(L-r): Convenor Khanderao Kand, Glenn L. Carle and Arun Singh seen at the inauguration of the India-China-themed conference.
India and China are closer currently to mutual cooperation “than any time in the last 50 years,” a former CIA officer said at an India-China-themed conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by theFoundation For India and Indian Diaspora Studies.
Former CIA deputy national intelligence officer for transnational threats Glenn L. Carle said changes in mutual relations, energy needs and natural resource assets are three key factors shaping ties today between India and China.
Political openness, corruption and a lack of economic flexibility are issues that could negatively impact relations, added Carle, author of the memoir, “The Interrogator: An Education.”
He said India and China are now entering “stage two” of a “three-stage” process. “We remain confident that India-China relations will continue to be guided by the vision of political leadership in both countries, who believe that our common interests far outweigh our differences,” he said.
Trade between the two countries grew from $3 billion in 2000 to $74 billion in 2011. China remains India’s largest trading partner in goods, he said, noting that when goods and services are combined, the U.S. is India’s largest trading partner.
Jacqueline N. Deal, president and CEO of the Long Term Strategy Group and senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, said India’s gap in military capabilities vis-à-vis China is wider than in 1962. On the bright side, the imbalance is rapidly being corrected due to India’s economic growth. China’s neighbors are more willing to trust India, due to border disputes with China.
James Clad, senior advisor for Asia at the Center for Naval Analysis, cautioned that economic cooperation doesn’t guarantee national security. He warned against falling into a trap of “fated confrontation.” India should appreciate the fact that it is only in the last decade that India has appeared on China’s geopolitical radar, Clad said.