Chinese President Xi Jinping's absence from the upcoming G20 Summit in India has been attributed to India's firm stance on border issues, according to a report in News18. Reports suggest that the Chinese president may be seeking to avoid a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which could prove diplomatically challenging.
The two leaders briefly met on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in South Africa last month, during which Prime Minister Modi reportedly pressed Xi Jinping for clarity on China's position regarding the ongoing border dispute.
This direct confrontation has potentially influenced Xi Jinping's decision to skip the G20 Summit in India, as attending without engaging in bilateral talks with the host nation could have posed a diplomatic setback for the Chinese President.
Furthermore, such a visit would not align with China's domestic political considerations, as India has made it clear that, similar to Pakistan, resolving border issues is a prerequisite for advancing trade discussions—a key element that Xi Jinping might have portrayed as a personal achievement to the Communist Party of China.
Reports indicate that there is a possibility that China might send Premier Li Qiang as its representative to the G20 Summit scheduled for September 9 and 10 in New Delhi.
Xi Jinping's decision to skip this summit is notable since he has attended all other in-person G20 summits since assuming the presidency in 2013, with the exception of the 2021 summit hosted by Saudi Arabia, which he joined via video link due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The relationship between India and China has been strained significantly since the deadly clashes in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley in June 2020. Despite extensive diplomatic and military negotiations, Indian and Chinese troops remain in confrontation at certain friction points in eastern Ladakh.
India has consistently emphasized the importance of maintaining peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as a prerequisite for normalizing overall bilateral relations.
Conversely, China has argued that the boundary issue should not define the entirety of the bilateral relationship and has called for progress on broader aspects of the relationship.
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