Modi and Xi’s surprise BRICS summit talk – Are India and China finally burying the hatchet?

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In a shocking turn of events, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping set aside their diplomatic tensions to talk at the sidelines of the BRICS summit. The two leaders agreed on an “expeditious de-escalation” in the contested eastern Ladakh region, according to a sensational briefing by Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra.

This electrifying development comes amidst prolonged tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), a disputed boundary that has been a bone of contention between India and China since the 1950s. The two countries even went to war over it in 1962. Prime Minister Modi emphasized that “maintenance of peace and tranquility in border areas and respecting LAC” were non-negotiable for normalizing India-China ties, Kwatra stated.

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What’s more, Modi and Xi have directed relevant officials to double down on efforts for “expeditious disengagement, de-escalation,” said Kwatra, signaling a possible end to the three-year standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh. This news comes after 19 rounds of high-stakes talks between commanders, focusing on resolving issues in the volatile regions of Depsang Plains and Demchok.

Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping agree on "expeditious de-escalation" in Eastern Ladakh at BRICS Summit

Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping agree on “expeditious de-escalation” in Eastern Ladakh at BRICS Summit. Photo courtesy of Press Information Bureau.

Before this monumental conversation between Modi and Xi, India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had a crucial meeting with top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi. They discussed the dwindling “strategic trust” and the “public and political basis of the relationship,” according to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. Doval emphasized that peace and tranquility must be restored for normal bilateral ties, echoing India’s longstanding position that peace in the border areas is a prerequisite for normal relations with China.

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In a dramatic flashback, the eastern Ladakh border standoff erupted into global attention on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong Lake area. This led to a fierce, nail-biting clash in Galwan Valley in June 2020, marking the most serious military conflict between India and China in decades.

As the world watches with bated breath, the sudden agreement between Modi and Xi at the BRICS summit is raising eyebrows and stirring hopes. Could this be the first step towards lasting peace between the two Asian giants? Only time will tell, but for now, the world remains captivated by this unexpected twist in the India-China saga!

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