China-India Brief; Three New Warships; Japan and China: The Senkakus; Taiwan; SCS; China’s Arctic Ambitions; China in Space; Military Expenditure
I. The Big Story: China-India Brief
In the first communication since they met in October 2019 for the second informal summit, China’s President Xi Jinping sent a condolence message to Prime Minister Modi over the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
“China is willing to strengthen the anti-pandemic cooperation with India and provide support and help to the country,” read Xi’s message.
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi also had a telephonic conversation with India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar. The latter tweeted that they discussed the international cooperation aspect of the public health response to this difficult situation. “Highlighted the importance of supply chains and air flights being kept open in these circumstances. Welcomed his assurances in that regard, as also more openness to Indian chartered flights,” tweeted Dr Jaishankar. The two also discussed the LAC situation, but I will highlight that later.
China’s Foreign Ministry’s statement reads, “Wang Yi said China is very concerned about the new round of COVID-19 infections in India. As a close neighbour and partner, China feels the same for India’s current challenges and is willing to provide India with support and assistance within its capacity. Wang Yi said that to support India’s fight against the epidemic, China is willing to take the following measures according to India’s needs: First, continue to encourage and support Chinese companies to speed up production and provide India with anti-epidemic materials. Second, facilitate customs clearance and transportation for India to purchase anti-epidemic materials. Third, organise video exchanges between health and epidemic prevention experts from the two countries to share anti-epidemic experience and effective practices.” (Machine translation).