Xi-Modi meet unlikely as China says atmosphere is not right

RSTV Bureau
Astana: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on Friday. PTI Photo

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.       PTI Photo

As tension between India and China continues to rise over military presence in Sikkim, China has said the “atmosphere” was “not right” for a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg.

China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for the past three weeks after a Chinese Army’s construction party attempted to build a road.

Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.

There were reports that Modi and Xi may meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit to resolve the standoff.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang expressed hope that “India can immediately withdraw the border troops to the Indian side of the boundary to uphold the peace tranquillity of the China and India border areas”.

“I think this is the pre-condition for any meaningful peace talks between the two sides,” he told a media briefing when asked about the meeting between Modi and Xi on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs in India has confirmed that PM Modi has pre-planned meetings with Argentina, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico, ROK (Republic of Korea), the UK and Vietnam.

The BRICS leaders’ meeting, which will be attended by Modi and Xi, will take place on the sidelines of the summit on Friday.

China’s state-run media had quoted Chinese analysts as saying that Beijing would be forced to use a “military way” to end the standoff in the Sikkim sector if India refuses to listen to the “historical lessons” being offered by it.

(With inputs from PTI)