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After China says no to Modi-Xi meet, India says one was never planned

File photo of PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping leaving after a group picture during the BRICS Summit in Benaulim, Goa. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Web Team Beijing, China Jul 06, 2017, 10.02 AM (IST)

China on Thursday dismissed reports of a bilateral meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg.

Officials from the Chinese foreign ministry said the "atmosphere" was "not right" for a bilateral meeting between PM Modi and President Xi at the G20 Summit which commences in Germany's Hamburg tomorrow.

There had been reports that Modi and Xi may meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit to resolve the standoff between the armies of the two countries in the Sikkim region.

The Indian government has since said a bilateral meeting between the two leaders was never planned "but everything is fluid". 

"So far, there is nothing on a bilateral meeting, but everything is fluid," the Times of Inda quoted top Indian officials as saying.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said "meaningful peace talks" between both sides could not take place unless "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".

"I think this is the pre-condition for any meaningful peace talks between the two sides," Geng Shuang told the press when asked about the meeting between Modi and Xi on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

Geng, however, confirmed that the meeting of BRICS leaders, to be attended by both Xi and Modi, will take place on the sidelines of the summit tomorrow.

Asked about the possibility of a Xi-Modi meeting, Geng said relevant information will be released in a timely manner.

Indian sources in New Delhi told PTI a meeting of BRICS leaders will take place on the sidelines of G20 summit tomorrow which is expected to include Modi and Xi. They did not mention whether a bilateral meeting between the two leaders would take place.

China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for the last three weeks after New Delhi objected to Beijing's attempts to construct a road in the disputed territory.

Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.

On Wednesday, China's state-run media quoted Chinese analysts as saying that Beijing would be forced to use a "military way" to end the standoff in the Sikkim sector if India refuses to listen to the "historical lessons" being offered by it.

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