Mamallapuram (Tamil Nadu), Oct 11: The two-day Informal Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping here will certainly have all the spotlight on the two Asian giants, but at least three others may also shine in reflected glories.
They are Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, his Indian counterpart Dr S Jaishankar and Mr Modi's much trusted NSA Ajit Doval; but with the moments of fame - all eyes will also remain on what sorts of additional responsibilities and new roles are given to them. There is a lot of expectation from the Informal Summit even as the ties between two Asian neighbours have been greatly strained lately due to differences over Kashmir.
Since Doklam standoff in 2017 and subsequent Wuhan talks, the border has been largely peaceful. However, there were skirmishes at times. One was more recently in Northern region though the quick intervention of existing mechanism helped sort out the problems and ensured 'de-escalation'.
Therefore, the measures on the table during new rounds of talks would include parleys on boundary matters as well as other pressing issues such as trade and perhaps even joint military patrols to boost trust.
Two Special Representatives at boundary talks, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi were scheduled to meet in New Delhi in September but the meeting was deferred especially after Beijing protested Modi government's latest moves on Jammu and Kashmir.
However, it is largely hoped that at the Informal Summit, both Mr Modi and President Xi could review the existing Confidence Building Measures and may even decide about next round of meeting between Mr Doval and Mr Wang Yi. According to observers, both Mr Doval and Mr Wang Yi are generally understood for pursuing 'hawkish' approach and for his part the Chinese Foreign Minister had flagged off the Kashmir issue echoing almost Pakistani line even at his UNGA speech.
With regard Dr Jaishankar, an old China hand, there are reasons to believe that it was he who had first mooted the idea of an Informal Summit when things were not happy going between two countries.
According to Dr Jaishankar's admirers, he brings into Team Modi virtues such as - a mind for dispassionate analysis of ground realities and patience and perseverance. Of course, in next two days during the Summit and in immediate future, Dr Jaishankar's qualities would also come under test. (UNI)