After friction, Chinese Premier Li Qiang greets PM Modi for third term

India-China ties came into sharp focus soon after PM Modi acknowledged a congratulatory message from Taiwanese President William Lai Ching-te over the weekend

Updated - June 12, 2024 03:03 am IST

Published - June 12, 2024 12:39 am IST - NEW DELHI

Li Qiang

Li Qiang | Photo Credit: AFP

Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang sent a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he was sworn into office for a third time on 9 June. The message from the Chinese leader conveyed that steady relations between Beijing and New Delhi will help bring “‘positive energy into the region and the world”. India-China ties came into sharp focus soon after PM Modi acknowledged a congratulatory message, from Taiwanese President William Lai Ching-te over the weekend which prompted the Chinese Foreign Ministry as well as the Chinese embassy to remind India that it has made “commitments” to the ‘One China’ policy

“Li said that the sound and steady development of China-India relations is not only conducive to the well-being of the two peoples but also injects stability and positive energy into the region and the world. He said that China is willing to work with India to push bilateral relations in the right direction,” Xinhua reported on June 11.

Xi’s outreach moves

The election in India was one of the several elections that took place in South and Southeast Asia and in the recent past, Chinese President Xi Jinping has congratulated the Prime Ministers of Pakistan and Bangladesh – Shebaz Sharif and Sheikh Hasina on their electoral victories in the polls held earlier this year. President Xi is known to maintain communications with top leaders in India’s neighbourhood, including Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe. The leaders of Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were hosted in New Delhi during PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on 9 June. In 2019, President Xi had congratulated PM Modi on his electoral victory.

A number of global leaders including President Macron of France and the royals of the Gulf region have congratulated PM Modi on assuming office after his National Democratic Alliance (NDA) secured a majority in the latest election. Apart from official channels, most of these greetings were also conveyed on social media platforms. On June 11 PM Modi acknowledged greetings from Sultan Haitham bin Tarik of Oman, and the leaders of Bulgaria and Panama among others.

Earlier in the day, taking charge as the External Affairs Minister, Dr. S Jaishankar, presented India’s neighbourhood as the top priority for the government. “Our focus with regard to China will be on finding a solution for the border issues and with Pakistan, we would want to find a solution to the issue of cross-border terrorism,” said Mr. Jaishankar.

“The influence of India has been steadily growing, not just in terms of our perception but also what the other countries think. They feel that India is truly their friend and they have seen that in times of crisis, if there is one country that stands with the Global South, it is India,” said Mr. Jaishankar meeting the press outside South Block.

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