Even as the standoff at Sikkim border continue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday exchanged greetings at the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) meeting on the sidelines of G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
Modi said there had been a “positive momentum” among the member states under the chairmanship of President Xi, ANI reported. Meanwhile, the Chinese president lauded India’s strong “resolve against terrorism and momentum in BRICS” introduced under India’s chairmanship.
This comes a day after China had said that President Xi and Modi will not meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Germany. The atmosphere was not ideal for a bilateral meeting between the two leaders, China’s Foreign Ministry had said, referring to the continuing India-China standoff in the Doklam region in the Sikkim sector.
PM Modi said the member states of BRICS needs to come together and show leadership on matters of terrorism and global economy. He also spoke on the geo-political tensions because of the diplomatic cut-off that Qatar is facing.
Modi also took the opportunity to highlight the recently-implemented Goods and Services Tax’s contribution in boosting the country’s GDP growth. He said it was the largest tax reform in India in the last 70 years.
The Indian prime minister is currently in Hamburg to attend the G20 Summit where he is expected to raise some key subjects affecting India, including free and open trade, migration, sustainable development and global stability, at the meeting. Modi is expected to hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of Argentina, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Britain and Vietnam.
The Sikkim standoff
India and China have both maintained that troops from the other country transgressed into their territory. Bilateral ties have been strained since the Indian Army stopped China from constructing a road in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector. New Delhi has made it clear that it will not allow China to construct a motorable road up to the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction through the Doklam plateau.
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through the Nathu La pass in Sikkim was also cancelled amid the continuing standoff.