Congratulations to Modi

Updated: 2014-05-27 07:25

(China Daily)

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Our best wishes to the people of India and their new, reform-minded prime minister.

The sweeping victory of Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party in India's elections was the outcome of Modi's promise of reforms and credentials as an efficient doer in the State of Gujarat.

A purveyor of dreams in some people's eyes, the campaigning Modi pledged to end policy paralysis, reduce inflation and tackle corruption, some of the most outstanding stumbling blocks on India's way ahead.

His pragmatic economic blueprint has been so tantalizing to the market that it has reportedly boosted Indian stocks by 15 percent so far this year. The Indian rupee, too, has gained considerably.

And his preoccupation with development, which echoes this country's own experiences and development philosophy, has inspired unprecedented optimism here over our South Asian neighbor's growth potential.

"Development is the only agenda that can save the country," said Modi in his victory speech. "Development is the solution to all problems, development is the cure for all diseases."

A similar belief in and focus on development has brought China where it is today, and such a commitment to development can create an economic miracle next door in the world's second most-populous country.

Modi is not "India's Deng Xiaoping", as some have called him, nor is Gujarat, the state which has spearheaded Indian GDP growth with him behind the helm, "India's Guangdong".

Yet as two developing countries pestered by wealth and development gaps, China and India can work together when it comes to development.

Western rhetoric about China and India is seldom free from a conception that the two countries are rivals, as if the two were destined to stand against each other. But the fact that Beijing and New Delhi have, by and large, managed their differences well over the decades is proof they do not have to be.

The common aspiration for prosperity and subsequent need for a peaceful environment for national development give the two neighbors additional reasons to forge a more constructive relationship.

Surprising as it is to outsiders, Modi's invitation to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend his inauguration ceremony and engage in bilateral talks was actually a matter of course, as good-neighborliness is an essential external condition for India's development agenda. Which, of course, converges with China's national interest.