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India – China ties gets frosty, no Xi-Modi meet at the G20 summit

Amidst a stand-off between the armies+ of the two countries in the Sikkim sector, China on Thursday said the “atmosphere” was “not right” for a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg

According to Times of India news report, , “The atmosphere is not right for a bilateral meeting between President Xi and Prime Minister Modi,” a Chinese foreign ministry official said ahead of the G20 summit in the German city of Hamburg from Friday.

China and India have been engaged in a stand-off in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan+ tri-junction for past 19 days after a Chinese army’s construction party 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 Modi and Xi may meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit to resolve the standoff.

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

Meanwhile, making it clear that it will not buckle under heated rhetoric from China, India on Wednesday said a diplomatic resolution resulting in a Chinese pullback from Bhutanese territory would resolve the current border stand-off near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction.

“This issue or tension should be resolved at the diplomatic level…It can be resolved diplomatically, which is what we want,” said minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre, speaking to journalists on Wednesday.

“The Chinese troops should stay where they were earlier…They have entered Bhutan’s territory…they should not intrude into Bhutanese territory. This is our security concern and this is our stand,” he added.

Pointing to Bhutan’s recent statement, which held China accused of trying to unilaterally alter the status quo by constructing a road inside Bhutanese territory in violation of all agreements, Bhamre said, “Understand what Bhutan is saying. This tension can be resolved only at a diplomatic level; across the table, we can solve all the problems.”

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