China’s official media today highlighted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans to visit the Communist nation in May, with commentaries asking China to dispel India’s doubts about the ambitious Silk Road projects citing the influence it wields in South Asia.
State-run newspapers – China Daily and Global Times – besides the ruling Communist Party of China-run People’s Daily featured External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s meeting with President Xi Jinping on front pages while the state TV CCTV extended elaborate coverage for her engagements here.
Modi to visit China in May was the headline in Global Times with Xi’s remarks that China and India need to “patiently manage differences”.
His visit will likely deepen mutual trust, seek investment and trade opportunities for India and discuss border issues, Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow with the Institute of International Relations at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.
Several Chinese analysts have called for patience and caution in solving the Sino-Indian border problem but said China should grab the opportunity to dispel India’s doubts on other key issues.
“India still has concerns over China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative,” Chen Fengjun, a Peking University professor said, commenting on India’s reservation on China’s mega Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road projects for which President Xi has allocated USD 40 billion.
Swaraj has said India will not give a blanket support but align the synergies where they meet.
“Given India’s enormous influence in South Asia, especially over countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, it would be wise for China to dispel such doubts during Modi’s visit and show India that the initiative is really meant to benefit both countries,” Chen said.