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Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang to visit New Delhi for G20 meet

Feb 28, 2023 07:34 PM IST

Qin Gang is expected to have a meeting with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar, on the sidelines of the foreign ministers’ meet where they are likely to assess the situation at the disputed border

Beijing: Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang will visit India this week to attend the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in New Delhi, the Chinese foreign ministry announced on Tuesday as the two countries continue attempts to resolve the ongoing friction along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the eastern Ladakh area.

China’s foreign minister Qin Gang (AFP)

Qin is expected to have a bilateral meeting with external affairs minister, S Jaishankar, on the sidelines of the foreign ministers’ meet where they are likely to assess the situation at the disputed border and evaluate the outcomes of the diplomatic and military talks, which were recently held to resolve the boundary tension.

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“At the invitation of Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang will attend the G20 Foreign Ministers conference in New Delhi, India on March 2,” the Chinese foreign ministry announced in a brief statement on Tuesday.

“As the main forum for international economic cooperation, the G20 should focus on addressing outstanding challenges in the field of international economy and development and play a greater role in promoting world economic recovery and global development,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning said on Tuesday.

“In a world fraught with uncertainties and struggling to reboot the economy, countries have much to do to overcome the challenges in order to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As the premier forum for international economic cooperation, it is important that the G20 focus on the prominent challenges in the global economy and on development and play a bigger role in driving world economic recovery and global development.”

China stands ready to work with all parties to ensure that the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting will send a positive signal on multilateralism, food and energy security and development cooperation, Mao added

Foreign ministers from the bloc will meet in New Delhi this week under the shadow of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and increasingly tense US-China tensions.

Qin, who was earlier ambassador to the United States, was appointed as the country’s new foreign minister recently amid a number of disputes involving China including the dragging border conflict with India, which has now lasted for nearly three years.

In an article, titled “How China Sees the World”, written late last year, Qin had referred to the Sino-India border problem. Qin wrote: “As to the border issues between China and India, the status quo is that both sides are willing to ease the situation and jointly protect peace along their borders.”

The last Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi visit India in March last year.

During his meeting with Jaishankar, Wang had said that China and India should put the border issue in its “proper place” and not allow the dispute to “define” or “affect” overall bilateral ties.

Wang said: “China and India should help each other succeed, and not wear each other down; should support each other, and not exclude each other.”

India has reiterated that peace and tranquillity at the border is crucial to normalising overall bilateral ties.

“This (Qin’s visit) can be regarded as support for India’s multilateral diplomatic activities,” said Lin Minwang, deputy director of Shanghai University’s Institute of South Asia Studies.

“On the whole, under the current complex international situation, China supports India’s more active international role,” Lin added.

Wang Dehua, a South Asia expert at Shanghai Municipal Centre for International Studies said, “If India and China speak with one voice, it will contribute greatly to world peace and development and help improve China-India relations.”

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