At G20 trilateral, China proposes 5G partnership with India, Russia

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L), India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C) and China’s President Xi Jinping pose for a picture during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan June 28, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The rift between China and the United States over 5G technology exports to India sharpened on Friday, when Chinese President Xi Jinping pitched for a partnership with New Delhi and Moscow for expanding a joint footprint in cyberspace.

In his remarks at the Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, President Xi urged the three countries, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin, to “expand cooperation in 5G network, high technology, connectivity, energy and other areas,” Xinhua reported. He also called for reforming the World Trade Organisation (WTO), based on consensus.

Analysts say that Mr. Xi’s advocacy for a trilateral cyber-partnership follows the Trump administration’s campaign to discourage India and other countries from importing Chinese 5G technology, led by Huawei Technologies, the Shenzhen based telecom heavyweight, on security grounds.

The 5G technology, can interlink the mobile internet with manufacturing. It is at the heart of the “fourth industrial revolution,” which will result in factories being run by robots, driverless vehicles and enabling remote surgeries.

On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump discussed the 5G technology with Prime Minister Modi on the sidelines of G20, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale confirmed during a media briefing.

President Xi also proposed during the meeting that the three countries should become guardians of “global and regional peace and stability”. Without going into details, he said the trio should “advocate a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security concept…”

Earlier this month, the three leaders, along with heads of five other Eurasian countries, deliberated on counter-terrorism, and related common security issues, during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

The trio will meet again in Vladivostok at the Eastern Economic Forum, where Mr. Modi will be the chief guest.

Rejecting the use of force, Mr. Xi stressed that “hotspot issues” should be resolved through “political dialogue”.

Mr. Xi’s observation is in tune with China’s position that India and Pakistan should explore possibilities of direct talks to resolve their differences, despite Beijing’s compliance with New Delhi’s demand in May to designate Masood Azhar, head of Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohamed, as an international terrorist.

Mr. Xi said the three countries should jointly combat terrorism in all forms, and work together to address global challenges such as climate change and cybersecurity.He pointed out that the rise of protectionism and unilateralism had seriously affected the stability of the global landscape, dragged down world economic growth, and exerted a negative impact that cannot be ignored on the international order on which emerging-market countries and developing countries depend.

The Chinese President also stressed that the three countries need to promote a multi-polar world and make international relations more democratic. The three leaders decided to institutionalise their “informal summit” on the sidelines of the G20.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 12:52:31 AM |

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