July 11, 2017 -- Q: The Ministry of External Affairs of India says that President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in Hamburg during the G20, and a range of issues were discussed. Can you give us more details and was the border standoff also discussed?
A: President Xi Jinping hosted the BRICS Leaders' Informal Meeting in Hamburg, Germany when he was there for the G20 Summit. Leaders of the BRICS countries, including Prime Minister Modi, attended the meeting. As far as I know, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi did not hold a bilateral meeting.
As for the Donglang issue, China has said multiple times that the immediate withdrawal of Indian troops who committed trespassing back to the Indian side of the border comes before any meaningful talk.
Q: The Indian government said very clearly that a range of concerns were discussed between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi. Are you saying that this has not happened?
A: Like I said, the two leaders did not have a bilateral meeting in Hamburg.
As for concerns the two sides, I believe everyone knows that the greatest concern is the illegal trespassing of Indian border troops. We ask these people to immediately retreat to their side, which is the prerequisite and basis for any meaningful dialogue.
Q: The Indian side did not say that the bilateral meetings took place, but the conversation took place before or after the BRICS meeting. So, the question is not about whether the bilateral meeting took place, it's about whether they had a conversation on a range of issues at the venue the BRICS meeting took place?
A: What I can tell you is that they did not have any bilateral meeting in Hamburg.
Q: Reports from India say Indian troops at the Doklam area are preparing for the long haul. There is no sign of withdraw and the supplies lines are open for the troops and it appears that India is also looking for a diplomatic solution with China. Are there any talks going on to find kind of solution to pull both sides to step back?
A: If these reports turn out to be true, they just attest to the fact that the illegal trespassing of the Indian border troops was organized and premeditated as a deliberate act to disrupt the status quo in the Sikkim section. If the Indian troops are preparing for the long term with no intention to leave, then how can there be room for diplomatic solutions?
We have been reiterating that India went against the basic norms guiding international relations and the international order, and severely undermined peace and stability along the China-India border region. India should immediately withdraw its people without any condition. That comes before any substantial dialogue. The diplomatic channels between the two sides are open, but we would like to see some real efforts and concrete actions from the Indian side.