Monday, May 16, 2022

Chinese foreign minister to see Indian counterpart in surprise meeting

Relations between China and India worsened after a June 2020 border clash in the Ladakh region of the former Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir killed at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers.

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet his Indian counterpart in New Delhi on Friday, India’s foreign ministry said, after he arrived in the city unannounced in the first such visit since deadly border clashes in 2020 soured ties.

Wang will meet Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar before noon, a ministry spokesperson told Reuters, without giving further details. Wang is set to fly to Nepal later in the day.

Neither side had announced the visit before Wang landed in New Delhi late on Thursday. Footage from Reuters partner ANI showed him coming out of the commercial airport rather than the defence facility nearby where most foreign dignitaries land.

Wang drew a rebuke from the Indian government ahead of his trip for remarks made in Pakistan this week on the disputed Kashmir region. India and Pakistan rule Muslim-majority Kashmir in part but claim in full, and China has generally stood by close ally Pakistan.

Relations between China and India worsened after a June 2020 border clash in the Ladakh region of the former Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir killed at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers.

The two sides are expected to talk about the border tension as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Both consider Russia as a friendly nation and have rejected Western calls to condemn the aggression from Moscow, which it calls a special military operation.

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