Just ahead of Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s visit to India, Beijing has come out in support of New Delhi’s stance on the Russia-Ukraine issue. Sources said that New Delhi’s foreign policy will be driven by pragmatism and the principle of strategic autonomy.
Despite pressure from the US on India to take a firm stand against Russia, the Narendra Modi government has maintained its neutrality in the Russia-Ukraine conflict though it has underlined the need to resolve the issue at the earliest. Recently, India also approached Russia for imports of crude oil at a discounted price. While the US said that India’s purchase of crude oil from Russia will not violate the stringent sanctions imposed against Russia by the West, Washington warned that it may put India “on the wrong side of history.”
However, the Chinese state owned media, which typically mirrors the government’s point of view, has backed India. “As an independent country, India has the right to make diplomatic decisions in line with its own interests and the reality. However, this has become unacceptable for the US,” Global Times in a recent report said, adding that since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, New Delhi which adopted a neutral stance on the issue, has also “appealed for peace and constant dialogue.”
Also read: Will China be the ultimate gainer of US sanctions against Russia?
The Chinese foreign minister's visit to New Delhi has created unprecedented interest across the globe especially at a time when uncertainties have risen.
Relations between the two neighbours that account for more than 30 per cent of the world’s population nosedived in 2020 after the Galwan Valley clash.
Earlier this month, the Chinese foreign minister said at a press briefing that India and China should not allow territorial disputes “to affect the overall interests of bilateral cooperation,” the newspaper said in another report.
"China-India relations have suffered some setbacks in recent years, which does not serve the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples," Wang said.
In another report titled, ‘It is necessary for China, India to mend their fraught relations’ Global Times said that it is India's legitimate right to develop economic and trade relations with Russia based on its own national interests.