Chinese premier Wen Jiabao begins his three-day official visit to India Wednesday with a huge trade delegation of more than 300 businesspeople. As two emerging Asian powers, China and India now face a new opportunity to dissolve misgivings and build mutual trust in a pragmatic way.
Days ahead of Wen's visit, some Indian media outlets listed various problems between the two powers. The timing and tone of displaying these problems was however inappropriate. The subtext in the Indian media is not optimistic. It would be more appropriate to pursue mutual interests by taking a more positive stance.
It is not easy to solve problems and conflicts between the two countries. However, is there an alternative to building good neighborly and friendly relationships? Probably not. As two Asian powers with vast territories, neither country could bear strategic confrontation, nor could the entire region. More benefits would come to both countries by solving problem, rather than expanding and focusing on conflict.
From China's perspective, strategic calculations are not in conflict with the goodwill of boosting friendship with India. The problem is that India's public mentality toward this relationship is relatively complicated.
Some Indian people applaud the notion that Asia is slowly growing into an "arc of freedom and prosperity," while others propose to create a triangle of interests among India, China and the US.
Both countries need to further understand each other's diplomatic interests. The countries should work together instead of forming blocs to segregate each other. The bottom line is that each should practically demonstrate goodwill to consolidate the friendship.
Neither China nor India should impose its own requirements on the other country. Both countries should further understand each other's interests and concerns, and properly address existing divergences.
Fundamentally speaking, tolerance is needed in the relationship between the two countries. Both China and India should accept that there is a neighbor running next to it at a rapid pace, rather than being suspicious about each other's achievements. Each should see its partner's success as stimulating and encouraging, rather than a slap in the face.
With a positive mentality, there are actually no haunting barriers between the two countries.
After all, Asia is big enough to accommodate the ambitions of both emerging powers.