Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached a “consensus” to restore bilateral ties during their meeting in Bali last year, claimed China, the first time either side has suggested that the Bali meeting between the two leaders at a dinner had included any substantial conversation. The claim was made in a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement issued after a meeting between National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and his counterpart Director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China Wang Yi in Johannesburg, where both advisers are attending the BRICS meeting of NSAs. On Tuesday, Mr. Wang was reappointed China’s Foreign Minister, after his successor Qin Gang was removed from the post.
The Indian statement on the Doval-Wang meeting did not include any reference to the claim, and instead focused on the continuing Line of Actual Control (LAC) standoff that Mr. Doval said had “eroded” the “ public and political basis” of the India-China relationship.
“NSA conveyed that the situation along the LAC in the Western Sector of the India-China boundary since 2020 had eroded strategic trust and the public and political basis of the relationship,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) press release said on Tuesday about the meeting that took place on Monday.
“NSA emphasised the importance of continuing efforts to fully resolve the situation and restore peace and tranquillity in the border areas, so as to remove impediments to normalcy in bilateral relations,” it said, adding that both agreed that the India-China bilateral relationship was significant “not only for the two countries but also for the region and world”.
The meeting between Mr. Doval and Mr. Wang, came days after Wang Yi met External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar for talks in Jakarta on July 14 on the side-lines of the East Asia Summit (EAS) and ASEAN Regional Forum’s Foreign Minister’s meeting. . The meetings have increased speculation over whether Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi will meet at the BRICS summit in Cape Town in August or at the G20 Summit in Delhi, although none of the appearances by the leaders have been confirmed yet. On July 25, Mr. Doval also met his Russian counterpart Gen Nikolai Patrushev, and discussed India-Russia security and economic cooperation, the Russian MFA said. The Kremlin announced last week that Russian President Vladimir Putin would participate in the BRICS summit virtually, not in-person.
On Tuesday, Mr. Doval also met his Russian counterpart Gen Nikolai Patrushev, and discussed India-Russia security and economic cooperation, the Russian MFA said. The Kremlin announced last week that Russian President Vladimir Putin would participate in the BRICS summit virtually, not in-person.
Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi have not spoken since the beginning of the LAC standoff in April 2020 that led to the killings of soldiers in Galwan. However, at a dinner for G20 leaders in Bali last November, Mr. Modi was seen walking over to Mr. Xi and holding a conversation that lasted a few minutes. The MEA had brushed off the encounter at the time. However, in its statement, the Chinese MFA claimed that the Bali meeting between the leaders had spoken in more detail.
“At the end of last year, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi reached an important consensus on stabilizing China-India relations in Bali,” said the Chinese MFA statement.
“ The two sides should adhere to the strategic judgment of the leaders of the two countries that “they do not pose a threat to each other, and they are each other’s development opportunities”, “ it added, urging an “early” return of bilateral relations to the “track of healthy and stable development “. The MEA declined to comment on the Chinese contention. In a briefing on November 16 last year, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra had only said that the two leaders had “exchanged courtesies at the conclusion of the dinner” hosted by the Indonesian President at G20.
According to the Chinese statement, Mr. Wang said whether India and China “support” or ”consume” each other would decide their own development and the direction of the world situation. He also pointed to the rise of developing countries or the Global South and said China was willing to work with India on building a multipolar world.