External Affairs

Amid Border Stand-Off, Modi and Xi Meet on Sidelines of G20 Summit

Although they discussed a “range of issues”, it remains unclear if the current stand-off at Bhutan’s Doklam region was discussed.

New Delhi: Even as Indian and Chinese troops continue to face-off at Himalayan heights, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping had a ‘conversation’ at the meeting of BRICS leaders in the German city of Hamburg.

The Modi-Xi tete-e-tete, which included a handshake, occurred for five minutes on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.

It is not clear if the ‘range of issues’ included the current stand-off at Bhutan’s Doklam region.

In the run-up to the meeting, China had publicly said that there would be no bilateral meeting as the atmosphere was “not right”. However, Indian officials had pointed out that a structured bilateral meeting had never been in the works, but a quick ‘pull-aside’ had not been ruled out.

The stand-off at Doklam has now gone on for 21 days, where Indian soldiers have pitched camps to prevent the Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers from continuing with their road construction.

In his speech at the informal meeting of the BRICS leaders, Modi “appreciated momentum in BRICS under the chairmanship of President Xi and extended full cooperation and best wishes for the BRICS Xiamen Summit”.

According to the MEA press release, Xi “appreciated India’s strong resolve against terrorism”. He also praised the “momentum” in BRICS introduced under India’s chairmanship.

“He also appreciated India’s success in economic and social development and wished India even bigger success,” added the press release.