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Modi, Xi will not hold talks at G-20 summit

Remembering the brave:PM Modi pays homage at the Indian cemetery in Haifa on Thursdayto soldiers who died freeing the city from Ottoman forces during the First World War.PTI

Remembering the brave:PM Modi pays homage at the Indian cemetery in Haifa on Thursdayto soldiers who died freeing the city from Ottoman forces during the First World War.PTI  

Pull back or face serious consequences, China tells India

With India and China asserting on Thursday that no bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping had been scheduled on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in Germany, there was no immediate prospect of an end to the boundary standoff. Also China stepped up its verbal assault on India, warning it of ‘serious consequences’ if it did not withdraw its troops.

“The Prime Minister is visiting Hamburg from July 6-8 for the G-20 summit. His pre-planned bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit are with Argentina, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, the U.K. and Vietnam,” Gopal Baglay, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), said in response to a question. Mr. Baglay said Mr. Modi would participate in the BRICS leaders’ meeting which will be held a day before the main summit.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said the necessary information would be shared in a timely manner, when asked about the possibility of a bilateral meeting of the leaders at the BRICS event.

It is unusual for either country to announce that no bilateral meeting had been scheduled as both leaders have met in several multilateral meetings in the last three years.

The MEA’s confirmation about not having a bilateral meeting came despite earlier reports that the Indian and Chinese leaders would meet on the sidelines of the summit in Hamburg.

Earlier on Thursday, news reports from Beijing said the meeting would not be possible as the “atmosphere was not right.”

Imposes condition

Mr. Geng said: “India can immediately withdraw the border troops to the Indian side of the boundary to uphold the peace/tranquillity of the China and India border areas,” as a “pre-condition for essential peace talks.”

He also warned at a daily news briefing in Beijing that India must pull back its forces to its side of the border in order “to avoid there being an even more serious situation, creating even more serious consequences.”

The ongoing tension erupted over Chinese construction in the Doklam area at the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction.

Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi last met in Astana on June 9 during the summit of the SCO. where Mr. Xi had described the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra as a positive aspect of ties.

However, following the Doklam row the pilgrimage on the Sikkim route was stopped as the Chinese refused to allow Indian pilgrims to use the Nathu La pass.

(Inputs from Atul Aneja

in Beijing )

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