China seeks to cool Indian tensions amid intensifying US stand-off

  • Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang will attend a G20 gathering in New Delhi on 2 Mar, in his first official visit to India as Beijing seeks to mend ties with its Himalayan neighbour.
  • The Chinese foreign ministry on 28 Feb confirmed the visit, which will be a test for Beijing’s balancing act between the US-led West and Russia in the midst of the protracted Ukraine war.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and soaring tensions between China and the United States are expected to dominate the Delhi meeting, which will also be attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and senior diplomats from 40 countries.
  • Chinese and Indian officials held talks in Beijing last week (20-26 Feb) on their military stand-off, which began after a fatal clash on their disputed Himalayan border in the Galwan Valley in the Ladakh region in Jun 20.
  • While both Beijing and New Delhi remain ambivalent about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as they both abstained from a United Nations General Assembly vote demanding that Russia immediately and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine, China’s repeated efforts to capitalise on India’s divergence from the US over the war have so far failed to stem the deterioration in bilateral ties.

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