Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed his Japanese counterpart Kishida Fumio in New Delhi on Monday to discuss economic and security cooperation, timing the diplomatic event to coincide with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia.
Xi arrived in Moscow on Monday, greeted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and expected to discuss both trade and the potential Chinese objective in Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Communist China is one of Russia’s closest international allies, but it also maintains close trade relations with Ukraine and has refused to enthusiastically endorse the invasion.
India’s relationship with China has deteriorated significantly in the past decade, largely as a result of China increasing its military presence on their shared border and repeatedly invading India’s Himalayan region. India’s chief diplomat, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, candidly stated in February that “his country’s relationship with major powers is good. China is an exception.”
In turn, India and Russia have maintained close relations for a long time. India has greatly increased its support to the Russian economy by buying cheap Russian oil since the start of the massive invasion of Ukraine and is one of Russia’s largest buyers of military equipment.
Japan has very unfriendly relations with both China and Russia. Japan and Russia are technically at war, as neither side signed a peace treaty after the end of hostilities during World War II. The lack of a solution to the dispute over the Kuril Islands, northern Japan and eastern Russia, prevented the two sides from signing a peace agreement. Japan actively and loudly supports Ukraine’s efforts to eliminate the Russian presence on its territory.
China’s poor relationship with Japan also dates back to World War II, during which the Empire of Japan engaged in a host of human rights atrocities against the Chinese, killing Millions. These events occurred before China became a communist country in 1949, and recent tensions are directly related to Japan’s close alliance with the United States. Japan has dramatically increased its defense spending in the past decade in response to Chinese aggressiveness, including the recent threat to turn Japan into an “East Asian Ukraine”.
Kishida’s visit to India began on Monday and will last for three days. I’ll pretty much made up to Planning The G20 summit to be hosted by India this year and the G7 summit to be hosted by Japan. Modi and Kishida began their talks by accepting mutual invitations to both events.
Modi describe The growing closeness of their two countries in remarks following Kishida’s arrival, praising their positive “momentum” as having the potential to improve the world.
“Last year, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and I met several times and each time I felt positively his commitment towards India-Japan bilateral relations. His visit today will be beneficial to maintain this momentum,” Modi He saidshortly before they paid their respects to Mahatma Gandhi.
– Arindam Bagchi (MEAIndia) March 20, 2023
Kishida delivered a speech on Monday discussing his vision of the “Indo-Pacific,” a term used to include much of the area around the South China Sea, in which he pledged more than $75 billion to develop infrastructure and security in the region.
“I believe we should aim for a world where diverse nations coexist and thrive together under the rule of law without falling into geopolitical competition,” said Kishida, calling India “indispensable” for peace and development in the region.
“peace [paramount]. Principles such as respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and opposition to unilateral changes to the status quo by force should be followed,” Kishida emphasized, according to Deccan HeraldIndian newspaper. “The principles must be adhered to in every corner of the world.”
Japanese outlet Nikkei male In his speech, Kishida warned of a “major change in the balance of power” on the world stage that threatens the freedom and sovereignty of nations, sowing “division and confrontation,” and suggested that “good infrastructure development” can help combat nefarious influences.
Kishida did not mention China by name, according to reports that translated his speech into Japanese, but his warnings seemed largely directed at China’s attempts to colonize the lands of neighboring countries and undermine sovereignty through debt. On the former issue, China claims most of the South China Sea, a sprawling body of water that includes the territories of Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. China also maintains bitter territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea and India in the Indian territories of Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, bordering Tibet and occupied East Turkestan.
Kishida’s investment in infrastructure appears to be aimed at containing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s global infrastructure development project. Through the Belt and Road Initiative, China provides vulgar loans to poor countries to be used to pay for China’s expensive infrastructure projects. When countries inevitably fail to repay loans — as has happened most prominently in Sri Lanka, a critical security area for India — China seizes the projects in question, giving the Chinese government a foothold in that region.
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