BRICS Summit 2023: PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping had a brief exchange ahead of a media briefing by the BRICS leaders and after the joint presser, both were seen shaking hands.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday were seen having a brief exchange ahead of a media briefing by the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) leaders in Johannesburg. Both leaders are in the South African city of Johannesburg to attend the annual BRICS summit of BRICS, the first in-person gathering of the grouping since the Covid pandemic. While there is no official word on the exchange by either side, video footage aired by a South African broadcaster showed Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi having a brief exchange.
A video of the brief exchange was shared by news agency ANI.
In another visual, after the joint presser, both were seen shaking hands after the BRICS grouping reached a consensus to expand its membership and invited six other nations — Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE — to join the bloc.
Ahead of the BRICS summit, there were reports about a possible bilateral meeting between Modi and Xi in Johannesburg. However, no meeting was officially confirmed. When asked if PM Modi will hold talks with the Chinese President on the sidelines of the BRICS summit, Kwatra in a presser on Monday said that the schedule of the prime minister’s bilateral meetings is being finalised.
PM Modi and Xi had a brief exchange of words at a dinner during the G20 summit in Bali in November last year. The meeting assumed significance as the ties between India and China have been tense due to the eastern Ladakh border row that began in May 2020.
The Indian and Chinese armies are locked in a standoff at certain friction points in eastern Ladakh even after over three years. In this period, both sides have successfully disengaged from several areas after extensive diplomatic and military talks.
Earlier this month, India and China conducted the 19th round of Corps Commander-level talks on August 13 and 14 aiming to resolve pending issues at the standoff areas of Depsang and Demchok in eastern Ladakh.
A joint statement informed that the talks were “positive, constructive and in-depth” as both sides agreed to resolve the remaining issues in an expeditious manner.
After the high-level talks, the local commanders of the Indian and Chinese militaries also held a series of deliberations in two separate locations to resolve issues in Depsang Plains and Demchok.
Meanwhile, PM Modi will be travelling to Greece on Thursday evening after concluding his engagements at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg.