The recent BRICS summit in Johannesburg sparked new controversy as Beijing claimed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested a meeting with President Xi Jinping.
However, top Indian government sources refuted the Chinese allegations, stirring an ongoing international dialogue.
“Request From Chinese Side”: India Denies Beijing’s Claims On PM Modi-Xi Jinping Meet
India opposed the Chinese standpoint by revealing that there was in fact a “pending request from the Chinese side” for a bilateral exchange.
Sources pointed to an “informal conversation” between the two leaders at the Leaders Lounge during the BRICS Summit.
China’s foreign ministry stated, “President Xi Jinping talked with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the BRICS summit at the latter’s request on August 23”.
India, however, tells a different story of the interactions, suggesting that the conversation followed a request from the Chinese.
The Meeting and Its Outcomes
During the informal exchange, Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping agreed on “expeditious de-escalation” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the focus of tensions since the June 2020 clashes in Eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.
Diplomacy seemed to be ahead, with both leaders directing their officials to facilitate a swift disengagement along the LAC.
A Chinese Readout described the interaction as a “candid and in-depth exchange of views on current China-India relations and other questions of shared interest.”
According to President Xi, “improving China-India serves common interests of the two countries and peoples, and is also conducive to peace, stability, and development of the world and the region.”
The statement also revealed the Chinese President’s perspective: “The two sides should bear in mind the overall interests of their bilateral relations and properly handle the border issues so as to jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border region.”
This controversy serves as a reminder that while international politics may be carried out on public stages, many significant interactions occur behind closed doors, away from the public eye. Hence, the truth often lies somewhere between the narratives, countering allegations and refuting claims.