PM Modi, Prez Xi spoke of need to stabilise bilateral ties at Nov 2022 dinner | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

PM Modi, Prez Xi spoke of need to stabilise bilateral ties at Nov 2022 dinner

Jul 27, 2023 10:39 PM IST

The conversation between PM Modi and President Xi could not be characterised as a “consensus”.

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping discussed the need to stabilise bilateral ties at a brief encounter on the margins of last year’s G20 Summit in Indonesia, a shift from an earlier characterisation of the interaction as merely an exchange of courtesies.

PM Modi and President Xi spoke briefly at a formal dinner for G20 leaders in Bali in November (PTI File)
PM Modi and President Xi spoke briefly at a formal dinner for G20 leaders in Bali in November (PTI File)

External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi’s comments on the encounter between the two leaders at a dinner hosted by the Indonesian president on November 16, 2022, came three days after a statement issued by the Chinese foreign ministry contended Modi and Xi had “reached an important consensus on stabilising China-India relations”.

Unlock exclusive access to the story of India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now!

“During the Bali G20 Summit last year, Prime Minister and President Xi Jinping, at the conclusion of the dinner hosted by the Indonesian president, exchanged courtesies and spoke of the need to stabilise our bilateral relations,” Bagchi said in response to questions at a regular media briefing.

“As you are aware, we have steadfastly maintained that the key to resolution of this whole issue is to resolve the situation along the LAC (Line of Actual Control) on the eastern sector of the India-China boundary and to restore peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” he said, referring to the military standoff between the two countries in Ladakh sector.

Bagchi also acknowledged that foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra, during a media briefing held in Bali, Indonesia, at the conclusion of last year’s G20 Summit, had spoken only about exchanging courtesies.

“With regard to the question relating to the handshake between the prime minister and President Xi Jinping, I will only say that Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping, who were both attending the G20 dinner...hosted by the Indonesian President, exchanged courtesies at the conclusion of the dinner,” Kwatra had said at the briefing in Bali.

On July 24, a Chinese foreign ministry readout on a meeting between National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Johannesburg had contended that Xi and Modi reached an “important consensus” on stabilising bilateral ties at the interaction on the margins of the G20 Summit in Bali.

The readout also said this consensus on stabilising bilateral relations should be converted into “specific policies” and “concerted actions” to enhance strategic mutual trust. This is largely in line with Beijing’s contention that the military standoff on the LAC should be put in an “appropriate place” while the two countries take forward relations in other areas, such as trade.

India has already rejected such an approach, with external affairs minister S Jaishankar insisting that bilateral relations cannot be normalised until there is peace and tranquillity in the border areas. He has also accused China of triggering the standoff by violating agreements and protocols on border management.

People familiar with the matter said the conversation between the two leaders could not be characterised as a “consensus” and that all that was discussed was the need to stabilise bilateral relations.

During his meeting with Wang, Doval made it clear that the standoff on the LAC has “eroded strategic trust” and that peace and tranquillity in border areas are essential for normal relations.

The border row and a brutal clash at Galwan Valley in June 2020, which resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese troops, have taken India-China relations to their lowest point in six decades. The two sides are yet to resolve several friction points in the Ladakh sector despite more than two dozen rounds of diplomatic and military talks.

Discover the complete story of India's general elections on our exclusive Elections Product! Access all the content absolutely free on the HT App. Download now!

Get Current Updates on India News, Lok Sabha Election 2024 Live, Election 2024 along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, April 15, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On