“Ties With India Stable On The Whole”: China On Xi Skipping G20 Summit

The foreign ministry spokesperson was asked whether the decision to send the Chinese premier to India, instead of the president, reflected tensions between the two countries.

New Delhi: A day after announcing that Chinese President Xi Jinping will not be attending the G20 Summit in New Delhi, the country’s foreign ministry has said that it supports India in hosting the high-profile global event and is ready to work with all parties to make it a success,

China had announced on Monday that Premier Li Qiang will represent the country at the summit, which will be held on September 9 and 10. 

At a briefing the next day, foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning was asked whether the decision to send the premier to India, instead of the president, reflected tensions between the two countries. She said that China-India relations have been stable on the whole and the countries have “maintained dialogue and communication at various levels”.

The comments come in the backdrop of a new “standard map” being issued by China last week, in which it had depicted Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as part of the country, and the long-standing border dispute in eastern Ladakh. 

“The continued improvement and growth of China-India relations serves the common interests of the two countries and two peoples. We stand ready to work with India to further improve and advance bilateral relations,” she said.

On the G20 Summit, Ms Ning said China attaches high importance to the grouping and actively participates in relevant activities. 

“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 said, adding that G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation. 

India had dismissed the new map issued by China, and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had made a strong statement on the issue. 

In an exclusive interview with NDTV, the minister had said, “China has put out maps with territories (that are) not theirs. (It is an) old habit. Just by putting out maps with parts of India… this doesn’t change anything. Our government is very clear about what our territory. Making absurd claims does not make other people’s territories yours.”

Ties between India and China have been strained since the clashes in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley in June 2020.

Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a confrontation for over three years in certain friction points in eastern Ladakh even as disengagement has been completed in some areas after extensive talks.

India has been consistently maintaining that peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) are key for normalisation of overall ties.

Chinese Premier Li Qianq will be representing China at the ASEAN Summit in Indonesia and will be in the country from September 5 to 8. He will travel to India after attending the East Asia summit in Jakarta. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend both summits in Indonesia. 

US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are among the leaders who have already confirmed their participation in the G20 Summit.

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