Executive Intelligence Review


Will Beijing and New Delhi Reset Relations around Shanghai Cooperation Organization?

April 22, 2018 (EIRNS)—India’s The Statesman reported yesterday that the April 21-27 trip to China and Mongolia by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in which she will participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) foreign ministers meeting in Beijing and meet bilaterally with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, “is expected to ‘reset’ ties between New Delhi and Beijing that were strained by the 2017 Doklam crisis.” They report that the items on the table in Swaraj’s April 22 meeting with Wang Yi include a number of contentious issues between the two countries: the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, placing Jaish-e-Muhammad chief

Maulana Masood Azhar on the global terrorist list, and more. That “more” clearly includes the all-important issue of the Belt and Road Initiative, which India has so far failed to join.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying gave Swaraj’s visit great importance, saying it will “further enhance political trust between the two countries and elevate the China-India strategic cooperation partnership.”

An April 21 op-ed in China Daily written by Suhit Sen (described only as a veteran journalist and independent researcher based in India), was published under the pointed headline: “Their Goals Make China and India Obvious Allies.” In it, Sen stated:

“Wang is expected to persuade Swaraj to review India’s outlook on the Belt and Road Initiative, especially the proposed China-Nepal-India economic corridor.”

The meeting of the SCO foreign ministers will occur on April 24, as will a separate meeting of SCO defense ministers. The summit of SCO heads of state is scheduled for June in Qingdao, China. It is expected, although not yet confirmed, that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the context of that SCO summit. Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain will also be at the SCO Summit. This is the first SCO set of meetings in which both India and Pakistan will participate as full members of that organization.