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No Dramatic Reforms In Modi Foreign Policy In First Year: Chinese Media

Friday, May 29, 2015
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BEIJING: Terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign policy security-driven with "no dramatic reforms", an article in state-run media said his decision to provide e-visas for Chinese nationals is inadequate and it should be extended to business and work visas.

"With only a vague foreign policy platform one year ago, it now becomes clearer that Modi has largely inherited his two predecessors' foreign policy legacies and no dramatic reform has so far been seen,” the article by a researcher from Tsinghua University published in the Global Times yesterday said about Modi's one year in power.

"This is especially evident in his (Modi's) handling of major power politics. He tries to seek better relations with the U.S. and Japan in general, and strike an optimal trade-off between guarding against China's increasing influence and expanding the economic cooperation," it said.

Under Modi, India's China policy is still "heavily security-driven". As a result, "Modi's foreign economic initiatives to work with China are jeopardised by security concerns, especially those from the security institutions and domestic hawks", the article said.

"In a successful piece of public diplomacy, Modi announced during his recent visit to China that e-visa facilities will be extended to Chinese nationals, a hard-won compromise after bargaining with security and intelligence wings over their security concerns.

"But what gets in the way of bilateral exchanges are the conference, business and working visas, a situation that this announcement does nothing to improve because e-visas cover only tourists," it said.

Overt security concerns such as border dispute and China's Pakistan policy drives India's policy towards China, it said.

"Thus there is a vicious circle preventing the improvement of bilateral relations: When China proposes expanding cooperation, India stresses there is no trust; China proposes to establish and enhance trust, while India mentions China's relations with Pakistan; China hails mutual understanding, and India wants unilateral compromise on border disputes; when China wants to negotiate on border issues, India says there is no trust to base a solution on," it said.

Referring to China's mega Silk Road projects, the article said there is "strong suspicion among Indians that China actually aims at penetrating the Indian sphere of influence, which in turn makes Modi and his government hesitate to respond or, even worse, to decide to counter Chinese initiative".

It said: "While India is seeking Chinese investment and manufacturing technology, it still links such cooperation with security issues. There is no logical reason behind the practice. Unlike India, China adopts an economy-oriented policy, which means that for a better economic cooperation, it is willing to shelf the disputes for larger mutual interests.

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Source: PTI
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