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China’s official think tank accuses India of pursuing anti-China agenda as G20 host; India praises China’s role at summit

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(TibetanReview.net, Sep10’23) – In what has been seen as a hint on why Chinese President Xi Jinping took the unprecedented decision to skip the 18th G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi, Sep 9-10, a Chinese think tank affiliated with the country’s top spy agency has on Sep 9 accused India of trying to take advantage of its role as the event’s host to promote its own agenda and harm China’s interests.

In a harsh criticism, the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, which is under the Ministry of State Security, has accused India of bringing geopolitical “private goods” onto the global stage, which it said would not only not help the country to fulfil its responsibility as the host of G20 summit but also create further problems.

The think tank was apparently referring to India’s hosting of two G20 meetings earlier this year in territories it considers disputed — one in Arunachal Pradesh that China claims as its own on the basis of its armed invasion and illegal annexation of Tibet, and another in Kashmir, contested by its all-weather, superlative friend Pakistan.

“In addition to causing diplomatic turmoil and public opinion turmoil, India’s actions in hosting meetings in disputed territories have also ‘stole(n) the spotlight’, sabotaging the cooperative atmosphere of the G20 meeting and hindering the achievement of substantive results,” the think tank has said in a commentary published on its Wechat account.

China has so far declined to explain Xi’s absence despite repeated media queries during regular foreign ministry press briefings. Premier Li Qiang represented China instead.

The think tank has also accused India of trying to use the issue of debt restructuring to attack China, faulting it for frequently cooperating with the United States and the West in hyping the “debt trap” theory, while Beijing claims to have offered loans to poorer countries to build needed infrastructure likes ports or roads.

India’s move could “further create differences and rifts, hinder the international community from reaching consensus and substantive results, and will ultimately cause damage to its own international image and global development interests”, the think tank has maintained.

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Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Sep 9 that G20 member states had adopted a consensus leaders’ document for the summit, saying that with the “…hard work of our teams, and with the cooperation of you all, there is consensus on the New Delhi G20 Summit Leaders Declaration”.

Beijing had earlier made clear its strong reservations about any mention of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the language to be used in the context of the conflict.

The consensus declaration adopted by the G20 leaders called for a “comprehensive, just, and durable peace in Ukraine”, urging member states to “refrain from the threat of use of force to seek territorial acquisition” or act against the territorial integrity of any state.

Beijing had emerged as the primary stumbling block against a consensus document and it was unclear how the differences were ironed out, noted the hindustantimes.com Sep 10.

A hint of its may be contained in a comment piece published Sep 9 evening by Xinhua, China’s official news agency, which said: “Led by Premier Li Qiang, the Chinese G20 delegation is here (New Delhi) to seek unity and agreement instead of confrontation and differences. The country criticising others for not following its ‘zero-sum’ approach will witness China’s constructive role during the summit.”

India’s Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said Sep 9 that China had been very supportive in yielding various outcomes during the country’s G-20 presidency, and acknowledged its contributions in deliberations during the summit.

Jaishankar has also dismissed speculations about Xi Jinping’s absence from the summit. He has said at a news conference after the adoption of the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, “I think it is for every country to decide at what level they would be represented. I don’t think one should overly read meanings into it.”

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