Saturday, December 03, 2022

India Snubs China: No, It Can Not Be Business As Usual – Nation World News


This is Hot Mic and I’m Nidhi Razdan. India has received a steady stream of foreign visitors since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Americans were here. The British are coming. The Israelites will follow. The list is pretty endless. And then there was the Chinese Foreign Minister in one of the most bizarre visits in recent memory. It was supposed to be a quiet-quiet visit. The first to Delhi by a senior Chinese leader since the Galwan Valley clash in Ladakh at the Line of Actual Control two years ago. In that collision, 20 Indian soldiers and several Chinese soldiers were killed. No side has announced Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit, which is very unusual. But the secrecy was blown up by media reports and journalists who watched the Chinese foreign minister’s flight on programs such as Flight radar. Over the past two years, China and India have held 15 rounds of military-level talks, but they have had little success.

China has rudely transgressed into Indian territory and continues to occupy parts of it. There was only a degree of decoupling, but today some 50,000 troops are also being gathered on either side of the LAC, even now. On the eve of his trip to India, New Delhi rebuked Wang Yi for remarks he also made about Kashmir while attending a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference in Islamabad. In an extraordinarily strong statement, India even said it was refraining from making public comments on China’s internal affairs. But Wang Yi flew to New Delhi anyway. And that asked the question – why? If China were serious about creating an empowering environment for better ties with India, these provocative statements would not have been made in the first place. More importantly, they should have come up with a serious proposal to disconnect their troops at the border. But they did not. India had already made it clear, just days before, that it could not be as usual with Beijing until the status quo at the border was restored. In fact, that message was strongly repeated by the Prime Minister in his virtual summit with the Australian Prime Minister.

So why did Wang then come to India and why did New Delhi house him? One big reason is the BRICS summit, which China plans to host in person later this year. BRICS countries are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. China would like Prime Minister Modi to attend in person.

The problem is that Beijing wants it to be business as usual with India, despite the problems at the border. While New Delhi is clear that this is not going to happen. Just look at the Chinese statement following Wang Yi’s talks with Foreign Minister Jaishankar in Delhi. They said “China and India must adhere to a long-term vision of win-win thinking and a cooperative attitude.” It also said “India and China need to put the differences on the border issue in an appropriate position in bilateral relations and adhere to the correct direction of development of bilateral relations.” In other words, forget what we did at the border, let’s just go on and talk about trade, meat and doing all the normal things.

Now, this is where New Delhi put its foot down and swore off China. Foreign Minister Jaishankar told the media that “is our relationship normal today? My answer to you is, no, it is not, and it can not be normal if the situation in the border areas is abnormal and surely the presence of a large number of troops there is contrary to similarities abnormality. ” As things stand now, it will be difficult for the Prime Minister to attend the BRICS summit and meet President Xi Jinping in person. The last time they met face-to-face was in November 2019 for the BRICS summit in Brazil. Only a month before that, Xi came to India for an informal summit. Indian officials believe that if China is so eager for Modi to visit, they will resolve the border issue before it. They did so in Doklam just before the BRICS summit in Xiamen in 2017. Russia’s war in Ukraine and the new geopolitical dynamics it produced are also a factor. Superficially, India and China are on the same page when it comes to Russia, but for different reasons.

India is heavily dependent on Russian weapons, which ironically must defend itself against China. China, on the other hand, described its friendship with Russia as one that has no borders. And for that, Beijing faces the wrath of the West, especially the United States. This is why it might be trying to find a common cause with India. For New Delhi, however, the crux of the matter is clear – the biggest threat in the neighborhood comes from China and there is a long way to go to rebuild some confidence.

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