Xi’s ‘one mountain, two tigers’ diplomatic puzzle

Source– The post is based on the article “Xi’s ‘one mountain, two tigers’ diplomatic puzzle” published in the “Business Standard” on 7th September 2023.

Syllabus: GS3- Bilateral groupings and agreements

Relevance- India and China bilateral relationship

News– Chinese President Xi Jinping is skipping the G20 summit as India hosts world leaders in Delhi.

How Xi’s absence from the G20 summit in India shows his preference for non-western framework?

Mr. Xi has been a consistent attendee of nearly all G20 summits. It provided him with a global platform to promote China’s narrative.

However, in recent years, Mr. Xi has become convinced that profound changes not seen in a century are taking place. It signifies America’s diminishing role in the global order.

He is growing more optimistic about China’s rise as a powerful challenger to the United States.

There is a newfound dynamism in various alliances connected to China or where China plays a leading role.

A notable contrast can be observed between Mr. Xi’s absence at the Delhi G20 summit and his presence at the Brics summit in South Africa.

Mr. Xi perceives nations joining groupings such as Brics and SCO as a testament to China’s achievements in global affairs.

It is leading Mr. Xi believes that China can become a counterbalance, and form a China-led bloc opposed to US dominance.

Here, Mr. Xi aims to persuade developing nations that China alone holds the key to the “path of prosperity” after Covid pandemic.

Mr. Xi has committed to supporting sustainable development in the Global South. He has established a “South-South Cooperation Fund” totaling $4 billion and allocated a $10 billion fund by Chinese financial institutions to implement his Global Development Initiative.

How China’s grand vision clashes with India’s growing advocacy of issues related to the Global South?

During its tenure as the G20 presidency, India extended invitations to 125 nations for the “Voice of Global South” summit.

India has leveraged its G20 presidency to advocate for the acceleration of reforms within global financial institutions .

India is actively working to secure fertiliser and grain supply chains in light of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Under its G20 presidency, India appears to be gaining global acceptance. It is now perceived as a counterbalance to China.

During its G20 presidency, India hosted foreign delegations in regions such as Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh. It is a diplomatic achievement.

How Xi’s recent behaviour will impact the broader India-China relations?

As India’s influence grows, the resolution of the border dispute between the two countries may become even more challenging.

Beijing has escalated tensions by renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh, and issuing stapled visas to its residents, and releasing a map that questions India’s territorial integrity.

China is facing internal challenges, including economic difficulties and rising unemployment. It may lead to increased assertiveness.

Mr. Xi is actively working to establish an alternative international framework and is investing more in alliances associated with China. Furthermore, China’s vision is now in competition with India’s outreach to the Global South.

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