No zero-sum games

Oct 21 2013, 10:59 IST
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SummaryBoth India and China would be better off learning to cooperate while competing.

in East and Southeast Asia, once called Indo-China, have opened up new spaces for India’s profile to be raised.

To be sure, India must continue to focus on its domestic agenda of economic growth and development and maintain good relations with all major powers. In pursuing these priorities, India can work with China, being more open to Chinese investment and increased business-to-business links. Over time, both China and India can resolve their border disputes, making sure that incidents like Depsang do not happen again.

However, for a long time to come, both countries would have to earn each other’s trust, given the trust deficit that has built up over the past half a century. Both Manmohan Singh and President Xi Jinping have their “five thoughts” on bilateral relations (‘Five thoughts on China’, IE, March 25), but the one thought that should define their dialogue this week is that both have an obligation and a responsibility to ensure the peaceful rise of Asia in the 21st century. Neither can afford to play zero-sum games, and both would be better off learning to cooperate while competing, avoiding conflict while contending with the trust deficit.

The writer is director for geo-economics and strategy,

International Institute for Strategic Studies and Hon. Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi

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