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Winds of friendship

Winds of friendship
Highlights

Fresh winds of friendship are blowing across the Asia-Pacific region that was getting enveloped in a charged atmosphere with countries lying in the region getting sucked into a vicious rivalry over geopolitical issues.

Fresh winds of friendship are blowing across the Asia-Pacific region that was getting enveloped in a charged atmosphere with countries lying in the region getting sucked into a vicious rivalry over geopolitical issues.

For the observers, the situation in the region was dangerous enough to trigger at least a minor conflict in several areas. The last few months have seen a thaw in bilateral relations; however, restricted it is. With 2018 marking the 40th anniversary of the signing of a peace and friendship treaty between the two countries, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in November, on the margins of a regional summit in Vietnam, to make a “new start” in bilateral relations.

Economic benefits for both countries are bound to flow from the political thaw. Tapping into Chinese markets makes sense for the Abe administration’s pursuit ofeconomic growth, while China can benefit from Japanese technology and the countries’ linked supply chains. Then came the moves by the Koreas to come together once again leading to a great hope of peace prevailing in the region despite the sabre-rattling and the US warnings.

Reunion is one of the most complicated issues as both the countries could not comprehend how to reunite while retaining their own identities. The federation formula also got bogged down in controversy over the governing council constitution. Next most important point here is the denuclearisation aspect.

Though North Korea has announced that it would not conduct further nuclear tests, it remains to be seen how the existing stockpile of nuclear arsenal is to be neutralised. But, the fact that the two heads of the countries have shown the willingness to see reason is more important. The planned upcoming talks with the US, and perhaps with China also drawn in, would clear the cobwebs further.

Third most important is the Sino-Indian talks at Wuhan. These informal talks could have reset the Indo-China relations far more than any other moves undertaken so far. One reason to believe in this would be the news emanating from Wuhan that both the leaders have agreed to guide their armies personally.

This is quite significant because Xi Jinping is now the supreme commander of the armed forces having brought it under the control of the party. There is also an understanding to go for a fresh re-look at the trilateral points involving all the countries party to it. This is of utmost importance to resolve situations like Doklam. Last, but not the least, is the news that Indo-China cooperation could bloom in Afghanistan in some joint venture.

This could be of immense concern to Pakistan as its position could get weakened in case China and India join hands. The fourth highlight of the informal talks is that both countries agreed to work together more to control terror. Now we hear that India would take part in military exercises in Russia under Shanghai Cooperation Organization alongside Pakistan. No doubt, there are greater economic concerns that dominate such wisdom. Who cares as long peace is given a chance to establish itself in the region firmly!

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