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Modi-Xi 'Informal Summit': Hopes of a big India-China reset are misplaced

No joint statement is expected after the meeting; a sign that neither side has great hopes from the 'informal summit'

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Chinse President Xi Jinping in the Chinese city of Wuhan for an 'informal summit'. The meeting comes after India and China were engaged in a border standoff in Doklam between June and August, 2017. With the relations between the two countries deteriorating, the meeting marks an effort on both sides to reset the relations. What are the expectations from the meeting? In this Business Standard special, the writer analyses whether any big breakthrough is likely in the meeting.

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 testing.. we are here....

The first big hope is that China will not trouble India too much on the Line of Actual Control between the two countries or in Doklam in Bhutan this coming summer. Modi will not want to be distracted by or have the Chinese make him look ineffective on foreign policy as he moves into election mode at home.

 

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Such hope is misplaced. High-level visits between the two sides have a record of being accompanied by news of some Chinese transgression or the other on the border. Whatever their reasons in the past, under Xi Jinping, Chinese transgressions have been of a qualitatively different order – think Depsang in 2013, Chumur in 2014 and Doklam in 2017. No doubt, the present visit will be spun on both sides as being successful but it is hardly likely that transgressions will stop or that the next big one is not around the corner. Doklam was a loss of face for the PLA that the Chinese are not likely to forget in a hurry but will wait to avenge in time.

 


First Published: Wed, April 25 2018. 12:40 IST
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