The informal summit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping at Wuhan (April 27-28) triggered a range of opinions abroad. The Moscow think tank Valdai Club recalled with nostalgia the famous 1998 idea floated by the Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov – Russia, China and India creating a “Eurasian league.” On the other extreme, Washington-based Brookings Institution, which is wired to the American security establishment, was confident that the Wuhan meeting was much ado about nothing – yet another exercise in self-projection and cherry-picking by Modi.
The mainstream Indian opinion edges close to the American view, unsurprisingly. The most charitable opinion among our venerable China hands is that the Wuhan initiative is the stuff of Maya (illusion) in the ancient Advaita (non-dualist) school of Vedanta. There is, possibly, some heartburn all around that they weren’t consulted.