Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Xian, Beijing and Shanghai has high on visuals yet, low on impact. The two countries had a lot of hopes riding on the shoulders of two of the most nationalist leaders we’ve had in decades, yet the steps taken to achieve any substantial impact either on economic, political or border issues was subpar.
During his three day visit, accompanied by the Chief ministers of some of India’s most prosperous states and heads of large Indian companies, Mr. Modi met Chinese president Xi Jinping in Xian his hometown, Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Beijing, Chinese and Indian students, businessmen, investors and society. He signed 21 MOU’s worth US$ 21 billion.
Funding from Chinese banks ICBC and China Development Bank for Airtel, Adani Power Company and Jindal Steel and Power accounted for the major part of the agreement total, as did tie-ups for renewable energy companies. The two countries share bilateral trade of US$70 billion, making China India’s biggest trading partner, but the figure is worryingly skewed, with an estimated US$40 billion in favour of China.