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Ashish Jaitpal asked: Prime Minister in his recent address at the Shangri-La Dialogue referred to India’s relationship with China as ‘multi-layered’. What does that mean?

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  • Rup Narayan Das replies: One can only hazard a guess as to what Prime Minister meant when he referred to India-China relations as ‘multi-layered’. It may have two broad connotations. At the bilateral level, the edifice of complex India-China relations is built around political convergence. Needless to mention that now the relationship between the two countries has been elevated to a ‘strategic level’. The leadership of the two countries at the highest political level are meeting both at bilateral and multilateral level. There is a strong economic dimension to the bilateral relations. There are opportunities and challenges as well. Meanwhile, people-to-people contact and contacts at the think tank and academic level is increasingly gaining salience in the bilateral relationship. Tourist traffic between the two countries is growing and Indian films are increasingly gaining popularity in China. Buddhism continues to be the bedrock of civilisational linkage between the two countries.

    In the external dimension, the two countries are working together in multilateral fora such as the United Nations (UN) particularly on climate change, the Doha Round of trade talks, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN summit meetings, East Asia Summit (EAS), BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and now the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

    Posted on June 13, 2018