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Dragon-elephant dance needs sound footing

By Ding Gang (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

16:36, September 23, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

The ties between the two major Asian countries of China and India are increasingly close, which has seemingly boosted both their mutual exchanges and conflicts. The mix of related good and bad news has drawn unprecedented international attention to where the next step of the dance of the dragon and the elephant will fall.

It is a must to fully understand and properly handle China-India relations from the prospective of the development of human history. The combined population of China and India makes up about 40 percent of the world's total. Every move made by the two countries that promotes peace and development will mean adding a weight of peace on the scale of world stability and turmoil and accumulating the experience for the peaceful coexistence of the two rising major powers.

The development of China and India over the past two to three decades has shown that the rise of new major countries is influential enough to change the landscape of the entire region and even the whole world. However, the simultaneous rise of the two neighboring countries of India and China will inevitably bring about difficulties in balancing their interests. This is simply unprecedented in the history of the world.

History cannot be changed, but the two countries can and must change their historical paths as the two new major powers.

Pursuing new-style relations between big powers is a common mission that the new era has given to China and India. Opening-up and compatibility are ceaselessly deepening the exchanges between China and India in politics, economics, trade and other areas. Opening-up and compatibility also require that China and India must check each other with a constructive sight. Unity will lead to success, and confrontation will lead to failure. It is the foundation for China and India to coexist in harmony and establish new-style bilateral relations.

In such kinds of relations between big powers, many contradictions and much friction will still exist, but the two sides could strengthen their self-confidence and mutual trust by maintaining exchanges with each other and controlling frictions and conflicts by established mechanisms.

In this kind of relations between big powers, great importance must be especially attached to the strategy. The key point of strategy is how to realize the goal of long-term mutual benefit and common development. It is a shortsighted action for one side to overestimate the other side's intention or regard all the actions related or potentially related to it carried out by the other side as strategic threats.

In such a relationship between big powers, the old blueprints for the rise of great powers must be discarded. While observing how the transition of big countries' strengths affects the regional politics and economy, especially observing the relations between two big neighbor countries developing simultaneously like China and India, some people always focus their attention on the balance of strength. In fact, the current relations between big powers, especially between big emerging powers, include not only the balance of strength but also the interweaving of interests. The frictions have increased, and it means that the interests have interwoven more than before.

The intertwined interests of China and India are bound to exert a profound influence on the rise of the two countries. There will be a lot of competition, friction and conflict between the two countries, but due to their ever-expanding common interests, both countries will gradually learn to take each other's development calmly.

It is foolish and pointless to compare China and India to two high-speed trains on a collision course. The two broad-minded nations will build up mutual trust step by step in the process of opening-up and rapid development.

"No power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come," incumbent Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, then finance minister of the country, quoted Victor Hugo, while presenting a historic Union Budget to the parliament 20 years ago, making a reference to India's reform and opening-up. This quote, however, can also be applied to the relations between emerging powers.


Leave your comment9 comments

  1. Name

PD User at 2011-10-02220.255.2.*
Bases on ur logic, you should stop comparing yourselves with US. You"ll never catchup with them.
PD User at 2011-09-2881.206.61.*
You must be a provoking westerner for sure!!!!
PD User at 2011-09-2859.180.141.*
Any one claiming about what the future will be,is really futile. Alexender from Greece won almost all the countries...but he has to turn back once he reached INDIA. And where is Greece Today.,Than came the time of Germany (Hitler),and than UK,than USA. How long USA goes as superpower is a question...with 15 Trillion $ US debt and 1 trillion budget deficit each year....dollar is on the verge of collapse. China and India (2 largest economies up till 1700, u can google out), the two most ancient civilization never indulged in to war for last 10000 years, except 1962. We should learn to respect as each country is progressing in its own way. We should be peace in ASIA at all cost. Western powers want to generate mistrust between 2 countries because that is the only way push them in slavery and stop them from moving forward.
PD User at 2011-09-28173.126.173.*
India will not ever catch up to China, it is overpopulated (out of control). There is no superpower with countries located in the tropical or subtropical climate. All powerful countries lies in temperate climates. The one good thing going for India is its democracy (the largest democratic country). China has beaten India soundly before during a short skirmish before and history will repeat itself unless India wise up and not to provoke China in the South China Sea with Vietnam.
captainjohann at 2011-09-27122.167.197.*
A very brilliant analysis by the author. As an Indian I find it disconcerting that chinese experts tend to swallow what interested western commentators write about relations about 405 of Humanity with jaundiced eyes. As the author has stated both countries must show the adventurism of Huang Psuang and Fa hien who crossed Himalays to learn Budhism at Nalanda.

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