The second informal meeting between Chinese and Indian leaders will begin on Friday (11th). At the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Xi Jinping will go to India to attend the second informal meeting of Chinese and Indian leaders from October 11 to October 13; he will then transfer to Nepal for a state visit. .
This time, Xi Jinping will visit Chennai and the coastal town of Mamallapuram, about 50 kilometers away. It is also like the location of the first informal meeting between the two sides last year. The strength of the place, Mahabalipuram is the ideal location for the Indian side to show its “soft power”, and Chennai’s economic growth position in recent years is at the forefront of the world.
“South Asia Detroit” is not immune to economic growth
Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu in southeast India. This area has been an important administrative, military and economic center since the first century AD. The city has a population of about 10 million and contributes about 40% of the state’s GDP. This coastal city facing the Bay of Bengal is developing rapidly, and its economic growth rate is among the highest in the world. Dozens of enterprises with assets of more than US$1 billion are located in the local area. Many large domestic banks also operate here, which is regarded as financial in the region. center.
At present, the information technology industry, medical and manufacturing industries are booming and the development prospects are bright. Chennai is also India’s main automobile industry base. Automobile exports account for 60% of all India’s automobile exports, so it is called “South Asia Detroit”.
Chennai is also the cultural center of India. It is famous for its South Indian classical music and Bharatdo dance. It hosts a number of large-scale art and cultural events every year and is also a stronghold of the Tamil film industry. However, due to the lack of effective planning and over-exploitation, the local natural water supply has gradually dried up this year. Water shortages affect the operations of all walks of life, such as disrupted production schedules, rising operating costs, and daring to expand business due to water supply issues. Some companies even require employees to stay at home.
The lack of water in Chennai has not only become a stumbling block to India’s rapid growth, indicating that if the infrastructure supporting economic growth fails to be in place, economic growth will not be as expected. In fact, the problem of water shortage is not limited to Chennai. India reported last year that the country is experiencing the worst water shortage in history, and the precious groundwater resources that account for 40% of the water supply are being consumed at an unsustainable rate. More than 600 million people in India are facing severe water shortages. It is estimated that by 2020, 21 cities including Chennai will run out of groundwater.
Coastal towns show the historical origins of China and India
Mamara Plum is not only a leisurely sightseeing town, but also has a history in China. During the Palavas, the area was a prosperous port. The dynasty ruled southern India from 275 to 897, and its architecture was famous. China also sent envoys here. In addition, as an important port city between the dynasty and Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka, the coins of the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius I were also excavated here, which shows that there is also close communication with the Western world at that time.
Indian archaeologist S Rajavelu told the Indian media: “The green pottery of the first and second centuries discovered in the east coast of Tamil Nadu (which belongs to Mamara Plum) provides us with clues about China’s maritime activities. He believes that these findings and other archaeological evidences such as Chinese ancient coins in the same period can be used to infer the area, including the coastal area of Mahabalipura and the adjacent Gandhi Blum area known as the “University”. (Kancheepuram), has a certain connection with China.
In addition, the ancient Tamil literature of the Sangam period (about 6th century BC to the 1st century AD) also described the berthing of a Chinese ship on the east coast of ancient Tamil Nadu. From the “Han Shu” in China, you can also find records of the exchanges between China and the Tamil countries. Rajavelu added that Ganjibulum was a center of prosperity for Buddhism and study: “Don Juan Xuanyuan visited the local area in the 7th century and stayed in Mahabalipura before continuing to seek Dharma. “
Copying the “success” of Wuhan meeting?
This meeting honoured the commitment of the Wuhan Summit to hold more similar meetings. The purpose is to ensure that the two sides maintain a “high level of strategic communication” and establish mutual trust between the two parties through the meeting. Looking back at last April, the first informal summit, the relevant arrangements are very unconventional. The main reason is that the summit meeting is generally more solemn and serious. At that time, Wuhan was chosen instead of Beijing. The analysis pointed out that in this relatively relaxed working atmosphere, the two leaders were free to exchange bilateral relations, especially some difficult issues. Meeting in Wuhan can remove the constraints of formal meetings, avoid formalization, and on the other hand alleviate political pressure within the two countries.
India’s location selection this time also reflects a similar mind, and wants to replicate the success elements of Wuhan meeting. However, after a year and a half of the first meeting, the China-Indian relationship has not changed much in substance, and the border dispute is still worthy of attention. The Indian side had previously hoped that the economic cooperation project with China in Afghanistan would not be reached.
On the other hand, the development of the two countries has also undergone many changes since the last meeting. Although India’s relations with the United States, Russia and Japan have gradually strengthened this year, the economy and military cooperation have become closer, but the tensions in Kashmir and even the drought have made New Delhi a headache. The Chinese side is no longer in a strong development momentum at the beginning of last year. The China-US trade war, the Belt and Road initiative have suffered setbacks, and even the recent turmoil in Hong Kong.
With the respective problems and difficulties of the two countries and the careful arrangements of the Indian side for the location of the meeting, it may indicate that the willingness of the two sides to exchange and cooperate through the “informal meeting” should be more sincere than last time, and it will be more external. look forward to. After all, the location of this site was once the center of the Palava Dynasty.
Indian diplomat MK Narayanan wrote in The Hindu that, as early as the eighth century AD, China in the Tang Dynasty had entered into a security treaty with King Palava to seek help from the other against Turbo, which threatened China at the time. Powerful. This may be because India wants to release a hint of subtle hints, which means that China and India jointly develop and maintain the importance of relations.