17 May 2015
New Delhi, May 17 — Indian officials have spoken of the ‘unprecedented chemistry’ shown between Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping over the past three days. While it is questionable how much emotional connect world leaders can afford, the Indian and Chinese leaders have points of convergence.
Modi and Xi are said to be part of a new wave of nationalistic, assertive Asian leaders that includes Japan’s Shinzo Abe and Indonesia’s Jokowi. All of them profess to do more than just rule; they have technicolour visions of national revival.
Xi combines his ‘Chinese Dream’ brand with the phrase ‘the great revival of the Chinese nation’. Modi is more modest, but Swaach Bharat and the Gujarat model are not just stand alone concepts – they are part of a larger nation-building canvas.
… Ultimately, a world leader is close to those who can help him with his or her political agenda. “China’s previous experience with Modi as Gujarat’s chief minister convinced the Chinese that Modi is a person they can do business with,” says Hoo Tiang Boon of Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. Modi sees something similar in Xi: hence their willingness to even grasp the nettle of the border dispute.
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 18/11/2015