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A ‘Nixon’, Modi can resolve border row: Chinese daily

Beijing : Saying he could become India’s ‘Nixon’, a Chinese strategic thinker Tuesday said India’s prime minister-designate, Narendra Modi, can help resolve their dragging border dispute.

An opinion piece in the influential Global Times also referred to Modi’s chief ministership of Gujarat since 2001 and said his “governance style and philosophy are very close to Chinese practices”.

Describing the Sino-Indian border dispute as “the biggest obstacle in bilateral relationship”, the commentary by Liu Zongyi said: “The Sino-Indian border issue was generated under the leadership of then Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru. Modi and the BJP have no historical burden over this, which may help solve the thorny issue.”

Liu, a research fellow of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, added: “As a right winger in Indian politics, Modi is more likely to become India’s ‘Nixon’ who will further propel the China-India relationship.”

The opinion piece gave wholesome credit to the BJP veteran for the party’s stunning victory in the Lok Sabha battle.

“This is Modi’s victory,” Liu said, attributing some of the reasons for this as “his resolute governance style, clean image, outstanding record as well as his ‘low caste’ background which sharply contrast with his counterparts from the Congress”.

Referring to criticism that Modi doesn’t care for others’ views, the opinion piece said the BJP’s lack of majority in the Rajya Sabha would not let him become an “autocrat”.

If Modi needs to make India “strong” in the next decade as he has stated, then he “needs a peaceful and stable neighbourhood to facilitate domestic economic development”.

It said a section of the Western media was trying to foment discord between China and India.

“They portrayed Modi as ‘India’s (Shinzo) Abe’ who will take a tough stance against China.

“Modi acted indeed aggressively on the Sino-India border issue during his election campaign. He also vowed to establish a ‘web of allies’ by strengthening strategic cooperation with countries on China’s periphery such as Japan, Vietnam and Russia.

“But Modi is unlike to act as vehemently as Abe as it would be of no benefit to India’s economy at all.”