Great (or Not) Expectations for the China-India Summit
The list of issues hanging over Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Beijing positively boggles the mind: Indian displeasure over China’s alliances with Pakistan and Burma, Chinese displeasure with India’s alleged membership in an “axis of democracy,” nuclear technology sales, the Dalai Lama, investment barriers, competing influence in Southeast Asia–and, above all, the 40-plus year border dispute around Arunachal Pradesh.
With Singh having landed in Beijing and the China-India summit now officially underway, Western media are taking up positions at various points on the expectations scale.
In its pre-summit report, Bloomberg sticks with the optimistic pronouncements of China’s state-run press, quoting a Xinhua interview with Singh in which the Indian leader sounds hopeful about prospects for “an early settlement of the boundary question.”
The BBC, meanwhile, echoes yesterday’s report in the New York Times in predicting few, if any, of the major issues will be fully resolved.
Despite booming business, Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee earlier this month played down speculation that the prime minister’s visit would achieve anything substantial.
“If you are expecting… any dramatic turnaround on certain issues, which are long-pending, it would perhaps be too much,” he is reported to have said. [Full Text]