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Monday, 30 April 2018

The Hindu Editorial: Wisdom at Wuhan

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The Hindu Editorial: Wisdom at Wuhan
Title: Wisdom at Wuhan 

(PM Modi and President Xi change the tenor of India-China ties. They must build on it) 

For an “informal summit”, the Wuhan meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping appeared to cover much ground over the two days — in terms of public appearances and in the two statements issued. 

The statements denoted the wide range of subjects discussed, from bilateral to regional and global challenges. On the bilateral front, they decided to “issue strategic guidance to their militaries to strengthen communication”, essentially to avoid another Doklam-like confrontation. 

Both sides addressed measures to better balance the ballooning trade deficit of about $52 billion (of about $84 billion bilateral trade), mostly by encouraging agricultural and pharmaceutical exports to China. Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi discussed a joint project in Afghanistan. 

Finally, they attempted to reduce the heat over unresolved issues and so-called “irritants” in the relationship, such as China’s block on India’s NSG(Nuclear Supply Group) membership bid or the UN’s terror designation for Pakistan-based groups, and India’s opposition to the Belt and Road Initiative. 

Such a conciliatory approach from Delhi and Beijing has been evident over the last few months of preparation for the Wuhan meeting, with both sides turning down the post-Doklam rhetoric. 

While their previous meetings, in 2015, 2016 and 2017, were preceded or overshadowed by a military standoff or Chinese army intrusion, this time the air has been relatively calm. 

The message from Wuhan is an overarching one: that despite bilateral and geopolitical differences, India and China can resolve differences peacefully and through prolonged dialogue. 

Despite hundreds of years of engaging each other, the two neighbours have been to war only once; since the Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility was signed in 1993, neither side has fired a weapon along the 3,500-km boundary, which is largely undemarcated. 

The Wuhan summit has recommitted India and China to managing bilateral relations in a manner that creates the conditions for the “Asian Century”, and Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi are well-placed to proceed along that path. 

Final Words: 

Much will depend on whether the Wuhan understanding can prevent skirmishes and misunderstandings becoming standoffs, as in the past. The test of that begins now. 

Vocabulary words: 

Confrontation (noun) = Conflict, clash (विरोध) 

Irritant (noun) = Annoyance, irritation 

Conciliatory (adj) = Intended or likely to placate or pacify (मिलाप करनेवाला) 

Intrusion (noun) = Infiltration, obtrusion (अतिक्रमण) 

Stand-off (noun) = Deadlock (गतिरोध) 

Discourse (noun) = Dialogue, conversation (बातचीत) 

Autonomy (noun) = Self-government, independence (स्वराज्य) 

Vocal (adj) = Uttered, oral (मौखिक) 

Rile (verb) = Make annoyed or irritated (क्रोधित करना) 

Indeed (adv) = Really (वास्तव में) 

Secede (verb) = Differ (अलग होना) 

Indestructible (adj) = Unbreakable (अविनाशी) 

Vestige (noun) = Remainder, indication (अवशेष) 

Reap (verb) = Receive as a consequence one’s own action (फल भोगना) 

Salvage (verb) = Rescue, recover (क्षति से बचाना) 

Confederation (noun) = Alliance, association (महा संघ) 

Prudent (adj) = Well judged, judicious (विवेकी) 


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