ASTANA: Amid Belt and Road concerns in New Delhi and Beijing’s continuing ambivalence over India’s NSG membership, the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Kazakh capital Astana will be watched closely in the region.
The Modi-Xi meeting will be the first high-level contact between the two leaders since they last met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Goa in October last year. At that point, the two leaders had decided to move beyond their differences over New Delhi’s NSG membership to concentrate on expanding economic relationship. But since then, bilateral relations between the two Asian giants have come under further strain due to a host of reasons, including Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, the visit of a high-profile Taiwanese delegation to India and New Delhi’s uncompromising opposition to One Belt, One Road project.
The meeting between Mr Modi and Mr Xi is expected to see renewed efforts by the two countries to defrost their festering tensions and map the way forward.
India boycotted the Belt and Road summit hosted by Beijing on May 14-15 to register its strong concerns over the OBOR, which New Delhi suspects to be a grand hegemony project.
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