PM Modi, President Xi Jinping to meet after BRICS summit in Xiamen | world-news | Hindustan Times
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PM Modi, President Xi Jinping to meet after BRICS summit in Xiamen

The meeting between Modi and Xi will be closely followed as the two leaders are expected to lay the groundwork towards better ties following the standoff between border troops at Doklam.

world Updated: Sep 04, 2017 07:47 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Prime Minister Narendra Modi emplanes for China at AFS Palam in New Delhi on Sunday to attend the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi emplanes for China at AFS Palam in New Delhi on Sunday to attend the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday at the end of the BRICS summit in Xiamen for the first time since the resolution of the two-month standoff in Doklam along Sikkim border.

The much anticipated bilateral meeting will be Modi’s last engagement in China before he flies to Myanmar for a state visit.

On Monday, Modi, who is expected to reach Xiamen on Sunday night, will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin followed by a meeting with President Michael Temer of Brazil.

Modi’s tight schedule includes a meeting with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt on Tuesday morning — Egypt is one of the five counties — Mexico, Guinea, Thailand and Tajikistan — invited to take part in a meeting on the sidelines of BRICS.

Modi will address the BRICS leaders’ dialogue with “BRICS Business Council”, which will be attended by 80 “Fortune 500” companies.

He will also take part in an event of the “Emerging Markets and Developing Countries’ Dialogue” on Tuesday morning.

Bilateral Issues

The meeting between Modi and Xi will be closely followed as the two leaders are expected to lay the groundwork towards better ties following the standoff between border troops at Doklam.

The impasse left the two countries grappling with tenuous ties already marred by the 3,500-km boundary problem besides a number of other issues.

Cross-border terrorism from Pakistan is another topic that Modi is likely to raise with Xi during the meeting, which is expected to be for about 30 minutes.

The two leaders are likely to discuss how to take ties forward post-Doklam and prevent similar face-offs from happening in the future.

“Post-Doklam... what we need to do immediately is to rebuild the trust between the two countries, between the two leaderships and among the two people as well. In that sense, BRICS submit offers a much needed opportunity,” said Guo Suiyan, deputy director and south Asia expert with the Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences.

Guo said the standoff “...inevitably hurt the bilateral relation and left one more open scare which is very deep”.

Hu Zhiyong from the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences said China showed great restraint and patience.

“India’s withdrawing (of border troops) builds a friendly and harmonious atmosphere for Modi’s visit to China,” he said.

Some in China are still smarting from the resolution of the standoff as Indian border personnel managed to stay on in Chinese territory for two months and leave without any retaliation from the mighty PLA.

“(The impression that is created is that) whether the road is built or repaired or not, the Indian side will come and go at random. It will also set a precedent, which will be doubly harmful to China,” said Ni Lexiong, a Shanghai-based military expert.

That’s exactly what Modi and Xi need to address — convince domestic constituencies that no one lost out in the resolution.

“To be realistic, I think we shouldn’t expect China-India relation could be back to the high point like pre-2014 period. From the Xi-Modi meet during the BRICS summit — if they meet — we shouldn’t expect anything concrete coming out from this meeting. But the two leadership need to tell the world that this (Doklam) incident has politically ended,” Guo said.