A24 INDIA SPECIAL/MODI IN CHINA India Abroad May 22, 2015
can’t risk his nationalist fervor, particularly while dealing
with China and Pakistan.
Modi’s visit to China draws attention to the reality that
in some respects Modi is more handicapped than
Vajpayee who enjoyed a centrist image and could sail
eazily in the muddied waters of diplomacy while remaining the leader of his nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.
As Modi completes State-level visits to America, China,
Japan and Europe’s two important countries, it will be
worth watching, in the next round, how he brings lucidity
to his diplomacy with China and Pakistan.
Foreign Secretary Jaishankar’s press conference clearly
implied that both sides were realistic, but not necessarily
upbeat to put relations on the fast track.
It is highly possible that the Chinese leadership’s
assessment of Modi is not very different from the Chinese
assessment of his party, the BJP, and its mentor, the
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
On the border issue the same-old problems remained
While talking about the need for clarification on the
4,057 kilometer-long Line of Actual Control, Modi said, ‘I
stressed on the need for China to re-consider its approach
to some issues that hold us back from realizing the full
potential of our partnership. We both reiterated our
strong commitment to make all efforts to maintain peace
and tranquillity in the border region. We should be sensi-
tive to each others’ interest.’
The joint statement tried to infuse a bit of enthusiasm
here and there. It says, ‘The Chinese side took note of
India’s aspirations to become a member of the Nuclear
Suppliers Group, in a bid to strengthen international non-
‘For the first time in a document, China has accepted
India’s aspirations to join the NSG. There is, however, no
decision on e-visas with regard to China,’ Dr
Jaishankar said. In his speech to students at
Tsinghua University later, Modi announced that
e-visas would be granted for Chinese visitors to
According to a ministry of external affairs
source, “There is no goof-up over the e-visa
issue. India has taken the decision. The decision
to grant e-visas to Chinese tourists is not a con-
sequence of (high-level) talks.”
The diplomat tried to suggest that Modi’s
announcement of granting e-visas to Chinese
travellers is final. “It’s a national announce-
ment.” Chinese tourists and businessmen have
reason to rejoice because when the visa regime
is relaxed, it adds to the mutual level of trust
and increases people to people contacts and also
brings business on both sides.
China is reluctant to give round the year river
stream data, refuses to stop issuing stapled visa
for Indians belonging to Arunachal Pradesh and
Jammu and Kashmir travelling to China and is
not making any headway on the Indian demand
to provide clarifications on the Line of Actual
China’s Silk Road and Maritime Route initiative is not being supported by India yet, nor is
there is any substantial announcement on it.
Notwithstanding the announcement on e-visas,
there is a kind of status quo on how China views
Both sides did sign a record 24 agreements worth $10
billion, but the template to deal with each other has not
Even though Xi and Modi both are business-minded,
the apprehensions about their respective national security
remains where it is.
Beyond great ‘optics’,
no great push in
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Terracotta Warriors Museum, in Xi'an, May 14.
Prime Minister Modi is given a traditional Tang Dynasty welcome at the South City Wall, in Xi'an, May 14. PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU
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