Saturday, 4 December 2021

China cancels Xi-Modi meet at G20 summit amid border stand-off


BEIJING has cancelled an upcoming bilateral meeting of its President Xi Jinping with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid a stand-off between the troops of both countries near the trisection of China, India and Bhutan borders.

Chinese foreign ministry officials on Thursday said the ‘atmosphere’ was ‘not right’ for a bilateral meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, which begins on July 7, amid a standoff between the armies of the two countries in Sikkim, the northwestern Indian state.

Beijing and New Delhi have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for the past three weeks after a Chinese military’s construction team 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 Xi and Modi may meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit to resolve the standoff.

Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Military spokesperson Geng Shuang expressed hope that “India can immediately withdraw the border troops to the Indian side of the boundary to uphold the pace and tranquility of the China and India border areas.”

“I think this is the pre-condition for any meaningful peace talks between the two sides,” Shuang replied when asked about the possibility of a Xi-Modi meeting on the sidelines of the summit.

The spokesperson, however, said the BRICS leaders meeting which will be attended by both the leaders will take place on the sidelines of the summit. Shuang further said any relevant information on a possible meet up of the two leaders will be released in a timely manner.

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

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