Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi said it best, that a wise decision is “better late than never”. Thanks to the lobby within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that believes in sacrificing the interests of the Chinese people to serve the narrow concerns of the Pakistan army, more than $248 billion dollars of treasure has gone from the pockets of the Chinese people to serve the interests of the Pakistan army over the decades. Hardly any effort seems to have been made in Beijing to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of such a massive amount of expenditure, and as a consequence, every day more and more money from the pockets of the Chinese people are getting spent on projects and causes dear to the hearts and pocketbooks of the generals in Rawalpindi. The only standing army that has “Jihad” as its official motto, the Pakistan military is steeped in infamy across the globe for its open reliance on terrorists to achieve its objectives, including within the country, where several foes of the military have been killed off by terror elements operating under the direction of GHQ Rawalpindi. The influence of the pro-GHQ lobby in Beijing has resulted in China standing behind several of such misdeeds of the Pakistan military, with its 10-year long refusal to permit the UN Security Council to designate Masood Azhar as a global terrorist being a single example. However, the iron lock over Chinese Communist Party policy towards India that had been placed in the control of the Pakistan army got diluted once Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping established a relationship of warmth and trust at Wuhan a year ago. Although the meeting has been condemned by opposition parties unaware (or uncaring) of the nuances of diplomacy and the need for the two most populous countries on the globe to work together, the reality is that the Wuhan meeting represented a breakthrough on a scale not seen since Rajiv Gandhi and Deng Xiaoping established a personal rapport three decades ago. At that time, Rajiv Gandhi was unable to accept Deng Xiaoping’s proposal to complete a settlement of the boundary dispute on the basis of the Mao Zedong-Zhou-Enlai formula (that essentially ratified the status quo). However, should Modi return to office on 23 May, it is likely that President Xi and he will come to a boundary settlement before a possible second five-year term of the Prime Minister concludes. Good relations between China and India would ensure stability for Asia, and bring forward the period when the Asian Century moves into the fast track. The decision by China to unblock the designation of Azhar (who had been released from captivity by Atal Behari Vajpayee) came from the highest level of the CCP and could not have been possible without the atmosphere of trust that has been created after the Wuhan summit. Soon after the 23 May election results get announced, it is understood that the second summit of the leaders of China and India will take place, this time in India.

Prime Minister Modi acted in a statesmanlike manner by refusing to get stampeded by business lobbies and their agents within the government to block competition from Chinese companies such as Huawei. The rollout of 5G throughout India will give a boost to development, and India should follow the example of the UK by ensuring that protective measures against backdoor loss of data be taken even while the advantages offered by Huawei in its technology be taken advantage of in sectors that our outside the security core of the state. The Trump administration’s stance towards Huawei has more to do with preserving US business advantage than in assisting enhancements in security. Even while India and the US should move closer to establish a strong relationship with each other in matters of defense and security, the Prime Minister should stand firm against efforts at rewarding greedy US corporations at the expense of the common man. This is what the USTR (which functions as a lobby for billionaires rather than in the US public interest) is seeking to do in its ceaseless efforts at reducing to dust the generic pharma industry in India. Nor should India budge from its purchases of oil from Iran, although payment for the same should be made in RMB, roubles or rupees rather than in dollars or euros. There is a strong case for barter trade with Iran and this option needs to be pursued rather than sacrifice the national interest so that the oil barons of Houston laugh all the way to the bank through the many steps being taken by Bush family retainers in the Trump administration to send oil prices up into the stratosphere. India needs a balanced relationship between the two superpowers, Beijing and Washington. The deft diplomacy of Prime Minister Modi together with President Xi Jinping has resulted in China joining the global coalition against terror emanating from Pakistan, rather than being an outlier in this respect. The success of the Wuhan spirit needs to be extended and expanded for the benefit of the 2.5 billion inhabitants of India and China. Over to the Prime Minister of India and the President of China.

 

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