China has proposed a four-point initiative to overcome differences and deepen relations with India. It includes aligning its ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) project with India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and restarting negotiations on a free trade pact.
The proposal put forward by Chinese envoy Luo Zhaohui includes:
1. Start negotiation on a China-India Treaty of Good Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation.
2. Restart negotiation of China-India Free Trade Agreement.
3. Strive for an early harvest on the border issue.
4. Actively explore the feasibility of aligning China’s ’One Belt One Road Initiative’ (OBOR) and India’s ‘Act East Policy’.
The envoy’s four-point suggestion to overcome differences comes at a time when the relationship between the two Asian powers has been going through a rough patch due to differences on a range of issues.
The dormant differences in India-China ties have once more flared up in recent days, due inter alia to their lack of agreement on how to deal with Pak-based terrorist Masood Azhar.
There are other recent developments that have added to bilateral complications, as for instance the implications of the CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor), which is the major cooperative project between those two countries and has important implications for the region as a whole.
There are some other Tibet-related issues that have also come up at this time, once more to disturb relations between the two countries. For quite some while now, China has been describing Arunachal Pradesh as part of Tibet, and claiming thereby that it should rightly be considered as part of China.
In recent years, China has made large investments in its economic relations with Nepal, including infrastructure development, and has tried to establish alternative access to the world through Chinese territory for this landlocked neighbour.