Will Narendra Modi raise the issue of the controversial new map of China at ASEAN?
Beijing/New Delhi: China today said the absence of President Xi Jinping from the upcoming G20 Summit in New Delhi is not a reflection of any tension between India and China.
Yesterday China announced that President Xi would not participate in the G20 Summit in New Delhi. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning today clarified, “We support India in hosting this year’s summit and stand ready to work with all parties to make the G20 summit a success”. She reiterated that at the invitation of the Government of the Republic of India, Premier of the State Council Li Qiang will attend the 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi, India on September 9 and 10, 2023.
“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,” Ning said.
Meanwhile, in New Delhi, Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East) at the Ministry of External Affairs, was asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who departs tomorrow for Jakarta to participate in the India-ASEAN summit as well as the East Asia summit, discuss the new map of China that challenges India’s as well as several ASEAN countries’ sovereignty. Kumar replied: “It is difficult to anticipate what would be discussed when the leaders meet, but issues which are of mutual concern, regional and international, would all come up once they have their discussion. Whether there would be a consensus or not, I mean, I can’t anticipate what would come out of the discussions.”
It may be mentioned that besides India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have also accused China of claiming their territory in its new national map, and have rejected the map. The forthcoming ASEAN-India Summit will be the first Summit since the elevation of India-ASEAN relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2022.
Against the backdrop of this fresh controversy over the Chinese map, this is the first time that the Chinese President Xi is not participating in a G20 Summit. Ning, however, stressed that the G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation and China always attaches high importance to and actively participates in relevant activities.
About China’s expectations for the G20 Summit in New Delhi, Ning said it was important that the G20, being the premier forum for international economic cooperation, strengthen partnerships and rise up to the big challenges facing the global economy and development so as to contribute to world economic recovery and growth and global sustainable development. “We hope the New Delhi summit will form a consensus on that, send out a message of confidence, and promote shared prosperity and development,” she said.
Earlier, China had announced that Chinese Premier Li Qiang will lead a delegation to the New Delhi G20 Summit in India and 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. “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,” Ning said.
Yesterday, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar played down the absence of Xi as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin from the G20 Summit. During a discussion on Doordarshan, Dr. Jaishankar said “At the end of the day, countries are represented by whoever they have chosen to represent them. The levels of representation do not become the final determinant of the position of a country”.
Earlier, Putin had also announced his unavailability at the G20 Summit where the Russian Federation will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
– global bihari bureau