Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Chindia Chimera

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    • Omkar Goswami
    • It seems to me that there are two-and-a-half types of people who say that we should always try to accommodate China. The first are the uncompromising peaceniks. For them, it is their manifest fancy — and hence, the Almighty’s desire — that Asia’s two largest nations live together in never-ending friendship, happiness and peace.
    Omkar Goswami
    • The second bunch of Hindi-Chini bhai bhai fellows are what I call the “Chindia chaps”. Typically, these are Indians who have been to Beijing and Shanghai, and even to places like Chongqing and Xian, more than once — often as guests of Chinese institutions or international bodies organising conferences in China.
    • No Chinese in high government or advisory position that matters ever speaks of Chindia. Only Indians do. It is as if creating Chindia gives India the entrée to the high table, as a mythically equal partner of China.  
    • The remaining half is business. I say half with a reason. At one level, Indian business would love to operate in China on a much larger scale — for which it requires our government to be accommodating with the Middle Kingdom.
    • The pro-China groups in India are barking up the wrong tree. They don’t, and won’t, understand that China doesn’t give a fig about India. It has a very simple two-fold view of itself: to be the most powerful and influential nation in Asia and, with the US, become the Club of Two that defines global polity. India has no place in this scheme; and China will never hesitate to put us down if there is the slightest hint of our questioning this dual mandate.
    • The author is chairman of CERG Advisory.