PM Modi, Xi Jinping hold talks at BRICS summit, agree to intensify disengagement efforts along LAC

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra Thursday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President President Xi Jinping spoke at the sidelines of BRICS summit in Johannesburg, and agreed to direct their officials to intensify efforts to expeditious disengagemen and deescalation.

The foreign secretary said in a conversation with President Xi, the prime minister highlighted India’s concerns on the unresolved issues along the LAC in the western sector of the India-China border areas. 

The prime minister underlined that the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas and observing and respecting the LAC are essential for the normalisation of the India-China relationship, Kwatra said.

This is the first time that Indian Prime Minister has brought up the issue directly with the Chinese President, India’s stand that has been shared with China multiple times.

PM Modi and President Xi had an unplanned interacted on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Indonesia last year, but only exchanged courtesies and discussed the need to stabilise ties, the Indian government said recently. 

While China has sought to segregate the dispute from its overall relationship with India, New Delhi insists it is a key stumbling block. At least 19 rounds of talks involving diplomats and military officials have made incremental progress in resolving the standoff. While the two sides said the talks had been positive, there was no word on any pullback of troops on the ground.

Xi and Modi met 18 times between 2014 and 2019, but have largely avoided direct talks since the border dispute began despite having crossed paths at a number of international gatherings.

The border dispute has eroded India’s trust in China and undermined public and political will to maintain relations, India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval told his Chinese counterpart and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of BRICS meeting in July, according to a Ministry of External Affairs statement.


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Updated: 24 Aug 2023, 10:22 PM IST

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