Xi, Modi unlikely to meet at G20 due to border row

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On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated his country's demand that India withdraws its troops to its side. Beijing and New Delhi see themselves as giants in Asia, but the nationalist self-confidence emanating from both sides could ignite a heated rivalry in which bilateral relations deteriorate.

The atmosphere is not right for a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narenrdra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, said a Chinese official, reported Times of India.

"Under the pretext of protecting Bhutan, India has illegally entered China's territory hindering negotiation process between China and Bhutan".

"China and India, two neighboring countries, should get along with each other", he said.

Beijing says the road building is on Chinese territory.

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India accuses China, in part, of escalating the conflict as retribution for the Dalai Lama's visit to India's Arunachal Pradesh state in April.

"Chinese Activities (road building) in the relevant area does not violate relevant agreements and does not alter the status quo".

The flashpoint is the contested border region of Doklam in Bhutan, which is claimed by China as part of its Donglang region.

Since then, videos have emerged of Indian and Chinese soldiers blocking each other with their arms and physically jostling without coming to blows. China and India have been engaged in a stand-off in the Doka La area near the Bhutan trijunction for nearly a month.

At the packed G-20 schedule, there is hardly any space for India and China to talk given the fact they have met just a few days back.

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That hasn't stopped the two-way sniping.

There are those in Sikkim that cherish its history as a separate state, and they are sensitive to how the outside world views the Sikkim issue.

Zhang, the Sichuan University professor, acknowledged the unusually tough talk from both sides but said the conduct of the two militaries and foreign ministries has been relatively restrained and "within normal bounds". "You don't become that by playing by the rules".

Just yesterday, July 5, the Chinese media had accused India of provoking China and slammed Defence Minister Arun Jaitley's comment that the India of 2017 is different from that of 1962. Since that war, India has not lost another, albeit that it was fought to a standstill in 1965, whereas Chinese forces were given a bloody nose by Vietnamese forces in 1979. "As long as there are voices in Chinese society supporting Sikkim's independence, the voices will spread and fuel pro-independence appeals in Sikkim", said Global Times. "But in the last 40 years, not a single bullet has been fired because of border dispute", Modi said in a panel discussion at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Pilgrimage tours are organized regularly, especially from India. On Sikkim, the editorial says "Beijing should reconsider its stance over the Sikkim issue".

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