PM Modi is set to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and discuss issues varying from economy to border disputes and from employment to Kashmir issue. India is struggling with a dwindling economy while on the other hand China is also struck with a plummet in market sales.
China’s growth in 2019 is around 6%, the slowest on record, while India’s growth was the weakest in last six years in June. The two countries’ auto sales depict the story of the economic downfall. In China, the sale of sedans, sport utility vehicles, minivans and multipurpose vehicles dwindled for the 14th time in 15 months, this happened in the same month of August when India’s car sales recorded their biggest annual decline.
The slowdown is critical for the two developing nations even though their growth rates are still higher than many other countries, China is required to maintain the pace of expansion if it wants to deal with debt amassed during its growing years while on the other hand, India is relying on growing economy to accommodate millions of new job seekers every month.
In order to cushion the slowdown, Indian government announced corporate tax cuts worth $20 billion but with a financial system choked by loans and unemployment at a 45-year high, an air of discouragement is still haunting companies’ sales.
The talks on trade will focus on India’s continuing tension over the trade deficit. According to the latest reports, the trade deficit in China’s favour reduced in last year to about $53 billion but by ensuring China provides market access to more Indian companies, officials are hoping to bring it much lower.
India still has last-minute second thoughts over the flooding of the Indian market by Chinese goods, therefore PM Modi will also seek guarantees from Mr. Xi Jinping ahead of the RCEP free trade agreement signing on November 1, where the two leaders will discuss Indian security worries over including Chinese tech giant Huawei in the Indian market.
Apart from trade deficit and budget plans, India and China will also be discussing the lockdown in Kashmir and the border disputes with China. On Kashmir issue, India has maintained its firm stand that Kashmir is an internal matter between India and Pakistan and no third country should express its views on the matter. China has made many U-turns and exhibited many double standards when it comes to situation in Kashmir.
Manish Tiwari from Indian National Congress took to Twitter to challenge Indian government over its inability to stop China from interfering in India’s internal matters. He wrote: “Xi Jinping says he is watching Kashmir but why does @PMOIndia/MEA not say 1) We are watching pro-democracy protests muzzled in Hong Kong. 2) We are watching human rights violations in Xinjiang. 3) We are watching continued oppression in Tibet 4)We are watching South China Sea”.
China’s protests over the action and its strong backing of Pakistan on the Kashmir issue have raised anger in India, which firmly maintains the decision is an internal matter. India and Pakistan both claim the Himalayan region and have fought two wars over the territory.
As per Chinese paper Global Times’ claim in a commentary ahead of Xi Jinping’s trip, “although India is enhancing its ties with Nepal partly because of geopolitical considerations to counter China’s increasing presence, this is not necessarily a bad thing because Nepal’s economy can benefit from Sino-Indian competition,”
Firstly, China said that Kashmir is an internal issue between India and Pakistan and it should be solved according to UN resolutions but on the other hand, China changed the tune and said that China is keeping a close watch on the situation. Modi government has failed to call out China on its double standards and U-turns on the Kashmir issue.