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From Wuhan Spirit to Chennai Connect – Informal Talks between China and India

Over the last few days the talk in every household and nook and corner of Chennai has been the
meeting between Mr. Narendra Modi and his counterpart Mr. Xi Jinping. This is the second of the
informal meetings between the top heads of state of the two largest countries in the world and not
just India and China but the entire world took notice of this event and followed with great interest.
Its not the first time that heads of state of gotten together for meetings in the past. So why is this
meeting so special or important? This is because there is a lot of stake for both countries. For India,
there are concerns and tensions on two fronts – the economy itself is slowing down significantly and
the current government’s efforts to review it hasn’t really worked. Moreover, with the Article 370
being enforced in Kashmir and the tensions building up with Pakistan, there is a lot riding for India
on how these things will pan out in the near future. So really there is a lot at stake for India. India
hopes that with improved trade agreements with China, it can help revive the slowing down
economy. Moreover India wants to make sure that China does not interfere in the Kashmir issue nor
support Pakistan in any manner that will create border tensions and conflicts for India. China on the
other hand also needs India’s support especially given the push back they have been getting from
the U.S. and all the sanctions on Chinese products that is hampering Chinese economy. As business
with the U.S. begins to reduce, China needs other large consumer driver markets such as India to
help bolster their economy. Moreover China cannot ignore India’s growth as a large economy in the
world market and is keen on improving bi-lateral relationships with India going forward. While both
countries stand to gain a lot through mutual agreements and relationships, there is also the other
view point that the meetings are really just to create more publicity and nothing significant can
come out of the same. Many detractors of Modi and Xi feel that both the Wuhan meeting and the
Chennai meeting is more to demonstrate to the world that India and China are getting closer but on
ground nothing has so far come out of these meetings that have benefited the economy or the
people of both countries. While this may or may not be true, one thing is for sure is these meetings
have really got world attention now. Many countries especially Pakistan and the U.S. have been
closely following this meeting. Pakistan because they are squarely stuck with the Kashmir and with
the U.S. and now China not supporting them, they really don’t have any more cards up their sleeve.
The U.S. itself is closely watching this since they are getting out of China in many ways and were
hoping to increase trade and connections with India in the future.

In conclusion, l believe that these talks even if they are not generating immediate results will surely
help in the long-term for India. To grow the Indian economy, trade and commerce is key factor and
with our increased trade relationships with China can go a long way to enhance the economy.
Moreover I also feel that as