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Xi-Modi informal talks in Nepali media

Kantipur daily of 28 April has posted a report on Xi-Modi one-on-one talks.

The daily has described that after the Doklam standoff both India and China were unable to clean their hearts totally.

India has not participated in the BRI, however, India is the founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank initiated by China by holding largest share after China.

Chinese intellectuals say that time to time India and China face border dispute, however, business partnership and cooperation between the two countries are on the rise.

Of late, since the US named Indo-Pacific to the Asia Pacific, Japan and India are following the US. In many occasions, American has provoked India to stand against China, however, after the trade dispute between China and America, India is playing a balanced role.

Indian External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj’s Beijing visit had paved the way for this unofficial summit between the two leaders.

In the past, Xi and Modi have met each other for ninth time both officially and unofficially.

In another piece in the Kantipur daily on 28 April by Sureshraj Neupane in Delhi has reported that the unofficial meeting was aimed at sidelining existing misunderstandings and giving new dimension to the India-China relations.

After the Doklam standoff, the unofficial summit is expected to restore hearty relations by ending the cold relations.

This is the first meeting of the chief executives of the two countries since unofficial meeting between Indian prime minister Rajeev Gandhi and China’s the then supreme leader Deng in 1988 in China.

Modi, during his two-day stay, is meeting Xi for half-a-dozen times. In Friday’s meeting, Ajit Dhovel and foreign secretary Bijaya Gokhle were also present. On Saturday, Modi and Xi are holding one-on-one meeting in which interpreters only will be attending.

Analysts have explained this summit as ‘course correction’. After expansion of the US role in North Korea, embargo on Chinese goods’ import against the spirit of WTO like incidents, it seems, China has taken the path of improving understanding with India, Japan, Vietnam like neighbouring countries. Modi-Xi meet is one of the efforts on this. To make successful the meeting, both the sides will not discuss on the “disputed past issues”.

The Indian side has claimed that it would not bring into discussion on disputed issues such as borders, membership on nuclear supply group, registration of the Pakistani militant group in the terrorist group and BRI.

To develop environment for Modi’s visit, high-ranking officials in China had also said that the Doklam standoff was witnessed due to misunderstanding among each other.

Indian think-tank IDS’s research fellow Nihar Nayak says that this meeting is not for any “major breakthrough” in relations between the two nations, but it will help to remove misunderstandings.

He has speculated that during the meeting, the two leaders may discuss on Chinese investment in India, trade, BRI, climate change, energy and CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor).

To make success the visit, security advisor Ajit Dhovel and foreign secretary Gokhle have made remarkable role. Dhovel had landed Beijing in first week of March in preparation of the summit, according to Indian media. Co-incidentally, Gokhle, currently foreign secretary, was the first secretary at the Indian mission in Beijing in 1988 when Rajeev and Deng held meeting.

 

The Indian government had written official letter to the political leaders and high-ranking officials to remain aloof from the programmes organised on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s exile in India. This is taken as a move to improve relations with China. According to The Indian Express, the [Indian] foreign ministry had given pre-information to Beijing about issuance of such a letter.

Assumptions have been made by both the sides on the result of the meeting. “There should be deep friendship between the leaders” The Hindustan Times has reported by quoting Chinese vice foreign minister Kong Xuanu.

Shushma Swaraj has expected for bringing easiness in relations from the summit.

The Hindustan Times has written that the meeting should not be observed from the angle of unnecessary expectations and hopes. The daily has claimed that joint statement will not be issued after the meeting.

Suhashini Haider, editor, diplomatic affairs, Hindu daily has urged [to Modi] to hold talks from wide range.

  1. Rajmohan, in his piece in the Indian Express, has written that it won’t be wise to expect resolve of all the past issues from this meeting.

Rojabar Daulat, writer and diplomatic analyst, said to Kantipur that it was obvious to end long existed misunderstandings and non-confidence between the two nations.

The meeting is aimed at discussing at the political level directly on issues related to cross-border terrorism, BRI and CPEC rather than giving responsibility to the bureaucracy, he said.

Modi is trying to secure his next tenure by developing deep relations with China, he has assumed.

Nayak has rejected possibility of discussion on Nepal and other issues in South Asia, he said that there is no possibility of discussion on Nepal raised trilateral partnership and SAARC.

Most of the issues will be bilateral and some issues will be related to the world affairs including climate change, he said.

At a time when expectations were made for course correction in relations between the two countries, both the countries have given the gesture that they will not move behind from their previous stands.

Srawan Upreti has presented an analysis on Ratopati news portal on Xi-Modi meet.

Explaining abut details about meeting and the leaders’ remarks, the news portal has given background of the meeting also. After end of activities in disputed borders in August, Modi and Xi had held meeting on the sideline of BRICKS summit. Then onward, high-level exchange visits were accelerated.

In February, the Indian government gave instruction to the officials for not taking part in the functions organised on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Dalai Lama in exile.

In March, when Xi was elected President for next term, Modi had extended congratulations to Xi stating that Xi bags support of the entire Chines people.

China also initiated steps to improve relations with India. China restarted to provide statics on river water to India.

For Modi, there is clear benefit from improvement of relations. Next year, Modi has to face general elections. Although Modi is popular among the voters, possible confrontation and armed dispute with China may affect elections. Modi wants to minimize this risk by developing relations with Xi.

Similarly, economic indicators are not in positive trend as expected, therefore, Modi can improve Indian economy by initiating economic partnership with China.

Another important thing is that Chinese economy is five times larger than the Indian economy and China spends three times more fund on her defence compared to the Indian expenditure on defence. Although, in many places, India is taking benefit from the border dispute, however, it will take time to make strong the Indian security.

Therefore, in some issues, India needs Beijing’s help. For example, to take action to the terrorists organising terrorist activities in India by developing base in Pakistan, India needs help of China to put pressure on Pakistan. Likewise, India is seeking Chinese support to become the member of the Nuclear suppliers’ group.

For China also, establishing good relations with India is beneficial. India is the only country which has objected BRI publicly. China wants to end Indian doubts on this initiative. As an alternate to BRI, the US, India, Japan, Australia had held a meeting last year. China is worried from this.

Xi wants to develop relations with Xi to stop India from joining the American club.

However, at the time of initiating these efforts at the surface, these two giant nations of Asia are in tuff competition.

In the recent past, India organised largest ever military exercise. On this exercise, hundreds of fighter aircrafts were used with the target of reaching eastern part of India’s borders with China within 48 hours from the western part of India.

Dispute has not been resolved totally. China has intensified her presence aside the disputed land [Doklam]. India has also aggressively increased border monitoring activities.

Most aggressive competition is in sea area. China has developed her first military base in Africa. China has developed her association with India’s closed friend Maldives. Indian navy has increased its patrolling in the Indian ocean to monitor Chinese navy’s activities.

In spite of ongoing dispute, both India and China have given importance on developing relations and economic cooperation. Modi is the only foreign leader who received the protocol of meeting Xi after the American president. Otherwise, there was the provision to meet the president only after meeting with the Chinese premier.

Chetnath Acharya writes article in Kantipur daily on 28 April on Xi-Modi talks. Gist of the article as given below:

He has stated that the unofficial talks between Xi and Modi will be a directives for upcoming two decades in relations between the two nations.

Dialogue between the two leaders will give long lasting impression, say diplomatic analysts.

Small countries in Asia, including Nepal are carefully watching increasing relations between India and China as there is a Chinese saying that if two elephants fight in a farm-land, it will destroy cultivation.

Specially, in south Asian countries, there is Indian domination. Due to Chinese investment and bilateral trade, these south Asian countries have become closed to China also. India to become alert from China’s increasing presence in Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal is obvious.

In such a situation, Modi has extended hands of friendship with China.

Nischalnath Pandey, student of foreign policy and regional politics, in an interview to Chandrasekhar Adhikari of the Kantipur daily on 29 April, has focused on the following points:

# There is no trust of the Trump administration, therefore, all the nations are extending relations with China.

# Operation of railway by developing international connectivity will develop cooperation in many areas.

# Cooperation between India and China may bring global power in Asia. Both the nations have realized this fact, therefore, they have become ready for cooperation and partnership.

# Leaderships in both the countries are strong and thus to lead the world in 21st century, there is no alternate except from joining hands by both the countries.

# At the time when the two neighbours are intensifying friendship, we too have to give attention on three nations’ common point. We should be prompt to resolve the problem. Nepal should move forward by giving priority in three nations’ common point such as Lipulake.

People’s News Monitoring Service

 

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