The Chinese propaganda machinery is caught between the hawks and the pragmatists on India, with doctrinaire Communists unhappy about the “deal on terror” and the comparatively more realistic members of the party leaning towards the business side of ties with New Delhi.
Analysts said on Tuesday that President Xi Jinping’s decision to bury the hatchet with India, and pave the way for better relations soon after the Doklam crisis, was prompted by the upcoming Communist Party Congress.
Communists leaders, provincial and municipal governments in China are closely connected with businesses, which are keen on tapping the potential of the Indian market.
Business CEOs based in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hangzhou carry considerable clout within the party because they represent “Brand China” in the Fortune 500 list.
But, BRICS declaration, condemning two Pakistan-based terrorist groups, at India’s behest, angered the hawkish sections of the Communist Party, who regard China-Pakistan relations as more important than deals with India.
Analysts pointed out that Xi preferred to meet New Delhi’s demand because it could potentially open up the Indian market further. He stands to gain in terms of support from the business minded sections of the party during the upcoming Congress, observers said.
Ramesh Thakur, professor at the Australian National University, told TOI, “There are analysts in China who are starting to realize that there are only two allies, North Korea and Pakistan, and both are major international diplomatic liabilities. They think it might be better if China somehow accommodates India, which is a bigger player, and forget all about Pakistan, which is a liability.”
Thakur added,”This agreement on (BRICS declaration) is an important milestone for Xi ahead of the Party Congress.”
Immediately after the India-China agreement to defuse the Doklam crisis, the Chinese foreign ministry said China had acted as a responsible “major country” when it decided to settle the dispute with India.
However, Xi adopted different tone at BRICS. “Treating each other as equals and seeking common ground while shelving differences; taking a results-oriented, innovative approach to make our cooperation benefit all; developing ourselves to help others with the well-being of the world in our mind,” Xi said, opening the business council meet of BRICS countries on September 3.