By Gaurav Sharma
Beijing, June 24 (IANS) The leaders of China, India and Russia will meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit later this week in Japan to discuss ways to counter US President Donald Trump’s “protectionist” trade policy and bullying practices.
Ahead of President Xi Jinping’s visit to Osaka to attend the summit on June 28-29, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Jun on Monday said the leader will have a sit-down with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the meet.
Zhang said the trilateral meet, which first occurred at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires last year, is of great significance and will have a positive outcome of this time.
“Indeed during the Osaka summit, the leaders of China, Russia and India will have a trilateral meeting. The mechanism of China, India, Russia trilateral meeting has maintained a sound momentum of development,” Zhang said at a press conference.
“Under the current circumstances, it important for the three countries to strengthen coordination of major global issues and jointly uphold multilateralism, oppose protectionism and deepen cooperation on multilateral and international affairs to make an important contribution to the global peace.
“China will work with others to firmly uphold multilateralism. The international community has fully recognised the repercussions of unilateralism, protectionism and bullying practices,” he added.
Although Xi’s much-anticipated meet with Trump to end the trade war will be the major highlight of the summit, his trilateral meet with Modi and Putin will also draw attention.
Modi will also have a one-on-one with Xi and Putin separately.
After waging a damaging trade war on China, Trump seems to have turned to India. Earlier this month, Washington ended the preferential trade treatment to Indian goods that allowed their duty-free entry into the US.
India hit back by imposing tariffs on US products which it had held off for long.
Without naming the US, China’s Vice Minister of Commerce, Wang Shouwen, who was also briefing the media said that “some individual country has been insisting on unilateralism, protectionism and abusing trade remedial measures (and) national security exceptionalism”.
“That country has slapped tariffs on its trading partners, causing a major threat to global trade, investment and economic growth,” Wang added.
US’ rivalry with its former Cold War ally Russia is well known. The Trump administration is also insisting India, Turkey, and others to scrap defence deals with Kremlin.