Mahabalipuram: India will not kowtow to China at the second informal summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 11-12. Modi is expected to clearly tell Xi that Beijing should be sensitive to Indian concerns on the Kashmir issue. Sources told this newspaper that India had repeatedly respected Chinese concerns and refrained from commenting on Hong-Kong or Xinjiang; it was time for Beijing to reciprocate.
With just hours to go, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong told a news agency that the two countries pose no threat to each other and greater cooperation between the two Asian giants would inject positive energy in ensuring peace and stability in the region and beyond. The Chinese envoy also said a “new set of consensus” including “guiding principles” on the development of bilateral ties between the two nations are expected to emerge from the summit.
The Chinese President will meanwhile arrive in Chennai on Friday afternoon and will proceed to the seaside resort town of Mahabalipuram (aka Mamallapuram) for the summit. Accompanied by Modi, Xi will in the evening be given a guided tour of three monuments-the Ancient Shore Temple, the “Arjuna’s Penance” rock sculptures and the “Pancha Rathas”, monuments built by the Pallava Kings in the 7th and 8th centuries AD. He will also watch a cultural performance at the Shore Temple followed by a dinner with his host.
Xi will then travel back to Chennai for the night only to return on Saturday for a tete-a-tete with Modi at Fisherman’s Cove near Mahabalipuram. The two leaders are expected to have a candid exchange of views and informally discuss the entire gamut of bilateral issues.
Ties between the two Asian giants have been under strain the past couple of months. Controversy hit on Wednesday evening with New Delhi making it clear that Beijing has no business commenting on the internal affairs of India and that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. New Delhi was angered over a reference to Kashmir in a meeting between Xi and visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing. Modi is also expected to tell Xi that the revoking of Article 370 and the bifurcation of J&K into two union territories is an internal matter of India.
Ambassador Sun was quoted as saying, “We believe that the Summit will take bilateral relations to a higher level and have a major and positive impact on regional and world peace, stability and development. The two countries pose no threat but offer development opportunities to each other. The cooperation between China and India will not only contribute to each other’s development but also advance the process of world multi-polarisation and economic globalisation and safeguard the common interests of developing countries.”
“A new set of consensus is expected, including a shared vision for the transformation of the international system, the common responsibility and role of China and India in regional affairs, and guiding principles on the development direction of bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields,” Mr. Sun was further quoted as saying.
“We believe that the Summit will take bilateral relations to a higher level and have a major and positive impact on regional and world peace.”