India and China refuse to let political differences stymie economic cooperation

6th India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue held in New Delhi, India. (Photo courtesy: The Indian Awaaz)

(, Sep11’19) – China and India have pledged to step up cooperation in areas such as economy, technology and drug development despite ongoing tensions over issues such as Kashmir and the former’s highly provocative support for the latter’s arch-enemy Pakistan. They concluded in New Delhi on Sep 9 their sixth India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue.

“Both sides (exchanged) views on macroeconomic policies and (reached) consensus in pragmatic cooperation, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Sep 10.

The report continued that the Chinese side, headed by He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), noted that cooperation between China and India will help each other in economic development and contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world.

The report cited the Indian side, headed by Rajiv Kumar, vice chairman of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), as saying his government was vigorously promoting reforms, improving the business environment and infrastructure, and Chinese companies were welcome to invest in India’s infrastructure, housing, logistics, smart cities, manufacturing and other fields.

The report also cited the Indian side as saying the two economies were complementary rather than competitive, so they should continue to enhance mutual trust, focus on achievement, solve problems, and create more favourable conditions for cooperation between enterprises.

Under the dialogue established in 2010 to address economic and commercial issues, there are six joint working groups covering infrastructure, energy, technology, resource conservation, pharmaceuticals and policy coordination, noted a report Sep 11.

Earlier, despite the promises of economic cooperation, Beijing had criticised as “unacceptable” India’s decision last month to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and repeatedly stressed its support for Pakistan, its long-standing ally, the report said.

China formally backed Pakistan’s request for the United Nations Security Council to hold “closed consultations” on India’s revocation of the state’s autonomy. However, China found no support from any of the council members for a statement on India’s action.

“The Kashmir issue does affect China-India relations, and Beijing has already made a clear stance that it disagrees with India’s decision. However, the impact is limited, because it is not in China’s interest to let the turbulent India-Pakistan relations drive its relations with either of the countries,” the report quoted Zhao Gancheng, a South Asia studies specialist at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, as saying.

The dialogue came about a month before a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to India for an informal summit with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


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