May 11, 2022

Chinese foreign minister lands for tense India tour

New Delhi: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in New Delhi on Thursday evening direct from the Afghan capital Kabul for a secret visit and is expected to meet with Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit on Friday. Doval before leaving for the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, according to reports. Officials continued to be extremely tight-lipped about the visit, even on Thursday, perhaps an indication of its importance at the highest levels. The visit could finally pave the way for a possible breakthrough in the Sino-Indian standoff, with New Delhi pressing for Chinese troops to disengage from all sticking points in the Ladakh sector. But that may well depend on the extent to which Beijing is prepared to follow suit, especially as Prime Minister Narendra Modi firmly believes that there can be no normalcy in China-India relations without peace. and border tranquility, a euphemism for China withdrawing its troops and restoring the status quo of early 2020.

China is reportedly keen to strengthen both the multilateral BRICS forum, including a visit by Prime Minister Modi to China for the BRICS summit later this year, as well as to strengthen the trilateral Russia-India-China (RIC) forum. , especially in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine and the crippling sanctions imposed by the West on Russia. It is also the first time that a high-level visit has taken place from one country to another after the deadly conflict in the Galwan Valley in the Ladakh sector between Indian and Chinese troops two years ago. EAM Jaishankar and Mr Wang have held meetings in other third-country locations such as the Russian capital Moscow as well as telephone conversations over the past two years, but none of the foreign ministers had so far visited the other country after the horrific Galwan clash in June 2020. .

Just hours before the visit, in an indication of New Delhi thinking, EAM S. Jaishankar, speaking to an alumni conference at the elite St. Stephen’s College in the capital, said: “Few people would have anticipated, for example, the turn that India’s relations with China have taken over the past two years. Any prudent policy therefore bases its posture on capabilities and deterrence. … As far as China is concerned, the diplomatic interactions that have been taking place alongside the military standoff since May 2020 illustrate that foreign and defense policies are truly linked at the hip.” He added: “That an acquisition of a Rafale aircraft by France could take place at the same time as that of an MH-60R helicopter or a P-8 aircraft from the United States, the S- 400 from Russia or Spice bombs from Israel speaks volumes about our agility.

Interestingly, Wang’s visit came as India blamed the Chinese foreign minister on Wednesday night for raising the Kashmir issue at the Cooperation Organization foreign ministers’ conclave. Islamic (OIC) organized by Pakistan in Islamabad, claiming that China has no locus standi. to comment on Jammu and Kashmir which is India’s internal affair and remind Beijing that India refrains from publicly commenting on China’s internal affairs.

Ties between the two Asian giants had deteriorated following the gathering of Chinese troops in the border areas of the Ladakh sector which began in April-May 2020 and eventually led to the deadly clash in the Galwan Valley in the in which troops from both sides lost their lives. . The two nations have since held several rounds of talks at the diplomatic and military levels, but disengagement between troops from both sides has not occurred at all sticking points due to the perceived reluctance of Chinese troops to withdraw. The two countries also acknowledged that bilateral relations have deteriorated over the past two years.

The MEA had informed Parliament last month: “Regarding the disengagement in the remaining areas along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, India and China have maintained dialogue through diplomatic and military channels. Our approach in these talks has been and will continue to be guided by three key principles, namely that both parties must strictly respect and observe the LAC; neither party should attempt to unilaterally change the status quo; and all agreements between the two parties must be fully respected in their entirety.