At the G20 summit in Bali last November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping engaged in both courteous exchanges and discussions about the importance of stabilising bilateral relations, the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed Friday.
The government confirmed this two days after Beijing claimed that PM Modi and Xi Jinping had reached an "important consensus" on the matter of stabilising bilateral ties during their interaction at the G20 Summit in Bali.
MEA confirms the interaction
Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for the MEA, said, "During the Bali G20 summit last year, the Prime Minister and President Xi Jinping, at the conclusion of the dinner hosted by the Indonesian President, exchanged pleasantries and discussed the necessity of stabilising our bilateral relations."
"Our consistent stance has been that resolving the issue along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the western sector of the India-China boundary and restoring peace and tranquillity in the border areas is crucial for the overall resolution," Bagchi added.
Bagchi's comments came as a response to the Chinese foreign ministry's readout of the meeting between NSA Ajit Doval and top diplomat Wang Yi in Johannesburg earlier this week. In that readout, the Chinese foreign ministry stated that PM Modi and Xi had reached a consensus in Bali regarding stabilising relations.
Prior to this, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had acknowledged the pleasantries exchanged between PM Modi and Xi on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali. This meeting marked their first public interaction since the border standoff commenced in May 2020.
“I think the foreign secretary did mention. Maybe he didn't mention the second part of it. He did talk about extending courtesies and I think there was a general discussion on the need to stabilise our bilateral relations and how we see that,” the MEA spokesperson said.
Strained ties between India and China
Presently, there is a standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at specific friction points in eastern Ladakh. Nevertheless, disengagement has occurred in several areas after extensive diplomatic and military discussions.
Relations between the two nations deteriorated considerably following a fierce clash in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, which represented the most severe military conflict between them in decades.
Regarding the Chinese President's attendance at the G20 summit in Delhi, Bagchi emphasized that India is making all the required preparations to ensure the successful participation of all invited leaders.