Mamallapuram (Tamil Nadu), Oct 12 : It may be erroneous for more reasons than one to expect any grander announcement on joint cooperation between India and China at the ongoing Informal Summit here, but it may be worth taking a closer look into President Xi Jinping's entourage.
At the delegation level talks on Saturday after about 50-minute scheduled tete-e-tete between Modi and Xi Jinping, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, NSA Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Gokhale would join at the parleys.
From the Chinese side, those expected at the negotiating table alongside President Xi Jinping will be Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Ding Xuexiang, a powerful member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China.
Among them while Foreign Minister Wang Yi is a known face for the students of diplomacy especially in the region, the personality of Ding Xuexiang deserves some sort of dissection and perhaps this can give the mind of his leader and the powerful President of China. In simple words Ding Xuexiang is a powerful member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China. He is often described as the 'eye and ear' of President Xi.
Not long ago - a suave and determined man that he is Ding Xuexiang wrote about the party's foot soldiers and secretaries that they must “plan with the heart of a commander despite having a post as a soldier". According to an article in the Beijing Youth Daily in 2013, when Xi Jinping introduced the members of his Shanghai Municipality to the press in May 2007, he had described Ding as “here is another young man, and he was born after 1960.”
Hailed for strong memory, political acumen and good writing skills, he was spotted about that time and has not looked back. Considered a routine member of Xi’s overseas entourage, Mr Ding has served as political secretary for Xi Jinping, then party chief in Shanghai region before Xi headed to the central government. In 2013, Ding moved to Beijing to head the party chief office and effectively made himself Xi’s chief aide.
Born in 1962, Ding had joined the CPC in 1984. From 2012 to 2013, he was Secretary of Politics and Law Committee of CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee. He was an alternate member of the 18th CPC Central Committee. In 2013 he became Deputy Director, General Office for CPC Central Committee.
Another person - Wang Yi - the foreign minister is known to many - as the face of China's foreign policy.
However, an apt analysis about the man came from Paul Evans, a professor of international relations at the University of British Columbia in Canada, when he said a few years back that Wang Yi " will be more than an implementer; he will be a shaper". Others acknowledge his flexibility and subtlety as his two virtues.
Though generally regarded as an expert on Japan, Wang Yi has handled Indo-Pak issues meticulously in the past as well.
From Indian perspective, it was given to understand that the Late Sushma Swaraj, the then External Affairs Minister, had good working relations with Mr Wang. Both not only did the right spadework for the inaugural Informal Summit at Wuhan, they also carried forward with good follow ups at a later stage. “We will leverage our respective strengths in various sectors,” Wang had said in December 2018 as both sides identified ten areas of boosting people-to-people contacts. (UNI)