Ready for Romeo

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Reviving the Stillwell Road?

This UPI article brings up some history and points toward an interesting future.
The Stilwell Road, a strategic supply route between India and China via Burma built during World War II by the United States, may become a key power trade link of the future.

The geopolitical economy of the modern world is on the precipice of sea change if China and India, the two rising forces on the Asian continent, can resolve outstanding disputes while improving upon a crucial transportation

The agreement Monday in New Delhi might well usher Asia's giants into a promised land of economic and political power flourishing during the 21st century, provided both sides clearly and publicly demarcate their shared borders; previous statements of supposed breakthroughs on this issue have come to naught.
Agreement? Oh, yes, this agreement: India and China forge new relationship.
Diplomatic understatement was absent from the Indian subcontinent on Tuesday. Announcements by China's Premier Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh claimed significant diplomatic progress between the two nations as Mr. Wen wound up a four day visit to India, reports the Hindustan Times.

The world's two most populous countries each recognized the right of the other to seek a larger role on the world stage. They publicly promised to make their relations that of partners, not rivals, reports Reuters.

Agreement was reached on issues ranging from trade and energy cooperation to a plan on how to proceed in resolving Himalayan border disputes which brought them to war in 1962. They agreed to cooperate in the search for new energy supplies to avoid a bidding war that would drive prices up. They also agreed to explore joint development of an Asian high-tech industrial zone with China manufacturing hardware and India developing software.
Oh, and by the way, oil and sea lines of communication play a role in some unresolved issues:
Even with a peaceful resolution of border disputes, tensions will remain, continues the Monitor.
More worrisome to Chinese negotiators ... may be the Indian-US plan for India to send its Navy to patrol the Straits of Malacca between Indonesia and Malaysia, a crucial shipping lane. China has long considered Southeast Asia to be its own backyard.
Some 80 percent of Chinese oil imports flow through these straits. They are of strategic importance to China's future industrial development.
And here's nice concluding quote:
"India and China can together reshape the world order," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at a ceremony for his Chinese counterpart, Premier Wen Jiabao, at India's presidential palace.

Together, the two nations account for one-third of the world's population.
(source)

Yes, they do.

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