G20: Bilateral meeting between Indian, Chinese FMs expected

Foreign Minister Qin Gang’s visit to New Delhi for the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meet marks the first high-level visit by China to India since March 2022

NEW DELHI | Updated: 01 March, 2023 8:44 pm IST

A bilateral meeting between India and China is expected as Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang visits India for the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi.

The visit came amid frozen relations between the two powerhouses following the December 2022 clashes between the armies of the two countries along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Tawang.

Vinay Kwatra, India’s Foreign Secretary, stated on Wednesday, March 1, “India-China bilateral meeting expected. I can not tell you what the topics are going to be. The topic of discussion will be in the public domain only after the meeting.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said, “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,” Ning said.

“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,” the official added.

India has been maintaining that its ties with China cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border areas. On Sunday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that relations with China will not be normal until the issue of the face-off that happened at the beginning of the COVID lockdown is resolved.

Last week, senior officials from India and China met in person in Beijing to discuss the working mechanism for consultation and coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC).

Officials from both sides discussed proposals for disengagement in the remaining areas of the LAC in eastern Ladakh. It was the first in-person meeting of the WMCC since July 2019.

Joint Secretary (East Asia) of the Ministry of External Affairs, Dr Shilpak Ambule, who headed the Indian delegation, also called on the Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister, Hua Chunying.

On December 20 of last year, the 17th round of the India-China Corps Commander Level Meeting was held at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Chinese side.

During the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on the resolution of the relevant issues along the LAC in the Western sector in an “open and constructive manner”.

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