Prime Minister Narendra Modi met a number of world leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit during his visit to Hangzhou, China. The G-20 summit was one of Modi’s most high-voltage engagements where he underlined a range of issues, most prominently Pakistan-backed terror. Here are the key takeaways from the visit:
1) Push for counter-terrorism cooperation
At the G-20 meet, India was keen on stepping up the counter-terror cooperation and drumming up the support for the United Nations Convention the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) --- which New Delhi has been leading from front --- at an early date. As the Indian side pushed G-20 countries to adopt stricter measures to deal with terror financing, Modi used the opportunity to make a political point against Pakistan, which has stepped up a diplomatic offensive against India over recent developments in Kashmir.
In the final session of the G20 summit, Modi said, “Indeed, one single nation in South Asia is spreading these agents of terror in the countries of our region.”
2) High-level contact with China
Modi’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jingping on the sidelines of the summit was the eight meeting between the two leaders. The frequent high-level interaction is something very important between the leaders to keep their ties — marked with both convergences and differences — going. Modi’s predecessor, Manmohan Singh, had done the same thing. The PM used the opportunity to push for India’s membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and underlined India’s concern over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
3) Dialogue with new British PM
May deputed three ministers – Preeti Patel, Alok Sharma, and Greg Clarke -- to India. Modi said even after Brexit the UK remained an important a partner for India. He sought the British PM’s suggestions on further strengthening the partnership, particularly trade and investment ties with the UK. Modi also said he was working on ushering in ease of doing business and some UK experts had been very helpful in this task. May said that she supported Modi’s reform agenda and the UK was keen to participate in Make in India, Smart Cities and the Skill India Programme, among others.
The two leaders discussed further enhancement of the defence partnership with PM inviting British defence firms to Make in India. Modi also flagged concern over Britain’s new visa regulations.
4) Meeting with Saudi deputy crown prince
Modi also followed up his visit to Saudi Arabia in April by meeting Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammad bin Salman .
Saudi Arabia is the biggest source of crude oil for India and home to largest number of Indian passport holders outside India.
Modi called for the strengthening of partnership with Saudi Arabia in sectors such as maritime, infrastructure, low cost housing. The two leaders discussed further cooperation in the energy sector. The PM invited greater Saudi investment, particularly in Indian infrastructure such as modernisation of railway stations. There was a detailed discussion on the reform of the UN Security Council with both leaders emphasising the need of expansion of council to include more permanent members.