President Xi not coming for G 20, Premier Li takes his place | World News - Hindustan Times
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President Xi not coming for G 20, Premier Li takes his place

Sep 01, 2023 02:55 AM IST

While note verbale for Premier Li Qiang’s visit to India is still awaited, flight plans of his aircraft have been filed from Jakarta.

It is official now that Chinese President Xi Jinping is not coming to New Delhi to attend the G-20 summit and instead is sending Premier Li Qiang in his place for the September 9-10 global event.

India and China talking past each other.
India and China talking past each other.

According to authoritative sources, Chinese Premier Li Qiang will be flying directly to New Delhi after attending the 43rd ASEAN summit in Jakarta on September 5-7. Flight plans for the VVIP aircraft have been filed though official intimation is still awaited by Ministry of External Affairs.

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While the Modi government remains tight-lipped about the reasons for President Xi not attending the G-20 summit, it is exercised over China publishing the so-called standard map of the Communist nation and coopted parts of Aksai Chin and entire Arunachal Pradesh as part of cartographical expansion.

ALSO READ: PM Modi is in no mood to yield on border concerns with China

The timing of the release of the map had raised serious questions about Jinping's attendance at the power summit in Delhi. Beijing releases the standard map every year but it is the first time that New Delhi has lodged a strong protest over the map issues, rejecting the claims of the Communist nation.

It is unclear why did China release the controversial map and get it amplified through its propaganda machinery. At the recently concluded BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a brief interaction with the Chinese leader wherein he had expressed grave concern over the situation along the Line of Actual Control.

It is understood that Beijing wanted a bilateral meeting with India on the sidelines of the summit and push for normalisation of ties which have been strained since PLA belligerence in East Ladakh in May 2020. But due to the schedule restraints of PM Modi, the formal meet could not take place.

The Chinese president is miffed with PM Modi's response that normal ties can be resumed only after People's Liberation Army (PLA) withdraws its forces from Aksai Chin and Indian Army's patrolling rights are restored in Depsang Bulge and in CNN junction in Demchok.

Through this map ahead of the G20, China has indicated that it treats India as an adversary and will put coercive pressure on New Delhi for having close ties with the United States and the Quad powers. It will maintain the military pressure up all along the 3488 km LAC and also arm its tributary state Pakistan to put pressure on India’s western borders.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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