On Monday, the Indian government will hold a joint press conference with China’s foreign ministry to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Beijing-based Treaty of Versailles.
The press conference, scheduled to be held in the early hours of Tuesday morning, is likely to be the last one in a series of joint media exchanges between the two countries.
India and China are at odds over the treaty, which established a global framework for peace and stability in Europe.
They have a long history of competing with each other, with India accusing China of violating the treaty’s provisions regarding freedom of navigation and overflight, while China denies India’s allegations.
In an effort to put a positive spin on the occasion, the government has been making the rounds of television channels, publishing newspaper editorials and issuing a statement in which it asserted that it has “always been a firm supporter of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between India, China and Japan.”
India and the US have both maintained a strained relationship since their independence in 1947, but the latest diplomatic flare-up has strained relations between the neighbours even further.
“India’s position is not new, but it has grown worse,” said one official with ties to India.
“I think that this is a political ploy by the Chinese to deflect attention away from the serious issues.”
“We will see what happens with the next meeting.
We will have a good and calm dialogue on this issue, but we do not think that it will be conducive to a positive outcome,” said the official, who did not want to be named.
On Saturday, China also launched an online petition calling on the Indian side to stop any action it deems as provocative, as it said it would take a “constructive and constructive approach” in the future.
China, which has become the world’s second-largest economy, is also the biggest user of Indian currency, with nearly one-third of the $2.7 trillion Indian economy coming from the renminbi.
India, which relies heavily on foreign exchange, has warned it could devalue its currency and “devalue the national economy.”
The issue of the treaty is likely not the only one on the agenda.
On Monday morning, India will host a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group, which is due to discuss the economic challenges facing the region.
This is the group that has been discussing a possible “third front” in East Asia.
At a press conference in Beijing on Saturday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China is ready to work with India to “support the development of the regional security environment.”
However, he stressed that the two sides should not use the bilateral relationship to advance their own geopolitical interests.
As the two leaders meet in Beijing, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called on Beijing to uphold the “historic” Treaty of Friendship between Japan and India.
However China has responded by saying India is playing a “dual role” in “encouraging” the two neighbours.
China’s foreign minister said the country does not “prefer” India to Japan and said the “two countries have shared the responsibility for the past 40 years for the security of the world and the stability of the international order.”
“In order to maintain the peace and security of Asia-Asia, both countries must work together to promote the peaceful settlement of disputes, ensure stability, and promote the economic development of Asia and the region,” Zhang Xiaoming said.
Zhang was speaking ahead of the 70th anniversary commemoration of the end of World War II.