- Beijing has not officially confirmed this information.
- On Saturday, India reacted strongly through diplomatic channels on comments made by the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan.
- Observers say this unofficial summit will not mention much of the ongoing tensions.
Notice of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India is expected to be made within the next 24 to 48 hours. According to The Indian Express, Xi will visit India for an informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the next 5 days. Experts said that in the upcoming visit to India, the Chinese side will not mention much of the long-standing tense disputes, but will instead focus on cooperation.
However, Beijing has not officially confirmed this information. According to the newspaper, the two leaders are expected to meet in Mamallapuram (Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu state) on October 11-12. Xi is expected to travel to Chennai, the state capital on October 11, and leave the next day. As in April 2018, the announcement of the unofficial Wuhan summit between Indian Prime Minister Modi and Xi was announced by Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj just five days before the conference.
Emphasis on economic-cultural cooperation
Tensions in relations between India and Pakistan increased after India canceled Article 370, a special regulation for Kashmir, of its Constitution. Accordingly, from the end of October onwards, Jammu and Kashmir will no longer be a state of India. The state forms two united territories— Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The federated territories were granted less autonomy by the federal government than the states and were subject to direct rule from Delhi.
On Saturday, India reacted strongly through diplomatic channels on comments made by the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Yao Jing, regarding Kashmir. The Ambassador said that China would take Pakistan’s side in resolving the Kashmir dispute, according to Pakistani daily The Express Tribune, as quoted by Indian Express. For a long time, China’s increasing investment in South Asia has been associated with the Belt and Road project, which has caused considerable concern from India. New Delhi opposes China’s Pakistan Economic Corridor passing Kashmir territory.
Observers say this unofficial summit will not mention much of the ongoing tensions. Geeta Kochhar, a China researcher at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, told the South China Morning Post that during Xi’s upcoming visit to India, there will be specific discussions on trade relations, including both the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement— a proposed free trade agreement involving 16 countries, including China and India— and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Forum, a trade bloc trade, and regional investment.
She said that there will be discussions around border disputes because both sides want to reduce confrontation or the risk of escalation. But increasing cultural and historical connections will be emphasized. She also acknowledged that the choice of location— a city famous for Hindu heritage— is also an indication that the two countries will put more emphasis on the links between India and China’s cultural and historical relations.
Vietnam wants India to raise its respect for the Law of the Sea
Prior to the visit of Xi Jinping, Vietnam’s Ambassador to India, Mr. Pham Sanh Chau, told Indian media that Vietnam wanted India to raise the issue of respect for the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) with China. The Hindu Times newspaper quoted Ambassador Pham saying that Vietnam will raise awareness about the East Sea situation in its annual security dialogue with India this month.
Talking to ANI News, Mr. Pham said that Vietnam calls for all countries outside the region to contribute to peace and security in the region, and “we welcome the contribution of any country in strengthening the region trying to make peace and stability in the area.” Mr. Pham praised the positive role that India has played in this matter and said he hoped Modi would visit Vietnam next year.
Hanoi has repeatedly called on New Delhi to play its role to ease tensions in the South China Sea. India is one of the countries in which Vietnam has a comprehensive strategic partnership. Vietnam is putting high hopes on India’s support through the annual security dialogue that is expected to be held in Ho Chi Minh City this month. “We hope to be able to present not only the security of the two countries but also issues related to the whole region, and in particular, the current situation in the South China Sea,” Pham said.
Earlier, in a text released in August, India declared “a great interest in the region’s peace and stability,” and called for compliance with international laws, including the United Nations Convention National Law of the Sea.