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If Modi and Xi Meet, Indian elections will set the tone



NEW DELHI – When leaders of the world's two most populous nations meet in Wuhan City on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India will press for less of China's President Xi Jinping.

Less problems like the embarrassing territorial showdown that put the two countries on alert last year. Less worrying about how India is currently facing increasing Chinese influence in China, Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Maldives.

Analysts say Mr. Modi is fixated on winning the next year's elections in India. And it is a measure of the tense relationship between China and India, where he is seen as needing the help of Mr. Xi.

Officials from both countries describe the meeting of leaders that came at the request of India a chance to "reset" relations. But it is clear that Mr. Modi will ask for the assurance of Mr. Xi.

Political analysts and even Indian officials even describe the complex relationship between India and China as "frenemies."

But it does not always work, partly because of the money. China has so much more and there are huge sums to Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and the Maldives – all South Asian countries that are traditionally dependent on India are now feeling China's reins.

Concerning Pakistan, India's most direct rival, China is particularly generous and has recently committed to finance infrastructure projects worth more than $ 50 billion.

In 1980, the economies of India and China were about the same size. But in the decades after that, while China has rapidly industrialized, India has fought more. China's economy is now about five times bigger than India's.

Indian analysts say this could be a source of cooperation if India represents the right attitude. China could export its surplus goods and capacities, and India could get the infrastructure and cheap products its population needs.

"But their economic relationships are hampered by their political relationships," said Joshi, the observer of the Research Foundation. 19659002] On the other hand, many people in India tend to regard China and especially its military muscles with awe.

Subramanian Swamy, a Member of Parliament and Mr. Modi's political party, said that Indians "have one thought: that we should not fight with the Chinese."

Suhasini Raj contributed reports from New Delhi.


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