DPG China Monitor

China Monitor

Chinese President Xi Jinping did not attend the 18th G20 Summit hosted by India on September 9-10, 2023, missing the event for the first time. Chinese Premier Li Qiang, who attended the summit in his place, stressed the need to advance economic globalisation and promote unity, cooperation, and inclusion within the G20. Beijing also lauded the admission of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20 describing it as a “historic step in improving global governance and revitalising international economic cooperation”. 

On September 26, 2023, during an interaction in the US, India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, reiterated concerns over the state of India-China relations, saying these have been in an “abnormal state” since 2020, and terming the tensions as “possibly longer than a medium-term issue”. Referring to China’s ambiguous policy towards India, Dr. Jaishankar stressed that it is difficult to have normal relations with a country that has broken bilateral agreements.

With the continuing standoff on the border, now in its fourth year, India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated 90 key border infrastructure projects across 11 states and union territories on September 12, including the strategically located Nechiphu tunnel connecting Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh with Assam's Balipara. He stressed the need for timely completion of infrastructure projects. 

China denied visas to three Indian athletes who were scheduled to compete at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou over its claims on the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. India firmly rejected the differential treatment of its citizens on the basis of domicile and ethnicity, asserting that Arunachal Pradesh will always remain an integral and inalienable part of India. As a mark of protest, India’s Sports Minister cancelled his visit to China for the Asian Games.

On September 23, 2023, President Xi Jinping welcomed leaders attending the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games, and called upon Asian countries to promote peace, solidarity, and inclusiveness through sports, reject the Cold War mentality and make Asia an anchor for world peace.

China appointed a new Ambassador to Afghanistan on September 13, 2023, making it the first country to recognise the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of the country in August 2021.
Nepal’s Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ visited China from September 23-30, 2023. During the visit, the two sides agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in areas such as trade, road connectivity, and information technology. Nepal, however, rejected China’s offer to join the Global Security Initiative (GSI).

On September 1, 2023, China's National People's Congress (NPC) adopted the country's first foreign state immunity law that will take effect on January 1, 2024. As part of this law, foreign states will be subjected to suits in China under certain circumstances in which they currently enjoy immunity.

A white paper entitled “A Global Community of Shared Future: China's Proposals and Actions” was released in Beijing on September 26, 2023, to mark the tenth anniversary of President Xi's vision to build a global community with a shared future. It called on the international community to unite in pursuing common good, while noting that Xi's vision is now recognised globally as having “nothing to do with self-interest or protectionism”.

Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, and the US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, held a meeting in Malta on September 16-17, 2023. The two sides reiterated their commitment to maintaining open lines of communication and pursuing high-level engagement in key areas. Even as the US and China continued their diplomatic contacts, Beijing asserted that owing to Washington’s wrong perception of China, there are a number of difficulties in the military-to-military engagement between the two countries.

Taiwan unveiled its first domestically developed submarine on September 28, 2023, marking a significant step in strengthening Taipei's “asymmetric warfare” capabilities against the PLA Navy (PLAN).

As part of the deepening trend of the China-Russia strategic partnership, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, met Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on September 18, 2023. Wang Yi reiterated that China-Russia relations have withstood the test of international changes and continue to develop in a healthy and stable manner.

Chinese Defence Minister, Li Shangfu, continues to be absent from public view since August 29, 2023. He did not attend a meeting of the Central Military Commission (CMC), amidst intensifying speculation about his whereabouts.

Beijing expressed concerns at the European Union’s decision to launch an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese electric vehicles (EVs). The EU's Trade Commissioner warned that Europe welcomes competition, but it will be more assertive in addressing unfair trade practices by China.

As China's post-covid economic recovery continues to be sluggish, President Biden observed that some tenets of President Xi's economic plan do not appear to be working. Former senior CPC leaders reportedly raised concerns with President Xi about the overall direction of the nation.