Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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US President Joe Biden on Thursday hoped that his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping would attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi. Biden, along with more than two dozen world leaders, is scheduled to attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi next week which is being hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Recent media reports said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are not likely to attend the summit. “The answer is I hope he attends the G20 Summit,” Biden told reporters Thursday when asked if he is expecting President Xi to attend the meet.

Meanwhile, Farwa Aamer, Director of South Asia Initiatives at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI), said that President Xi’s skipping of the G20 Summit in India could be seen as evidence that China at this point in time is reluctant to cede the centre stage to India. “Perhaps the most significant development so far, which some may say was expected, has been President Xi’s decision to skip the upcoming G20 Summit hosted by India. This move carries multifaceted implications.

“Firstly, it can be inferred that China is reluctant to cede the centre stage to India, particularly within the region and the broader neighbourhood. This underscores China’s intention to maintain its dominant role and influence, directly impacting the delicate balance of power in the region,” Aamer said.

Secondly, President Xi’s absence serves as a reminder that achieving de-escalation at the border will require sustained and intricate diplomatic efforts. The negotiation process will be protracted, intertwined with the broader geopolitical landscape of the Himalayan region and China’s strategic competition with the United States, she said. The absence of high-profile summits such as the G20 from President Xi’s schedule highlights the intricate layers of negotiations and the imperative of ensuring that domestic audiences are aligned with the diplomatic path forward, she said.

“Looking ahead, it is evident that Sino-India relations are navigating complex terrain. The border issues are deeply intertwined with historical disputes, national pride, and strategic interests. As both nations vie for influence on the global stage, their interactions will be influenced by not only regional dynamics but also the overarching framework of great power competition between China and the United States, Aamer said.

As for the G20 Summit, the eventual outcome will serve as a barometer of the extent to which geopolitical tensions and strategic competition are impacting global economic cooperation and multilateral diplomacy, she said. Since the Galwan clashes of 2020, Sino-India relations have been marked by escalating tensions and unresolved border issues, she said, adding that despite multiple rounds of diplomatic discussions and the recent meeting of corps commanders, a clear and easy resolution to the border disputes remains elusive.

Prime Minister Modi’s repeated statements that the trajectory of Sino-India relations hinges on the situation along the border highlight the significance of this issue. As it stands, the prospects of a swift settlement seem remote, at least in the near future, Aamer said.

“The bilateral dynamics were enigmatic, with hints of a potential meeting between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi during the BRICS Summit. However, the actual interaction was limited to a brief exchange, reflecting the deep-seated complexities at play,” she said.

“China’s subsequent release of a new map, asserting its sovereignty over the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh and the disputed Aksai Chin plateau, further exacerbated tensions. India’s strong protest, including Foreign Minister S Jaishankar’s labelling of China’s claim as ‘absurd,’ underscored the gravity of the situation. On its part, China employed a familiar strategy, urging all parties to remain objective and avoid over-interpreting the issue,” Aamer said.

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