sino scan: china, india and russia jointly counter unilateralism at g20

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Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina on November 30. The two leaders had warm and productive discussions and pledged to further enhance mutual trust and friendship

The closer Sino-Indian relations could be read from the two leaders' frequent interactions. In April, President Xi and Prime Minister Modi held an informal meeting in Wuhan, the capital city of central China's Hubei Province, and reached a broad consensus on cooperation.

After that, Xi and Modi met at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit held in Qingdao, a coastal city in east China's Shandong Province, in June and at the BRICS summit in South Africa's Johannesburg in July. The G20 meeting is their fourth meeting in 2018.

Under the strategic guidance of the two leaders, the Sino-Indian relations have demonstrated a sound momentum of development. After the Wuhan meeting, a series of dialogues have been held between the two countries.

‍Officials from both sides are working together to enhance bilateral trade. The increase of India's export of rice, sugar and pharmaceuticals to the Chinese market is particularly prominent.

Talks on the border issue have witnessed breakthroughs as well. The 21st Meeting of the Special Representatives of China and India on the Boundary Question, led by Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi and Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, was held in Chengdu, the capital city of southwest China's Sichuan Province, on November 24.

The two sides had a “very good talk” and “reached many future-oriented and constructive outcomes” at the meeting, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang. In December, Wang Yi will also visit India for the first meeting of the high-level mechanism on people-to-people exchanges with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Improving Sino-Indian relations is also good for regional peace and development. As the two largest Asian countries, both China and India exert significant influences on the region. Stable Beijing-New Delhi ties would ensure a peaceful environment across the whole region.

Meanwhile, as economic development is the priority of most countries in South and East Asia, a closer Sino-Indian relationship would create convenient and favourable conditions for smaller states in the region to implement their developmental agenda.

The strategic significance of Sino-Indian relations is even more prominent. As the world's two biggest emerging economies, both China and India have followed the opening-up policy for economic growth and prosperity, which, to some extent, depends on the existence of a transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive international trade system.

More broadly, as representatives of developing countries, China and India are bearing high expectations to defend the interests of emerging economies in the international arena. While developing countries are making every effort to get integrated into the global economy, the foundation of the free trade system is being shaken by Washington's unilateral policies.

This is why China and India stick to the multilateralism principle in international affairs, and why the BRICS countries stress in their statement that the reform of WTO should reflect interests of all WTO members, especially those of the developing ones.

President Xi, Prime Minister Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin also held a trilateral meeting in Buenos Aires. As today's world faces increasing volatility and uncertainty, it is more urgent for these three major powers to coordinate in this turbulent time.

On the one hand, Beijing, New Delhi, and Moscow need to play a more important role in maintaining regional and international peace. On the other hand, the current situation requires the three economies to stand up against unilateralism and trade protectionism and to promote a fair, just, equitable, democratic and representative international order.

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