Can Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi Establish an Economic Partnership?

Experts share their views on China-India relations

As President Xi Jinping heads to New Delhi for an important visit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week, India and China have an opportunity to improve bilateral ties. But can the two leaders truly make headway in the economic sphere with other issues diminishing trust? And if the two leaders do display the political will to enhance economic cooperation, what issues should be on the top of their economic agenda? We asked a number of experts to weigh in on what they think President Xi and Prime Minister Modi can do to enhance bilateral economic relations even as their countries grapple with broader border and geopolitical issues. We also asked them to identify some win-win issues for the two economies that the two leaders should prioritize. Here are their thoughts on the future of China-India economic relations. In a companion piece, I argue that President Xi and Prime Minister Modi must prioritize economic cooperation above other concerns to strengthen ties in the immediate future.

— Anubhav Gupta, Senior Program Officer, Asia Society Policy Institute

Expert Viewpoints

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“An India-China partnership is an economic marriage made in heaven, but there are hurdles.”
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“Modi may well find that now is an opportune moment to seek a new kind of relationship with China.”
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“The investment relationship can only go up.”
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“The economic relationship between the two countries is at the cusp of transformation.”
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“Cooperation in infrastructure and manufacturing should be the two major areas for Sino-Indian economic cooperation during Xi’s India trip.”
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“The two leaders have the opportunity to craft a new kind of relationship between great powers.”
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“India’s strategic concerns, while real, need not necessarily hinder the pursuit of opportunities.”
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“Despite the optimism surrounding their economic relationship, there are serious flaws that will be difficult to address without greater political trust.”
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“Economic cooperation, on which both leaders are focused, however, has immense untapped potential, including to gradually build trust.”