India hosted the first-ever G-20 summit in the national capital, New Delhi, last week. Delegates from across the world joined the meeting and being a member of the group, our notorious neighbour China was also invited. However, President Xi Jinping decided not to attend the meeting and instead sent Premier Li Qiang. The Chinese delegates were staying at a five-star hotel in Delhi, where they made some peculiar demands and carried equipment that led to a 12-hour drama.
As per a report by the Times of India, tensions broke out at Hotel Taj when the Chinese delegates were seen with an unusual dimension of baggage that caught the attention of the security teams.
As the teams were instructed to facilitate the delegates and ease their passage in and out, they allowed the bag to be taken in. It was, however, very difficult to do so as the bag did look very suspicious.
Later, a staffer reported that in the room of the Chinese delegates, there were some equipment items that raised questions. Soon, the message went to the superiors and they asked the delegates for the bags to be scanned by their teams.
This demand raised tensions as the Chinese refused to provide their baggage that too for a scanner. They sought the diplomatic protocols and this calls for a stand off which was only resolved after the delegates brought the bags for a check.
As per a report by NDTV, one of the sources said, “The security team stood guard outside the hotel room for about 12 hours, but the Chinese officials refused to get their bags checked,”
“The Chinese delegation, after a long discussion, then moved their bags to the embassy,” added the source.
The security personnel were intrigued to find that the Chinese delegates had sought private wifi, which the hotel simply declined.
Sources at the hotel said the 12-hour-long drama was resolved only after Chinese security agreed to remove the equipment from the hotel and have it sent to their embassy.
“A three-member security team had to stand guard outside the room for around 12 hours before a Chinese security official reverted, saying they would have it sent to the embassy,” a source said.
Regarding the equipment, top officials said it couldn’t be said with certainty if these were ‘surveillance set-up’ as they didn’t get a chance to examine the devices.
Such equipment is typically used to intercept as well as disrupt encrypted communication lines, according to an intelligence official’s assessment that was relayed to his superiors. The suitcases’ contents are still a mystery, though.
The G20 Summit reached a successful conclusion in Delhi on September 10, featuring numerous prominent global leaders who also engaged in a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines. The Summit led to the consolidation of a comprehensive framework with the objective of fostering enhanced collaboration among the G20 member nations, the European Union, and the recently incorporated African Union.
The Delhi Declaration reflected India’s dedication to inclusivity, peace, and gender equality. It advocates reforms in international financial institutions and emphasises responsible technological transformation for the common good. India’s vision extends to deeper collaboration with the African Union, enhancing the G20’s inclusivity.
As the leadership mantle passes to future presidencies, India’s legacy stands as a paradigmatic example of diplomacy’s potential to shape a more equitable and sustainable global order, reaffirming its pivotal role on the international stage.