The Chinese Government’s decision not to further oppose the addition of Masood Azhar to the United Nations blacklist, and the fact that consent was given before “Modi could claim victory in the general election” has been described by an official Chinese mouthpiece as China’s endorsement of the handling of the China policy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his first term in office.
The Chinese endorsement of Modi’s China Policy has been underscored in an editorial titled “Continuity, not change, expected from Modi 2.0” published by Global Times on 29 May 2019.
The editorial goes on to observe that the first thing expected to happen in Modi 2.0 is the second informal summit between President Xi Jinping and Modi. The momentum created by the Wuhan informal summit could not be sustained on account of the Indian general elections . Now matters such as border issues, bilateral economic ties, and coordinating moves against US trade restrictions that are being described as acts by a bully, would be taken up in a more mature manner, China hopes.
The pragmatic realism, in terms of India-China relations, will continue in Modi 2.0, the edit says pointing out that both countries have decided to reaffirm history of cooperation in many multilateral settings. In this context, attention has been drawn to “the fact is that their engagement in multilateral frameworks was not sidelined by their differences, even during the Doklam standoff”.
Noting “India has acceded to the expanded Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and is a top borrower in the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank” and without directly mentioning the US but referring to the “resurgent waves of unilateralism” and pointing out that multilateralism is now under stress, the edit goes on to point out that India and China’s interactions hold particular implications for the trend of major power relations.
It also says that “instead of indulging in competition for status, India and China are actually trying to view each other in terms of opportunity and trust, and this became clearer after 2018.
Furthermore, there has been more room for both sides to test constructive interactions in other multilateral frameworks such as BIMSTEC, SAARC and the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative. As a sign of positive interaction, China offered to cooperate with India to help a third country improve its infrastructure, which India accepted. The Indian minister of external affairs made clear that it could work with China on infrastructure projects in Afghanistan and that such cooperation would not be affected by Pakistani factors”.