Dear Editor, The atmosphere for the Modi-Xi informal meet in Mamallapuram was far from ideal. China’s support for Pakistan on the Kashmir issue has put a big strain on New Delhi-Beijing ties. The long shadow of Pakistan continues to disrupt India-China ties. Despite going ahead with the second informal summit, Pakistan will be the elephant in the room. China and Pakistan have been close strategic allies since independence. Now, with the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the centrepiece of Xi’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, and China’s comments on Jammu & Kashmir, the relationship has grown even stronger. Unlike in Wuhan where the Modi-Xi meeting led to de-escalation in Doklam, this time nothing dramatic happened. At best, both Prime Minister Modi and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping remained focussed on improving ties in areas such as trade. K S Jayatheertha Hassan.
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