M.K. Bhadrakumar, atimes.com
India needs the ‘big picture’, which is sadly lacking. Admittedly, a settlement of the border dispute with China remains a long-term project. What is involved is much more than the drawing of a line on the map. It becomes a historic ‘political act’ that can fructify only on the basis of a strategic understanding, which will take time, where domestic opinion also forms a template.
Meanwhile, economic diplomacy comes handy; it helps to stabilize the relationship and create a web of mutual interests that can provide the critical mass for reaching a strategic understanding as time passes.
Economic diplomacy involves ‘public diplomacy’, which also helps to form the domestic opinion in favor of normalization of relations with China and greater acceptance of border settlement in a spirit of give-and-take.
A fresh start is needed in India’s China policies. It is best done by recapturing the equilibrium under the previous government and jettisoning the fanciful notion that the US or Japan is in the business of propping up India as counterweight to China in the Asian region.