The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has confirmed that PM Modi and PM Xi Jinping spoke during the G-20 Meet in November 2022 held in Bali. The earlier version of the event was that the two had exchanged polite pleasantries. Recent confirmation by the MEA has led to speculations about the consequences of the Indo-Chinese dialogues then and now. The news also allows for separate discussions to be held between India and China at the BRICS meet in August or during the G-20 Meet to be held in Delhi this year.
Speculations and Consequences of the Indo-Chinese Dialogue
The Indian foreign secretary held a briefing in 2022 to state that the Indian Prime Minister and President Xi Jinping met after the dinner hosted by the Indonesian President. He only specified that the two exchanged courtesies at the time. This was the first time the two leaders met face-to-face after the 2020 Galwan incident.
The MEA had not acknowledged any effective conversation about bilateral relations in its earlier statements. After the meeting of Ajit Doval, in July 2023, with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi; both nations acknowledged that a meeting between the two leaders was held in Bali. The meeting’s acknowledged agenda was the need to stabilize bilateral relations. The Chinese side claims that the two reached a significant consensus on the issues related to border security and the Western sector of the LAC. The leaders agreed that peace and stability in the region is important for world peace.
The Indian foreign secretary agreed that the meeting did focus on the bilateral relations and the LAC in Ladakh region.
He also stated that India places importance on all such dialogues to further strengthen the relationship with China.
The Unexplained Conundrum of Indo-Chinese Relations
The recent news seems to indicate that the two emerging powers of the world are about to reach a consensus on important issues. The news and statements of the respective departments increase the probability of improved relations between India and China. These news are colored with the hope of cooperation between the two nations that have a bloody and bitter past. The strategic betrayal of trust by the Chinese in Galwan and other regions of conflict is a constant source of annoyance to the MEA and the Indian government. The ruthless expansion of the domain of influence by the Chinese is also a significantly worrying factor for India. Thus, in there are two important unexplained conundrums that arise from the projected happy cooperation between the nations:
- Why did China oppose India in the UN on imposing a ban on the 26/11 LeT terrorist? This incident occurred after the November 2022 G-20 meeting between the two leaders. Is cooperation a newly coined concept that is being projected with a back date?
- Why did China boycott the G-20 Meet held in Kashmir? Is this move not in support of Pakistan’s claims on India’s internal Kashmir-related issues? This move was also done after the November 2022 G-20 meeting on stability and peace between the two leaders. Does this mean that China stabbed India in the back after extending support to increasing bilateral ties?
The Chinese are known for their duplicitous nature regarding foreign policies. They always put the interest of the CCP and PRC before any promises made to any nation. Thus, they are not reliable partners in any relationship. India and China share a long border and many conflicting views on issues of global importance. However, the two nations are also trying to break the West’s domination of the global economy. Thus, although a partnership makes sense, the Indian government should not blindly trust their Chinese counterparts.