After a number of false starts in recent years, it seems that India Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landslide election victory and a strong mandate have finally opened the way to a broad strategic partnership between Beijing and New Delhi.
Closer economic and political ties with China have been an important part of Mr. Modi’s election program. He wants India to catch up and compete with China and, in order to do that, he advocates the need for “skills, scope and speed.”
So far, he seems to have got the speed right. China and India have quickly moved to establish wide-ranging consultations on bilateral issues. China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang was the first foreign leader to place a congratulatory call after Mr. Modi’s election, expressing Beijing’s desire to set up a “robust partnership” with India. The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi followed with a visit to Delhi, and India’s Vice President Hamid Ansari made a five-day trip to China where memoranda were signed about Chinese companies’ plans to build industrial parks in India.