Only weeks after Chinese President Xi Jinping had a much-publicized meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Durban on the sidelines of a BRICS summit, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reached New Delhi today on the first leg of his maiden tour abroad.
Such a short time interval in top-level contacts between the two Asian giants gives the impression the Chinese dragon and the Indian elephant are about to tango toward better ties and closer cooperation. And such a prospect would also bring extra glamour to multilateral frameworks such as BRICS, in which China and India are major players.
Visionary leaders in both countries have realized the world has sufficient room for the development of China and India, and the two neighbours share vast common interests, despite their lingering border issues and the much-hyped China-India rivalry for regional primacy.
As much of the developed world is occupied with economic woes, BRICS, the grouping of five leading emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — is now in a unique position to push for greater say for developing countries in global economic governance.
A stronger partnership between China and India, both boasting amazing economic records in recent years, will give the BRICS a powerful thrust toward a more prominent role.
Tracing back to the middle of last century, it was the same yearning for independence and national revival across the developing world that brought the two giant neighbours together.
Since then the two countries have always been seen as champions for developing nations in issues such as poverty reduction, food and energy security, and climate change amid other significant global issues.
Now hailed as the world factory and world back-office respectively, China and India have much more to offer in changing the global economic landscape and securing more rights for developing nations.
It is natural that when other developing countries hope to see their due rights safeguarded and their global status elevated, they often look to China and India for substantial support.
This is the larger reason why the two countries should increase their mutual trust, expand their cooperation and strengthen their coordination.
And BRICS, which has already made headway in bringing positive changes to the existing global order, will definitely shine brighter if New Delhi reciprocates Beijing’s latest initiative for closer ties.
(Wang Haiqing writes for China’s Xinhua news agency)