Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping are set for their first face-to-face encounter since the standoff between the two nations began on the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh. The leaders of the two nations will attend the XII BRICS Summit, hosted virtually by Russia, on November 17.
The theme of this year’s BRICS Summit is “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth”.
According to a statement issued by Russia, the five participating nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have been able to maintain ‘close strategic partnership’ on peace, security, economy, finance, cultural and people-to-people exchanges amid Covid crisis.
“Despite the current global situation due to the spread of the coronavirus infection, the activities under the Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020 are carried out in a consistent manner. Since January 2020 more than 60 events have been organized, including via videoconferencing. The BRICS Summit will provide an impetus for further strengthening cooperation together with our partners to ensure the well-being of BRICS countries,” Anton Kobyakov, a senior Russian official said.
Although there is no official word on a possible bilateral communication between PM Narendra Modi and Chinese premier Xi Jinping, this will be their first face-to-face meeting since the standoff started in June.
On the intervening night of June 15 and 16, Indian and Chinese soldiers had a violent face-off in Galwan Valley over the latter trespassing the Line of Actual Control in the region. The clash resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and an undeclared number of Chinese troops. Since then, India and China have had several military and diplomatic level talks to resolve the issue.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi had held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet in Moscow in the backdrop of a deteriorating situation in eastern Ladakh triggered by a fresh confrontation between the armies of the two countries.
At the meeting on September 10, the two sides reached a five-point agreement that included measures like quick disengagement of troops, avoiding action that could escalate tensions, adherence to all agreements and protocols on border management and steps to restore peace along the LAC.
However, the two sides have not been able to reach a consensus on the implementation of this five-point agenda despite six rounds of Crops Commander-level talks at the LAC.