Prime Minister Narendra Modi is gearing up to attend two upcoming global summits back-to-back in person. He left for Rome on Friday (October 29) for the G20 summit followed by the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UK. While PM Modi is globetrotting, attending one global meet after another, Chinese President Xi Jinping is copped up inside his house, trying to evade prying eyes for the mess he gifted to humanity.
Before the summit, PM Modi met Pope Francis at the Vatican Saturday in his first meeting with the head of the sovereign of the Vatican City State. After the meeting, the PM tweeted, “Had a very warm meeting with Pope Francis. I had the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues with him and also invited him to visit India.”
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 30, 2021
Having been received by Italian PM Mario Draghi at the summit venue, PM Modi is also expected to meet French President Emmanuel Macron, Indonesian President Joao Widodo, and Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong during his time in Rome.
More recently, PM Modi in September had embarked upon a three-day visit to the United States, with the historic, first in-person Quad meeting forming the fulcrum of his visit.
PM Modi and his United States tour
In the states, he met President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, whilst also holding fruitful meetings with chip giant Qualcomm’s chief executive officer (CEO) Cristiano Amon. With the world facing a semiconductor shortage, the meeting assumed even greater significance.
However, the prominent outcome of the tour was the first-ever ‘in-person’ Quad meeting where the ally countries, Japan, Australia, and the USA, along with India agreed on their common goals of demolishing China’s global domination dreams and making sure it is kept in check in the geo-strategically important Indo-pacific region.
Xi has not stepped out for 21 months straight
Meanwhile, as reported by TFI, Chinese President Xi Jinping has not stepped out of China for 21 months now. This is the longest time that any G20 leader has locked themselves within their own country.
According to Bloomberg, Xi’s desire to stay in the country, a by-product of China’s strategy to eliminate cases of Covid-19, could start having diplomatic consequences. While leaders like PM Modi are attending the G20 summit in person, Xi Jinping is expected to join the meeting via video conferencing.
Diplomacy, especially in bilateral relations follows a set protocol of ‘give and take’. With the investors fleeing China, big companies like Evergrande going under, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) metamorphosing into a colossal failure, massive power cuts and coal shortage hitting cities and towns – China, in short, is going through a torrid time, economically. Thus, it cannot offer anything out of its already depleted coffers to countries when Xi embarks upon a foreign trip.
Countries around the world blame China for the devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, growing Chinese belligerence and wolf warrior diplomacy seems to be dissuading free and democratic countries from engaging with Beijing.
Meanwhile, those countries which have been debt trapped by China want nothing to do with the paper dragon. All the aforementioned reasons have added to Xi’s insecurity, and he is actively avoiding stepping out.