The United States has dominated the economic world order for the past seventy years or so, and now it seems to be running out of steam. Over the past decade and a half, there has been a shift in the balance of economic power towards the two rising giants of the Orient—India and China. As the two biggest countries in Asia, they are committed to ensure stability and good governance for their own benefit and by extension towards the world community at large.
India’s progress, ever since it decided to liberalise its economy has been remarkable. With its skilled manpower and a stable democratic value system it is now the world’s preferred choice as an investment destination. China has already emerged as a global superpower-in-the-waiting with its impressive strides in infrastructure and its phenomenal economic gains. The unabashed pursuit of wealth seems to be the new Chinese mantra and Mao must be turning in his grave if he saw his beloved country today.
India and China: The Next Decade is a series of papers and proceedings of a seminar jointly hosted by the Observer Research Foundation and the University of Calcutta. This being the India-China Friendship Year it is only fitting that this book should have found a timely release. It addresses, by turns, various aspects of Indo-Chinese relations, from the gradual rise of these two countries in the economic sphere to their engagement with other world economies, and amongst its panel are such distinguished people as AB Bardhan, Pranab Mukherjee, VP Malik and Brajesh Mishra.
The 1962 Indo-China war is history now and the two countries have much to offer each other in terms of economic cooperation and cultural ties. Sometime back the two countries signed a defence contract and the recent opening of the Nathu La Pass promises exchange of cross-border cooperation between these old foes-turned-friends. Much of this can be attributed to such factors as the end of the Cold War and the inevitable economic reforms necessitated by the collapse of the old communist order and the rise of big business.
The book offers a sweeping view of Indo-China relations and can be valuable reading for not only students interested in international relations but also jaded political scientists who, tired of American hegemony, have placed their bets on the land of the dragon and the tiger for a new world economic revival.
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