20 billion US dollars by 2008.  What do you make of his visit to India in terms of reshaping the geo-political landscape in South Asia and in terms of global diplomacy?

3) The two countries signed an agreement to resolve a decades-old border dispute, which once us to war.  The guiding principles stipulate that China and India agree to respect settled populations and each other's security concerns while continuing to negotiate a final settlement.  This is seen a step forward towards redrawing a demarcation map agreeable to both sides.  As it's a sensitive issue, how would you expect the special envoys to proceed in their future talks?  

4) Wen Jiabao presented Prime Minister Singh with a new Chinese map showing, for the first time, the tiny and remote Himalayan region of Sikkim as part of India.  While your government formally declares that Tibet is part of China and you'll never allow any Tibet independence campaign on Indian territories.  What is the message sent through this mutual concession move?

5) Another agreement is on two-way trade.  Yes we are two giant neighbors, the largest developing countries and the fastest growing economies.  But two-way trade is still small in scale.  Where's the potential?

6) Several years ago, some people in India saw China as a threat and some in China also had similar concerns with India. Now the word competition is replaced by cooperation when describing the relations.  What's behind the change?  How do you see the rise of China today?

Part Two Possible Significance

1) The two sides have common language on combating terrorism, solving domestic poverty and unemployment for their massive populations and sustaining their already fast growing economies.  They share aspiration and a solid foundation to be the leaders in the IT industry in the world and they are both have huge energy demands.  How would these determine the development of relations to make it mutually supplementary rather than competitive?

2) The India Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh said, "India and China can together reshape the world order."  Is that what we want?  Or let me put it this way, what do we want to change?

3) Premei Wen Jiabao has also given endorsed India's greater role in the world, saying, "We fully understand and support India's aspiration to play an even bigger role in international affairs, including in the United Nations."  We know India has an ambition to take a permanent position in the UN Security Council.  But where does China's confidence in India come from?

4) Back to the sub-continent.  The notion of triangle is very interesting.  In mathematics, a triangle means stability.  For example a table with three legs stands stable.  But in international relations, a triangle means lost of uncertainties.  And a region with several triangle ties must be complicated.  South Asia is one such region.  Given the premier's visit and given the recent US secretary of state・' visit to the region.  How would you forecast the future development trends of political relations there?

Other questions

1) 51 years, India, China and Sri Lanka initiated the five principles of peaceful coexistence, which was then developed to ten principles at the Bandung Conference held in Indonesia.  2005 marks the 55th anniversary of India-China diplomatic relations and 50th anniversary of the Bandung Conference.  My question is what kind of role those principles have played in bilateral relations and how do you envision the relationship will further proceed?

2) Finally, India and China were initiated the five principles of peaceful co-existence 55 years ago.  Both sides say those principles are still relevant today and both advocate respect for national sovereignty and promoting multilateralism in governing international affairs.  But in recent years, there are advocates of democracy over national sovereignty and difference political system would be allowed to co-exist forever.  What's your comment?

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