Xi Jinping’s Weekend Visit to India

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Image courtesy - Indiatoday.in

The relations between India and China have become increasingly tense ever since the Doklam Standoff in 2017. In a time where it seemed nobody could stop China from getting what it wanted, India was one of the only countries to not only stand up to the Giant but also stop it in its tracks. However, this has had serious ramifications for China in the last couple of years. Xi Jinping’s unofficial visit is meant to resolve and deescalate the tensions that have been steadily climbing for the last couple of years.
Doklam to Kashmir 
Indo-Chinese tensions have more often than not flared up over the Northern Borders of India. Incidents like India providing sanctuary to The Dalai Lama, Nuclear testing, Siachen Glacier, Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin and other incidents have often resulted in flared tensions on both sides of the border. Although ever since the Doklam standoff, the tensions seem to be hitting new highs every season.
 Politics and trade have stayed relatively independent of each other, with the rising tensions between China and US, India may be able to step into a more proactive role between the two nations and act as a trade buffer.
Speaking of the US-China trade war, the entirety of South-Eastern Asia is now feeling the effects of the tariff war as many of these nations directly depend on trade with China. This has increased pressure on the Chinese economy and has caused a slowdown. China has also begun wooing Nepal over the last couple of years and has managed to surpass India as its main trading partner and ally. The construction of the Silk Road has also been a major source of unspoken and unaddressed tension. 
The Player called Pakistan
Pakistan has also played a major role in Indo-Chinese relations. With the abrogation of Article 370, China-backed Pakistan in their opposition. However, this seemed to only be lip service as when it came to any action, China seemed to back down. Perhaps it may have been because of the weak standing of Pakistan’s arguments or else, and a more likely reason could be the complete apathy from the world for the Pakistani side of things. 

The Visit 
This weekend was an interesting one for Indo-Chinese Relations. Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi both had already landed in Chennai on Friday. This is also the first visit by a Chinese President to India in the last two decades. Until last week, it seemed that the only issues being tabled were going to be trade-related and with regards to the slowing economies of both countries. 
However, this changed with Imran Khan’s most recent visit to Beijing on Thursday. With the Pakistani PM pushing the issue of Kashmir, China was forced to reveal about a press release stating that the facts are clear and cited the UN charter and deemed the entire issue as between India and Pakistan. With his third visit in a year to Beijing, Imran Khan seems to have lost his only ally left. However, since this visit and press release came so close to Xi Jinping’s visit to India, the Indian Delegation will have all rights to bring up this issue to divorce China from Pakistan diplomatically.
A lot of issues will probably not be addressed during this visit. Like many of the unspoken areas of conflict between the two countries, what is said behind closed doors will stay behind closed doors. After all, there is more discretion and less of Twitter in these meetings. 
It is only once in 20 years that a Chinese Prime Minister comes to visit India. This visit is a testament, not to Indo-Chinese relations but instead to India’s increasing presence in the global theatre. Perhaps all those jokes about Modi’s Passport may have an underlying optimistic twist to them.

- Written by Nachiket Bhushan Kondhalkar

- Edited by Maitreyi Mehndiratta

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Xi Jinping’s Weekend Visit to India Xi Jinping’s Weekend Visit to India Reviewed by EMN on October 14, 2019 Rating: 5

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