As the two largest Asian economies, China and India are finding ways to collaborate. Should America fear a future of better India-China relation?
Recently, things are looking up for India-China relation. Tension between the two of the largest economic powerhouses arose nearly a year ago over a territory dispute (i.e. Doklam Standoff). However, when it comes to pragmatic matters like economic opportunities and technology, the two have been able to seek common grounds. A notable progress has been made through the recent establishment of two IT corridors, allowing India tech companies to have free access to the Chinese market.
That is not all. Earlier in April, Prime Minister Modi met with President Xi in China. It was a meeting served to solidify a cooperative bilateral tie between the two giants. Both parties agree that a friendly India-China relationship is important to growth and global peace, such that it promotes a multi-polar globalized world. Two leaders also intend to have more meetings like this on a regular basis in the future.
Opposition from America
To Chinese and Indians, this positive turn of relations is surely exciting, exemplified by only positive media reports on the matter from both sides. Interesting enough is when Quartz, an American publication, covers such news intentionally using a derogative term “lure” in its title – China is luring Indian tech firms with market access and free rent.
Intrigued by the title, I read the article. I hoped to discover some hidden, back-room agenda China’s secretly brewing against India in the long run, as the title suggested.
Well, there was none. The Quartz article summarized the IT deals between India and China. It too acknowledged the merits in allowing Indian tech companies exploring China’s 144 billion IT market by complementing Chinese hardware companies.
Very briefly, as if it was some sloppy amendment added to the article at the end, it warns Indian readers on 1) becoming another out-sourcing backyard for Chinese businesses, and 2) intellectual property theft. Well… first, let us just pretend that the USA is not the most outstanding practitioner of “out-sourcing” services to third world countries and taking advantage of cheap labor. These are just two of the lamest and most cliche arguments one could grab from top of the shelf, for the sole purpose of antagonizing something that’s benign in nature.
The bottom line is, there is neither “outsourcing backyard” nor “intellectual property theft” involved in India-China deals. It is a long-awaited, mutually beneficial development between Chinese and Indian people.
As someone who has ties with both China and the U.S., I look forward to a better China-US relation. Yet, clickbait news-reporting like “lure,” does not achieve anything but aggravating those truly concerned. Frankly, it only helps accentuate America’s passive-aggression as if it has gotten upset over India and China’s make-up in a triangle relationship.
On the Balance
The Quartz article reflects a general Western sentiment that the rise of Asia shall be feared. In reality, it’s only natural for India, China and other Asian countries alike to pick up on developments. After all, Asia’s de-colonialization from Western powerhouses happened merely a few decades ago. While China and India are working together towards a more balanced picture of global power distribution, promoted should be, also, a balanced narrative.