This Article is From Aug 21, 2023

PM Modi-Xi Jinping To Meet At BRICS Summit? What Centre Said

Asked if PM and Xi Jinping will meet at the BRICS Summit, the foreign office said that the PM's schedule is being finalised.

PM Modi-Xi Jinping To Meet At BRICS Summit? What Centre Said

PM Modi and Xi Jinping had a brief encounter at the G20 summit in Bali last year (File)

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) summit in Johannesburg are being finalised, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said on Monday. But he did not give a direct reply on the possibility of a meeting between PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Prime Minister Modi is leaving for the South African city on Tuesday on a three-day visit to attend the first in-person summit of the BRICS since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Asked whether PM Modi and President Xi will hold talks on the sidelines of the summit, Mr Kwatra said that the schedule of the Prime Minister's bilateral meetings is being finalised.

If the bilateral meeting takes place, it will be their first since the India-China border standoff began in May 2020.

PM Modi and President Xi had a brief encounter at a dinner during the G20 summit in Bali last November. China has already announced that Xi Jinping is travelling to South Africa to attend the summit.

Meanwhile, talks among local commanders of the Indian Army and Chinese PLA for confidence-building measures in eastern Ladakh's Depsang and Demchok continued.

The Indian and Chinese troops are locked in an over three-year confrontation in certain friction points in eastern Ladakh even as the two sides completed disengagement at several places following extensive diplomatic and military talks.

India and China held the 19th round of Corps Commander-level talks on August 13 and August 14 with focus on resolving pending issues at the standoff areas of Depsang and Demchok.

A joint statement called the talks "positive, constructive and in-depth" and the two sides have agreed to resolve the remaining issues in an expeditious manner.

Days after fresh round of high-level talks, the local commanders of the two militaries held a series of negotiations at two separate locations to resolve issues in Depsang Plains and Demchok.

The Major General-level talks that began on Friday primarily focused on confidence-building measures.

The talks between the local commanders were held over the next couple of days as well as on Monday to firm up confidence-building measures, according to people in the know of developments.

However, there is no official word on the negotiations.

The 19th round of Corps Commander-level dialogue took place at the Chushul-Moldo border point on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the region.

On July 24, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met top Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of a meeting of the BRICS nations in Johannesburg.

The Ministry of External Affairs said Mr Doval conveyed that the situation along the LAC since 2020 has "eroded strategic trust" and the public and political basis of the relationship.

The NSA emphasised the importance of continuing efforts to fully resolve the situation and restore peace and tranquility in the border areas so as to remove impediments to normalcy in bilateral ties, the ministry said.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also held talks with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of a meeting of the East Asia Summit in Jakarta last month.

India has been maintaining that its ties with China cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border areas.

The eastern Ladakh border standoff erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong Lake area.

The ties between the two countries nosedived following a fierce clash in the Galwan Valley in June 2020 that marked the most serious military conflict between the two sides in decades.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process in 2021 on the north and south banks of the Pangong Lake and in the Gogra area. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)