Why India and China need to build ‘trust’ and not just ‘confidence’ in their relationship

The series of follow-up decisions taken together by India and China after the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping at Wuhan in July 2018 seem to indicate both are trying to mend their relations frayed in the wake of the 2017 military standoff at Doklam. But much will depend upon how soon their mutual confidence building measures are turned into trust building actions.

Perhaps, the most significant move was the signing of an agreement between the two countries on internal security cooperation to “strengthen and consolidate discussions and cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism, organised crimes, drug control and other relevant areas”.

It could be path-breaking if pursued in earnest. (The caveat is Chinese official statements frequently contain the word “relevant” to suit the country’s ambivalent stand on some of the related issues. Read More

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