Xi and Modi Trade Confrontation for Comity at Another Informal Summit

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mamallapuram, India, Oct. 12, 2019 (Indian prime minister’s office photo via AP Images).
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mamallapuram, India, Oct. 12, 2019 (Indian prime minister’s office photo via AP Images).

At their second informal summit in as many years, China’s Xi Jinping and India’s Narendra Modi, arguably the two most powerful leaders in Asia, eschewed confrontation for the sake of plodding along. While they hobnobbed in the seaside town of Mamallapuram in southern India earlier this month, they did little to resolve underlying border tensions and other contentious issues. Instead, Modi and Xi agreed on a few maxims—to be “factors for stability in the current international landscape” and to prevent “differences on any issue to become disputes.” While there was an emphasis on optics over substance, it is still encouraging […]

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