Amid strained ties between the two countries, China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe has reportedly sought a meeting with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
The Indian Express quoted sources as saying that South Block has given the go-ahead for the meeting in the hope that it will lead to “early and complete disengagement” as well as de-escalation along the LAC.
This comes just days after India banned 118 more apps with Chinese links and accused China of attempting to change the status quo in Ladakh. Both the countries have accused each other this week of engaging in provocative actions along the Line of Actual Control.
China has reacted defiantly to the ban, which includes popular gaming app PUBG, but analysts point out that the country will take an economic hit. This might be a reason, they say, for China seeking a meeting with Singh.
“While South Asia might represent less than 1% of China’s total trade in normal times, in the times of a pandemic and heightened possibilities of an escalated trade war with the US, even 1% of global trade means a lot for a country like China whose growth model is export reliant.” said Sriparna Pathak, Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean in the Jindal School of International Affairs.
China’s foreign ministry reacted to the ban by saying that the Indian side is sacrificing the rights and interests of the Indian users, and damaging those of Chinese companies. State-run Global Times also acknowledged in an opinion piece that related Chinese firms will bear huge losses, but said that the ban is a “double-edged sword” for India.
Pathak said that China would, therefore, want to assuage the situation and go back to a situation where the Indian market accepts Chinese goods and apps.
The meeting between the defence ministers is proposed to give out the impression that it is trying to bring down...