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We noted in our article entitled India, China, and the Doha Round that India and China have forged a formidable alliance in the Doha Round of negotiations. Now the two “Asian giants” have combined forces in an effort to gain leverage in another multilateral dialogue – this time, the dialogue on climate change that will take place in Copenhagen later this year.

India and China signed an agreement (“Agreement”) on October 21, 2009 on climate change, providing further recognition that the two countries have much to gain from cultivating a long-term, economically-driven partnership. An India-China alliance, however, is a relationship that the developed world will regard with some caution. India and China were accused of conspiring to stall the Doha Round of negotiations in July 2008 and, unless the developed world makes some of the concessions they demand, the combined forces of India and China could present a similar barrier in Copenhagen. 

The Agreement was signed at a ceremony in New Delhi by Minister Jairam Ramesh, of India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests, and Vice Minister Xie Zhenhua, of China’s National Development and Reform Commission. The two countries agreed to work together over the next five years on a variety of initiatives, including collaboration in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean energy technologies, sustainable agriculture, and reforestation. The Agreement also reaffirmed the “principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, in particular that developed countries should take the lead in and continue to reducing [sic] their greenhouse gas emissions and providing financial resources, technology transfer and capacity building support to developing countries.” China accounts for more than 20 percent of global emissions. India accounts for less than 5 percent, but it is the fourth largest emitter after China, the United States, and Russia. Despite the difference in emission levels, however, Minister Ramesh noted on October 21 that there was virtually no difference between the negotiating positions of India and China. Both countries have agreed to work on slowing the growth of greenhouse emissions, but resist making those limits binding and subject to international monitoring.

The Agreement, and the earlier Doha Round collaboration, suggest a transformation of regional and global relationships, albeit within defined and specific sectors. For students of traditional international relations, it ought to be unexpected and counterintuitive. India and China are demonstrating that global issues may encourage regional alliances even as regional issues, historically, might have made such alliances impossible. One day it might even turn out that regional alliances on global issues can help solve the regional divisions over local and regional issues.

China and India fought a war against each other as recently as 1962. Substantial territorial and sovereignty issues continue today, especially with regard to the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, portions of which China claims as South Tibet. In recent weeks, the Indian press has reported on nighttime boundary incursions and troop buildups, and there has been tension between the two countries about an upcoming visit by the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh. Just days before the Agreement was signed, the People’s Daily Online accused India of pursuing a “shortsighted and immature” foreign policy of “befriend[ing] the far and attack[ing] the near.” It stated that India’s “dream of superpower is mingled with the thought of hegemony, which places the South Asian giant in an awkward situation and results in repeated failures.” 

Some may view the emerging economic partnership between India and China with skepticism also in light of China’s historical alliance with Pakistan. China has long regarded Pakistan as its “all weather friend,” and has offered it economic assistance in addition to military aid and support for its nuclear program. However, the friendship may be fraying, probably because it was built in significant part on taking sides against India. Some experts have noted that, as India grows in global importance, China appears to be distancing itself from the unconditional friendship it previously offered to Pakistan. For example, in October 2008, China refused a request from Pakistan’s President for a full blown economic bailout. 

China would be wise to court India and to continue improving relations with its historic rival regardless of its relationship with Pakistan, which China is unlikely to abandon completely in the near future. As the saying goes, nations have no permanent friends and no permanent enemies, only permanent interests. A stronger relationship with India is in China’s economic interest. India commands a much larger place on the issues of the day – the global economy, climate change – than Pakistan, and therefore is more important to China. Although China and Pakistan signed a comprehensive free trade agreement in 2006, trade between China and Pakistan was approximately $7 billion in 2008, contrasted to the $51.78 billion in total trade between China and India.

India’s population of over a billion people, and its growing middle class, make India more like China than Pakistan, and make India an attractive market for Chinese products. China’s new capitalism has a greater future alongside a prosperous India. China replaced the United States as India’s largest trading partner in 2008, and India ranked as China’s tenth largest export destination. The growing importance placed on India by the United States – for example, with the signing of the civil nuclear agreement in October 2008 – also means that China cannot afford to overlook or minimize India’s role in the world. 

Climate change is expected to be on the agenda during President Obama’s meetings with China’s president Hu Jintao in Beijing on November 16 and 17 and with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House on November 24. It would be surprising if President Obama were not speaking to China about India, and to India about China, which is all the more reason to expect that China and India will be speaking to each other. Notwithstanding emerging references to a “G-2” of China and the United States, India is no more likely to be left out of the equation from Asia than the European Union could be left out of the conversation with the United States. Should there be no reductio to a G-2, the emerging alliance between India and China may turn out to be a major reason. As for Copenhagen, the weight of the new Asian alliance might make all the difference.

《印度、中国及多哈会谈》一文中我们谈到中国和印度在多哈会谈中建立了坚固联盟。现在,这两个亚洲巨人又齐心协力争取在另一重要多边会谈中拥有更多自主权:这次是即将在哥本哈根举行的气候变化会谈。

中印两国于2009年10月21日签订了《关于应对气候变化合作的协定》,进一步承认两国将获益于从经济利益出发的长期伙伴关系。发达国家对这一中印联盟却有所警觉。中国和印度面临阻挠2008年7月多哈会谈的指责,除非发达国家做出相应让步,中印又将在哥本哈根形成新的阻挠势力。

印度环境与林业部部长Jairam Ramesh 和中国发展和改革委员会副主任解振华在新德里签署了协议。两国同意在未来五年内在多方面共同合作,包括提高能效、可再生能源、清洁能源技术、可持续农业和造林。这一协定重申“共同但有区别的责任”原则,要求“发达国家应率先并继续减少其温室气体排放,并向发展中国家提供资金、技术转让和能力建设支持。”中国占全球排放的百分之二十以上,印度仅占不足百分之五的排放,但是是继中国、美国和俄罗斯之后的第四大排放国。虽然两国的排放量不同,但是Ramesh部长指出两国的谈判立场基本没有差别。两国同意减缓温室气体排放增长速度,但是拒绝接受强制性排放量限制并接受国际监督。

这一协定以及先前的多哈合作说明区域及全球关系的变化。传统国际关系学的学生可能会认为这一新关系不合常理。印度和中国证明全球一体可能会鼓励建立区域联盟,即使回顾历史,地区事务使这一联盟几乎不可能成立。有一天,就全球事务建立的区域联盟可帮助解决因地方或区域事物产生的区域分歧。

早在1962年,中印展开边境战争。两国间关于边境及主权的争执持续至今,尤其关于印度东北部阿鲁纳恰尔邦。中国认为该邦的一部分属于西藏自治区。最近几周,印度媒体报道双方加强军事部署、及晚间边境侵入,同时双方也因达赖喇嘛将对阿鲁纳恰尔邦访问产生分歧。就在《协定》签署前不久,《人民日报》网络版指责印度推行“目光短浅和幼稚”的、“远交近攻”的外交政策。文章说印度的“超级大国梦想体现霸权主义思想,这使得南亚巨人处于尴尬境地并不断导致失败。”

一些人士可能对印度和中国的经济伙伴关系带有疑虑,因为中国一直以来与巴基斯坦联盟。中国一直以来视巴基斯坦为“患难之交”,并向巴基斯坦提供经济军事支援并支持她的核项目发展。但是,这一友谊可能因为大多建立在反印立场上而有些磨损。一些专家已经注意到随着印度的国际重要性日渐增长,中国已经开始稍稍改变以往给予巴基斯坦的无条件的友谊。例如,2008年十月,中国拒绝了巴基斯坦总统的全方位经济救援要求。

对于中国而言,改善与印度这一传统竞争对手的关系无疑是明智做法,但这并不意味着中国将抛弃巴基斯坦。俗话说,国家间没有永远的朋友也没有永远的敌人,只有永久的利益。和印度保持良好关系符合中国的经济利益。印度在全球经济、气候变化等事务中比巴基斯坦扮演更重要的角色,因此对中国而言更重要。虽然中国和巴基斯坦于2006年签署了全方位自由贸易协定,两国2008年贸易量只有70亿美金,同比中印贸易量为517.8亿美金

印度人口总数超过10亿,她的中产阶级不断壮大,使得印度越来越像中国而非巴基斯坦,也使得印度成为吸引中国商品的市场。繁荣的印度也给中国新资本主义带来更美好的未来。2008年中国取代美国成为印度首要贸易伙伴,同时印度成为中国第十大出口市场。美国对印度日益重视,如两国于2008年10月签订民用核协议,这也意味着中国不能轻视或减弱印度在世界事务中的影响力。

当奥巴马总统于11月16日、17日在北京和胡景涛主席会晤时,气候变化估计将是议题之一;当印度总理辛格(Manmohan Sign)于11月24日访问白宫时,气候变化也将是议题之一。如果奥巴马总统未与中方谈到印度将非常令人惊讶,反之亦然,所以中印一定会磋商。中印联盟的简称“G-2”正日益成为流行词;就像欧盟是美国重要的对话伙伴,印度也是亚洲不可忽视的力量。G-2,这一成长中的联盟将在哥本哈根扮演重要角色。 

(翻译:朱晶)