Présentation de l'éditeur
Indian memories of China have been shaped by the events of 1962. Forty-two years on, it is time to leave the past behind and begin afresh. Relations between India and China have improved rapidly since Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi s visit to China in 1989. Since then, ties between the two countries have been cemented at many levels. Jairam Ramesh addresses both the security concerns that continue to mediate the otherwise rapidly improving Sino-Indian relationship and brings to the fore issues that may still pose a problem in the future. The author s intent is to specifically focus on the long-term scenario that may emerge between India and China as their economies develop, complement and compete with each other. He has focused on the role of America in the region, how Western scholars perceive the Sino-Indian relationship and China s changing relationship with Pakistan, amongst other issues. He has also analysed the importance of high-level delegations and Prime-Ministerial visits to each country. He delves into the enormously rich relationship that the two countries shared through Buddhism in the ancient period. Based on the author s extensive reading on the subject, he presents a good overview of the geopolitics of the region and provides for new ways of looking at old problems. Ultimately, the author agrees with Deng Xiaoping when he says, intractable issues should be kept aside and progress should be made on other fronts . For India and China, this intractable issue is the long-pending border dispute. And here, as the author points out, trust and pragmatism is the key to move forward. Finally, he emphasises how there is no substitute for a peaceful and negotiated settlement of all pending disputes between the two countries. Trade between China and India crossed the ten billion dollar mark at the end of 2004 and is poised to grow annually. He looks at the huge potential for trade and other forms of economic exchange that exists between India and China, especially under the new WTO regime to which India and more recently, China are signatories. Jairam Ramesh points out how China is far ahead of India in several areas, especially because of its clear policies on labour laws, its openness to FDI and because China has not remained a prisoner of shibboleths and sterile ideology . He highlights how this changed mindset has pushed China into advance gear while India continues to lag behind in comparison. The comparison here must also be based on the fact that India is a democracy where populist sentiments dominate government discourse. China, on the other hand, has the capacity to initiate policy reform.