China Describes Bilateral Relations with India as Stable
China has characterized its current bilateral relations with India as “generally stable” despite the absence of Chinese President Xi Jinping from this week’s Group of 20 (G20) summit in New Delhi. Premier Li Qiang will represent China at the September 9-10 meeting in the Indian capital.
“China-India relations have been stable on the whole, and our two sides have maintained dialogue and communication at various levels. The continued improvement and growth of China-India relations serve the common interests of the two countries and two peoples. We stand ready to work with India to further improve and advance bilateral relations,”
China’s Support for the G20 Summit
During a press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning expressed China’s commitment to the success of the G20 summit in India. She stated, “Chinese leaders have always supported India’s hosting of this year’s summit and are ready to work with all parties to make the G20 summit a success.”
Reasons Behind Xi Jinping’s Absence
Despite the generally stable relations, Beijing has not provided a specific reason for Xi Jinping’s decision to skip the G20 summit. However, top government sources have indicated that India’s firm stance on border issues is a significant factor.
India’s tough stance on the Ladakh border issue, which resulted in a deadly clash three years ago, has strained relations between the two countries. The situation has escalated into a prolonged standoff in the mountainous region, with both sides deploying tens of thousands of troops, artillery, and tanks.
The G20 summit, representing approximately 85 percent of global GDP and two-thirds of the world’s population, was seen as a potential platform for a meeting between Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden.
According to top government sources, Xi Jinping’s decision to avoid the G20 Summit may be an attempt to avoid a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During a brief interaction at the BRICS Summit in South Africa last month, PM Modi had directly asked Xi Jinping to clarify his position on the border dispute.
Sources suggest that Xi Jinping’s visit to India for the G20 Summit, without engaging in a bilateral meeting with the host nation, could have led to a diplomatic setback.
China’s characterization of its relations with India as “generally stable” reflects a desire for stability in the face of ongoing challenges, including the Ladakh border issue. While the exact reasons for Xi Jinping’s absence from the G20 summit remain undisclosed, India’s stance on the border dispute appears to be a significant contributing factor.
The G20 summit continues to be a crucial diplomatic event with the potential for high-level interactions, but Xi Jinping’s decision underscores the complexity of the current geopolitical landscape.