India and China may have their own differences, but the two fast-developing nations have a commonality of interest in international negotiations. Thus it is not surprising that the two countries are working in unison at the World Trade Organisation.
India recently supported a proposal by China seeking more representation in the WTO secretariat in Geneva. ''India has co-sponsored a proposal initiated by China and several countries, including South Africa, in the budget finance and administration committee of the WTO that calls for staff composition of the secretariat that is more representative of the WTO membership as a whole,'' South Africa's head of delegation to the WTO Faizel Ismail said on Saturday.
According to the official website of the WTO, 327 out of the 629 permanent staff in the secretariat are from France, Switzerland, the UK or the USA.
India and China are also pushing for reforms and more representation for the developing countries in other multilateral organisations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Bilateral differences between India and China continue, however – apart from the long-standing border dispute on India's north-eastern front, China is also disturbed by India playing host to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing has blackballed as a 'splittist'.
Low expectations from Geneva round
The seventh ministerial conference of the WTO is from 30 November to 2 December in Geneva. The meet comes four years after the Hong Kong conference, which failed to arrive at a consensus on key issues.