Is This Consensus or Concession? Congress Takes Swipe at PM Over 2022 Meet with Chinese President

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NEW DELHI — A day after the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed the border crisis during their brief meeting at the G20 Bali Summit in 2022, the Congress on Friday once again targeted the government saying “is this a consensus or a concession by the Prime Minister”.

Slamming the Prime Minister, Congress General secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “Ever since Prime Minister’s public clean chit to China on June 19, 2020, the Modi government has been acting as if it is being tough on China, and that there have been no compromises or meaningful conversations between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping while Chinese troops remain in violation of previous LAC agreements.”

“On November 16, 2022, the Modi government characterised a dinner conversation between the two leaders at Bali as just an ‘exchange of courtesies’. On July 25, 2023, a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement mentioned the “important consensus” reached by Prime Minister Modi and President Xi at Bali,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.

“On July 27, our Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that more than mere courtesies were exchanged at Bali. Is this a consensus or a concession by Prime Minister Modi? Will Chinese troops finally withdraw from Depsang and Demchok where they have blocked Indian patrols for more than three years? Meanwhile, economic relations between the two countries are proceeding as if the Chinese incursions in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh never even happened. So much for ‘lal aankh’ (red eye),” the Congress leader said.

His remarks came a day after MEA on Thursday confirmed that Prime Minister Modi and the Chinese President discussed the need to stabilise bilateral relations at the G20 summit in Bali last November, a day after China’s foreign ministry claimed that the two leaders reached a “consensus” on the issue at the time.

Arindam Bagchi, Spokesperson of the MEA, confirmed that the two leaders had spoken of the need to stabilise bilateral ties. However, he also stated that India’s perspective was that the situation on the LAC remains a key issue that must be resolved.

“During the Bali G20 Summit last year, Prime Minister and President Xi Jinping, at the conclusion of the dinner hosted by the Indonesian President, exchanged courtesies and spoke of the need to stabilize our bilateral relations,” Bagchi said at the weekly press conference.

“I think Foreign Secretary did mention maybe he didn’t mention the second part of it. He did talk about exchanging courtesy and I think there was a general discussion or spoke of the need to stabilize our bilateral relationship or relations,” Bagchi added. — IANS

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