China’s Xi, India's Modi discuss border dispute at BRICS summit

China’s Xi, India's Modi discuss border dispute at BRICS summit

Leaders agree to direct relevant officials 'to intensify efforts at expeditious disengagement and de-escalation'

By Shuriah Niazi

NEW DELHI (AA) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg on Thursday, and agreed to ask their officials to work at resolving their border dispute.

The feud over the 3,000-km (1,860-mile) Himalayan border, known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC), erupted in May 2020, sparking clashes. Thousands of troops were deployed to both sides of the boundary, resulting in 24 deaths.

At least 19 rounds of talks involving diplomats and military officials have been held to resolve the standoff, but there has been no breakthrough.

"In conversation with President Xi Jinping of China, the prime minister highlighted India’s concerns on the unresolved issues along the LAC," India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra told a press briefing.

“In this regard, the two leaders agreed to direct their relevant officials to intensify efforts in expeditious disengagement and de-escalation,” he added.

Modi said the “maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas, and observing and respecting the LAC are essential for the normalization of the India-China relationship," the foreign secretary said.

​​​​​​​The two leaders also interacted on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Indonesia last year.

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