India and China are two great nations of the Asian continent. Both impact each other over events big and small that occur in any part of the continent. Moreover, their role in world affairs is important and sometimes vital too.
As they are neighbors, maintaining good cordial relations is inevitable for both. That is why in the course of their bilateral dealings, and particularly in the process of increasing economic and cultural relations during the last two decades, they have shown maturity on their respective parts on many occasions.
But China’s attitude towards India regarding the terror attacks in Mumbai last year in November has been shocking. It has been appalling and surprising to know after conveying formal condolences for the people killed, the Chinese government, in spite of condemning the barbarian act honestly and strongly, moved quickly to divert attention from terrorism perpetrated by an organization it has supported by calling on India and Pakistan to strengthen dialogue and bilateral cooperation, at the United Nation Security Council meeting.
It is also painful to learn about the unfair and regrettable attitude of China’s official state media as well as various Chinese government institutions that repeatedly downplayed the terrorist’s actions in Mumbai.
Without a doubt, such an unfair attitude of China particularly on the issue of terrorism, which is a serious international problem affecting every continent of the world has sent a wrong signal to the developing economic and cultural relations between India and China. Despite the unfortunate conflict between China and India in 1962, and the late former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s Beijing visit in 1988 to improve relations, mistrust still persists.
It is less important that China considers Pakistan an old friend and values the friendship for any number of reasons and more important that it looks at the reality of things and addresses it with a fair and clear political conscience. This is the only way China can build a fair partnership with India and realize its goal of becoming a world power.
India is the largest democracy in the world and a leading economic power, which can be assessed by its annual growth rate even in these days of global economic depression. Nevertheless, it has its own importance in world affairs and cannot be underestimated by the international community and particularly by China.
The need of the hour is to wind up mistrust step-by-step, as this is one of the main hurdles in building relations between both nations. China must realize the importance of India and come forward honestly to smoother its political and economic relations with its neighbor in the larger interest of the people of both countries in particular and the world community in general.