PM Narendra Modi Pushed China On Backfoot

PM Narendra Modi Pushed China On Backfoot

China had requested for talks, the Indian officials contended, saying that it was a “pending request,’’ even as the Chinese foreign ministry released a statement stating that Xi spoke with Modi on the latter’s request.

FPJ BureauUpdated: Saturday, August 26, 2023, 03:04 PM IST
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PM Narendra Modi, Xi Jinping | Twitter

India and China on Friday had a different take on which side sought to break the ice in Johannesburg when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping came face-to-face on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit. China had requested for talks, the Indian officials contended, saying that it was a “pending request,’’ even as the Chinese foreign ministry released a statement stating that Xi spoke with Modi on the latter’s request.

“There was a pending request from the Chinese side for a bilateral meeting with the Indian side. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, however, had an informal conversation in the Leaders’ Lounge during the BRICS Summit,” explained an official at the Ministry of External Affairs.

PM Modi, Xi Jinping exchange handshake

The two leaders, from all accounts, reportedly exchanged a handshake and greetings on the sidelines of the summit. But what followed next was a matter of conjecture till the two sides came up with their ‘official’ account. The Indian side underscored the fact that Modi conveyed to Xi India’s concerns on the “unresolved” issues along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, stressing that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in border areas was essential for normalisation of ties.

Xi bent backwards to accommodate PM Modi

This possibly rubbed the Chinese on the wrong side, as it seemed to suggest Xi had bent backwards to accommodate Modi. Given the traction Modi is getting globally after the successful moon mission, the Chinese found themselves on the backfoot. They are apparently at sixes and sevens when it boils down to dealing with the Indian Prime Minister, who apparently keeps them guessing about his next move. According to sources, the Chinese spend most of their time trying to decipher Moi’s body language.

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