China proposes visits, events to revive India talks


New Delhi: Two years into the military standoff along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, Beijing has reached out to New Delhi to revive bilateral dialogue and set the stage for the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) summit in China later this year.

Beijing has proposed a series of events to kickstart the dialogue, starting with possible high-level visits from both sides.

To begin with, Beijing has proposed a visit by Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to India as early as this month. This is to be followed by a reciprocal visit by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. The Chinese side has also proposed a series of high-level visits by its top Politburo members and key officials in President Xi Jinping’s regime.

The Chinese have also proposed an ‘India-China Civilization Dialogue’ to be held in both countries. They have also proposed an India-China Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum and an India-China Film Forum.

But China’s ultimate and clear objective is to host Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the in-person BRICS summit which will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin as well. China, which also holds the chair for the RIC (Russia-India-China) trilateral this year, could also host the leaders’ summit on the sidelines of the BRICS summit.

In the current circumstances, it is politically difficult for Modi to attend an in-person meeting with Xi — when the border standoff has still not been resolved. Their last face-to-face meeting was in Brazil for the BRICS summit in November 2019. In October 2019, Xi had visited India for an informal summit in Mahabalipuram.