Modest expectations from PM Modi-Xi summit

As PM Narendra Modi arrives in Wuhan for an “informal” summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, here are five things not to expect from the two-day dialogue.

Published: 27th April 2018 01:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2018 06:50 AM   |  A+A-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, shakes hand with Chinese President Xi Jinping (File | AP)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: As PM Narendra Modi arrives in Wuhan for an “informal” summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, here are five things not to expect from the two-day dialogue.

One, any breakthrough on the border dispute, simply because neither leader can commit to territorial changes without discussing it domestically first. “At best, they might decide to set a timeframe to resolve the issue,” said a former diplomat who has served in China.

“The dispute is festering simply because the Chinese side is yet to submit definitive maps delineating their idea of the border along at least two of three disputed sectors. Without that, how are we supposed to negotiate an agreement?”​

Two, an agreement on curtailing the Dalai Lama’s activities in India. “Despite the Dalai Lama cancelling a March 31 programme in Delhi… the fact remains that he is an honoured guest, free to indulge in any religious activities that he deems fit… That has been and remains our position,” the official said.

Three, India reconsidering its opposition to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. “Our reservation about the BRI actually goes way beyond the territorial infringement of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. We don’t see it being transparent and multilateral enough,” he said.

Four, withdrawal of Chinese opposition to India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group and getting Masood Azhar declared a terrorist by the UN.

“While Modi and Xi might touch upon these issues, a decision is unlikely given the so-called all-weather relationship between Beijing and Islamabad,” the official said.

And five, a public readout of what was discussed by the two leaders at the end of the summit. “It would be actually unfair to expect a declaration of any sort given that the meeting has no set agenda,” he said.


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