PM Modi to attend BRICS summit in China, India announces one day after standoff ends

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting China for the BRICS Summit from Sept 3-5. PHOTO: EPA

NEW DELHI - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, the Indian External Affairs Ministry said on Tuesday.

The announcement comes a day after India and China ended a 73-day standoff in Doklam.

The tense stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops at the Doklam plateau ended peacefully on Monday with the two sides almost completing disengagement "under verification", The Statesman newspaper reported.

This paves the way for Mr Modi's visit to China for the BRICS Summit from Sept 3-5.

The prolonged face-off, which threatened to escalate into a full-blown war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, ended after weeks of diplomatic parleys. A brief statement put out by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said: "In recent weeks, India and China have maintained diplomatic communication in respect of the incident at Doklam.

"During the communications, we were able to express our views and convey our concerns and interests. On this basis, expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to and is on-going," it said.

In response to repeated queries from the media on the broad contours of the understanding reached with China, MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar said in another statement that the process of disengagement had almost been completed under verification, The Statesman reported.

"India has always maintained that it is only through diplomatic channels that differences on such matters can be addressed. Our principled position is that agreements and understandings reached on boundary issues must be scrupulously respected," Mr Kumar said.

He said New Delhi's policy remained guided by the belief that peace and tranquility in the border areas was an essential prerequisite for further development of India-China relations.

It recalled that the two countries had also agreed during a meeting between Mr Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in Astana in early June that differences should not be allowed to become disputes and that bilateral ties must remain stable.

"We look forward to continuing engagements with the Chinese side on this basis," it added.

In Beijing, China said on Monday it was pleased that India had agreed to withdraw troops from the disputed border area, AFP reported. Foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said Chinese personnel on the ground verified that Indian troops and equipment had pulled back in the morning from the area.

"I am pleased to confirm that trespassing Indian personnel have all pulled back to the Indian side of the boundary," Ms Hua told a regular news briefing. "Chinese troops continue to patrol on the Chinese side of the boundary."

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