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‘Asian Century’ Depends on China-Indian Cooperation, Resolving India-Pakistan Relations

Aug. 20, 2022 (EIRNS)—A Global Times editorial today expresses appreciation for Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s comments in Thailand on Aug. 18 promoting cooperation between China and India. Global Times writes that Jaishankar’s discussion of an “Asian Century” is a reference to “a much-quoted term by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in meeting with then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1988, to call on China and India to work together.”

Jaishankar presented a lecture on “India’s Vision of the Indo-Pacific” at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand on Aug. 18, saying that “the Asian Century would happen when China and India came together, but it would be difficult for this to happen if India and China could not come together,” according to Press Trust of India (PTI). “I think if India and China have to come together, there are many reasons to do so, not necessarily only Sri Lanka,” he said.

Global Times quotes Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, that the expression “Asian Century” has served as a driving force for China and India to normalize and strengthen their relations since 1988, and Jaishankar’s use of the term in stressing the need for a friendly bilateral relationship is worth praising.

Preparations are being made for the SCO Heads of State Council summit on Sept. 15-16 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, which will bring the leaders of India, Pakistan and China, among other member states, together. In addition to a possible bilateral meeting between Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister may also meet with Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. In 2015, Modi had made a surprise visit to Lahore to with Pakistan’s then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In a meeting with Australia’s ambassador in Pakistan on Aug. 19, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he aspires to have peaceful bilateral ties with India. He also spoke about a peaceful resolution of Kashmir. That was his first statement as Prime Minister indicating an interest in improving ties with India.

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