Xi decision to skip G20 Summit puts question mark on India-China ties

This is the first G20 Summit that he has skipped,’’ Ashok K Kantha, former Ambassador to China, told this newspaper.

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NEW DELHI:   When the formal announcement of Chinese President Xi Jingping skipping the G20 Summit came on Monday, it didn’t come as a surprise as indications to this effect had been doing the rounds for the last few days. Russia President Vladimir Putin and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador also won’t attend the summit.

However, other leaders are going to be in New Delhi for the summit. US President Biden will be among the first leaders to reach Delhi on September 7 and will have a bilateral meeting with PM Narendra Modi on September 8. “President Xi’s decision to skip the summit sends out a message that relations between India and China are still on the downward slide. This is the first G20 Summit that he has skipped,’’ Ashok K Kantha, former  Ambassador to China, told  this newspaper.

India and China’s relations have seen a downward trend since the Galwan incident in 2020. China also keeps nudging India on many fronts — the most recent being including Indian territories that include Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh in its own map. Earlier, they had renamed 11 villages in Arunachal. “Premier Li Qiang will lead a delegation to the G20 Summit in India.

The G20 is an important forum for international economic cooperation. This year, Premier Li Qiang will share China’s views and propositions on G20 cooperation, and promote greater solidarity and cooperation among G20 countries and joint response to global economic and development challenges,” said China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Mao Ning on Monday.

Ning added, “We are ready to work with all parties to make the G20 Summit a success and contribute to the steady recovery of the global economy and sustainable development.” Meanwhile, President Biden, British PM Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, Japanese PM Fumion Kishida, Australian PM Anthony Albanese, among others will attend the summit.

Chill in relations
The decline in India-China relations can be traced back to the Galwan incident in 2020. Furthermore, China has consistently provoked India on various fronts, including its recent inclusion of Indian territories, such as Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, on its own map. Earlier, they also renamed 11 villages in Arunachal.


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