While Pakistan had lobbied its allies in G20, like Saudi Arabia, Türkiye and indeed China, to stop the meeting in Srinagar, Beijing had reacted to a meeting of the group in Arunachal last month by releasing “invented names” for 11 more places in the state to reinforce its claim over the region.
India updated its G20 calendar on Friday to say that a meeting of the working group on tourism will take place from May 22 to 24. While China will likely ignore the Srinagar meeting, like in the case of Arunachal, official sources here said there was never any doubt about the meeting in Srinagar.
“Preparations started for the meeting last year. G20 meetings are taking place in all 28 states and 8 Union territories. Both Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir are integral parts of India,” said a source.
Around 50 delegates had participated in the G20 meeting in Arunachal and the government is expecting a similar response to the event in Srinagar that will be an opportunity for India to refute Pakistan’s claims of human rights violations in the Kashmir Valley. The government will hope to convey to the world through the high-profile event that normalcy has returned in the Union territory.
China had last year expressed its disapproval to the proposed meeting as it asked “relevant parties” to not complicate the situation by making any unilateral move.
The G20 meeting in Srinagar will also take place in the middle of several proposed high-level engagements with Beijing in the next few months. Both Chinese defence and foreign ministers are expected to visit India soon for SCO meetings. India is also currently in touch with China, Russia and other member states to finalise the dates for the SCO summit in July. If Chinese President Xi Jinping comes for the meeting, it will open up the chance for his first bilateral meeting with PM Narendra Modi since the ongoing military stand-off in eastern Ladakh erupted in April 2020.