China is fast getting dumped by all the democratic powers around the world, and Europe is no exception. And while the paper Dragon gets pushed out, it is New Delhi that is filling the vacuum being left behind by China’s reduced footprint. While countries like Italy, France, Germany and the United Kingdom are repeatedly rebuking China, they are enhancing their interaction with India in a clear sign of how Europe is dumping China for India.
As per the latest reports, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will hold a virtual summit on Friday as India increases engagement with Europe. The development becomes all the more important since it comes days after a Reuters report about the possibility of Rome excluding Chinese tech giant Huawei from Italy’s 5G rollout.
India’s virtual summit with the Italian Prime Minister is third such virtual summit with European leadership amidst the ongoing Pandemic. In July, the 15th India-EU summit had taken place in the virtual format. Later, India had also held a virtual summit with Denmark PM Mette Frederiksen.
In a statement about the virtual summit between Indian PM and his Italian counterpart, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that it “will give an opportunity to the two leaders to comprehensively review the broad framework of the bilateral relationship and exchange views on major regional and global issues of mutual concern.”
The MEA release added, “India and Italy share a warm and multifaceted relationship based on strong historical ties, common democratic traditions, rule of law and a shared goal of international peace and stability.”
India has managed to warm up to Rome at a time when the paper Dragon is struggling to maintain close ties with Italy. Recently, Reuters released a source-based report about Italy developing cold feet towards Chinese tech giant Huawei. Days later, Chinese President Xi Jinping telephoned his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella in a desperate bid to push bilateral ties and exchanges.
In fact, Italy is just an example, and it is the entire European Continent which is slipping out of China’s hands. And India, on the other hand, is constantly filling in the vacuum being left behind by China. Take, for example, Germany which now keeps making critical remarks against China’s human rights abuses, territorial disputes, violation of international law and unabated aggression.
In fact, Europe started dumping China in August itself when the visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was humiliated on every leg of his tour including Italy, the Netherlands Norway, France and Germany, with questions about human rights violations in Xinjiang and Tibet, and interference in Hong Kong.
It was clear after Wang Yi’s Europe tour itself that China has no scope for engagement within the European Continent. And now, countries like Germany and Italy are only making it further clear that they don’t want to have anything to do with Beijing.
Similarly, London hasn’t shown much interest in engaging China. In July, the United Kingdom decided to phase Huawei out of UK’s market within this year on the basis of a report from the National Cyber Security Centre.
Meanwhile, India is looking to capitalise upon China’s receding influence in Europe. Only recently, the Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla’s visited Paris, Berlin and London. During his entire tour, Shringla was found exploring space for Indo-EU cooperation and also taking veiled jibes at the Middle Kingdom at the same time on issues like debt-trap diplomacy and China’s belligerent character. New Delhi is clearly suggesting that it has no qualms in letting Europe replace China with India.
It is well-known that India and Europe have a lot more in common, as compared to China and Europe. Europe itself is done with China and has started viewing the Communist nation as a systematic threat for itself. The most natural replacement that Europe has is India, and therefore Europe is now unapologetically dumping China for India.
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