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Indian PM Modi and Chinese President Xi shake hands at G20 dinner in Bali, but no plan for a bilateral

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(TibetanReview.net, Nov16’22) – Given their known, seemingly irreconcilable differences over the occupied-Tibet border situation, Sino-India relations are nowhere near reaching normalization any time soon. However, this has not prevented Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi from going up to Chinese President Xi Jinping to offer greetings and exchange pleasantries at a G20 dinner in Bali on Nov 15 evening.

A short video showed Modi speaking to Xi at a dinner for G20 leaders hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Prime Minister Modi was seen walking up to President Xi before going for a handshake. Both leaders were in traditional Batiq shirts worn by G20 delegates, noted the ndtv.com Nov 15.

Modi, flanked by an interpreter, then spoke to Xi for a few minutes, noted the hindustantimes.com Nov 15.

The two leaders have not met for bilateral discussions since 2020, when a fierce border clash broke out between Indian and Chinese troops at Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh.

Prime Minister Modi was scheduled to meet with various G20 leaders for bilaterals on Nov 16 but China was not on the list, the ndtv.com report noted.

Earlier, the two leaders attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit at Samarkand in Uzbekistan on Sep 15 and 16, but there were no visuals of any handshake or exchange, the report said.

While India insists that border settlement is paramount to normalizing relations, China maintains that the border situation need not affect bilateral ties in other areas and in overall relations between the two countries.

India-China ties have been at an all-time low since the start of the standoff in Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). A brutal clash in Galwan Valley in June 2020 resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese troops – the first fatalities along the LAC since 1975, noted the hindustantimes.com report.

After multiple meetings between military commanders, Indian and Chinese troops pulled back from key points including Gogra-Hot Springs in Ladakh. The Chinese forces returned to pre-2020 positions.

But major differences still remain and both the sides still remain in readiness for war with large deployments of troops and military assets.

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