Modi’s forthcoming visit to China has the potential to set the tone of Sino-Indian relations for years to come, according to this report.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Beijing by the end of May this year. At first glance this visit will be another expression of his stated intention to renew India’s relationships with its regional neighbours and other key regional actors. Modi has declared his intention to make India more relevant in the region and further afield, as befits Asia’s third largest and growing economy, a regional military power and the world’s largest democracy. Much more interesting, however, will be the subtext of the visit. Mr Modi will visit China not only as the Indian Prime Minister but as one who has a very strong nationalistic background as a member of the Indian Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). This is a nationalistic organisation that stands above all for a Hindu India that must be respected internationally and, going by its literature, willing to use force to achieve its goals. Given that background, it is not surprising that he has called for a very muscular approach to India’s national security. This is demonstrated in his castigation of the previous coalition government, led by Dr Manmohan Singh, when he remarked in reference to the 2008 Mumbai attacks, 'Indians died and they did nothing. ... Talk to Pakistan in Pakistan’s language because it won’t learn lessons until then.’