In an apparent snub to India, China on Monday said that President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “no bilateral meeting” on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg.
China’s assertion came after India had claimed the two leaders discussed “a range of issues”.
“According to my information, the two said leaders did not hold any bilateral meeting,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said when asked about the issue discussed between the two.
Geng said Xi chaired an informal meet of BRICS leaders during which Modi was present.
He said the withdrawal of troops from Doklam was the precondition for any meaningful dialogue between both sides.
On Saturday, India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson refused to elaborate on the “range of issues” discussed by Modi and Xi during their informal conversation in Hamburg.
“We have tweeted that the two leaders discussed a range of issues. A range of issues means a range of issues. I don’t want to add anything further…I leave it to you to draw your conclusion,” Baglay said.
The two sides have leveled allegations and counter-allegations at the political level.
Importantly, the relations between the two countries has been witnessing a decline. The problems have risen due to the road construction activity begun by the Chinese.
“The grazing grounds have always been there. Their grazers have been coming in and both sides have been observing each other. Claims have been there for a long time. The problem is the road,” a defense expert said.
The road under construction is not desirable from India’s point of view as it would give the Chinese’s heavier vehicles access to the southernmost edge of the Chumbi valley.