On Thursday, China said the atmosphere was “not right” for a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, prompting New Delhi to say that such a meeting hadn’t been planned.
With the standoff over the construction of a road by Chinese troops in Donglang or Doklam area into its third week, the Chinese foreign ministry said recent developments had “damaged” the political foundation of bilateral ties.India’s position is that since there was no plan for a Modi-Xi meeting on the sidelines of the summit, the question of whether the atmosphere is or isn’t right is entirely moot.
“But we did not ask for any meeting, so where is the question of the atmosphere being conducive or not,” an Indian official, who is accompanying Modi on his visit to Israel, told Hindustan Times on the condition of anonymity.
The Indian side also said the two countries were likely to allow their armies to resolve the stand-off in Donglang.
Modi and Xi could cross paths at a meeting of Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) on the sidelines of the two-day G-20 Summit, Indian officials said.
The two leaders had a positive meeting last month on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in Astana, they added.
Over the weekend, Chinese deputy foreign minister Li Baodong had told reporters that Modi and Xi were expected to meet as part of the informal talks among Brics leaders.
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