After blocking India’s NSG bid, China now seeks New Delhi’s help on South China Sea issue
Facing severe criticism from several world quarters for rejecting an international tribunal’s recent verdict over South China Sea, China is now seeking India’s support to ensure that other countries do not raise the controversial issue during the upcoming G20 meet in early September.
According to reports, China does not want a discussion on the subject at G20, and wants India not to join any country which is seeking a discussion.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who will be arriving here on a three-day visit starting August 12, will be making efforts to ensure that India does not join other countries in raising the matter during the G20 summit in Hangzhou.
Beijing is extremely worried that several countries, including the United States, will raise the issue after an international tribunal rejected its claims over ownership of much of the sea area recently. The ruling came after Philippines challenged Beijing’s claim over much of the sea area at a tribunal constituted under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Seas.
Initially, Beijing was not pleased by the guarded response from New Delhi which said that the UN convention should be effectively implemented, and all the relevant parties should cooperate.
During his three-day stay here, Yi will hold talks with his counterpart Sushma Swaraj on August 13 during in which key regional and bilateral issues will also be discussed, including the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) issue.
Earlier this year, China had blocked India’s membership bid at the Plenary meeting of the 48-nation grouping in June on the grounds that it was a non-NPT signatory.
The visit by Chinese minister also comes just days after Chinese troops ‘transgressed’ the border on land and by air in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.
Announcing the visit, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Friday said that the leaders will discuss various issues of mutual interests, including the upcoming multilateral meetings with G-20 Summit being held in China and the BRICS Summit being held in India.
When asked whether India will raise the recent incident of transgression in Uttarakhand at the meeting, Swarup said, all international, regional and bilateral issues of mutual interest will be discussed.
However, he added that the Defence Minister has already made a statement and there are mechanisms, including at army- to-army level, to take care of such incidents.
According to sources, the Indian side is likely to raise the issue of China scuttling India's NSG membership bid.
"Visit of Foreign Minister Wang to India is part of the regular high level dialogue between the two countries," Swarup said.
Apart from India, Wang will also visit Kenya and Uganda during his six-day trip starting from August 9.