China on Monday denied Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping had held talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany while reiterating that meaningful dialogue could be held with India after it withdraws troops from the Chinese side in Doklam.
“As for the range of questions… I think we are most concerned about the illegal cross-border problems by Indian troops. The troops should withdraw immediately to the Indian side of the Sino-Indian border… This is the prerequisite and basis for any meaningful dialogue between the parties,” Chinese foreign affairs ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in response to external affairs ministry tweet’s during that the two leaders had a conversation on a “range of issues”. He added that diplomatic channels between the two sides were “smooth”. Also Read: Rahul Gandhi defends meet with Chinese envoy, says it is his job to be ‘informed on critical issues’
Geng’s comments came as Chinese state-run media ratcheted up rhetoric against India over the stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam. In a commentary, state-run Xinhua said that India had “blatantly” trespassed on sovereign Chinese territory.
The Global Times alleged that Indian troops had invaded Doklam in the name of helping Bhutan. It claimed Indian leaders were using the incident to “appease” domestic and international audiences and warned against using the “Dalai Lama card”. “Even if India were requested to defend Bhutan’s territory, this could only be limited to its established territory, not the disputed area. Otherwise, under India’s logic, if the Pakistani government requests, a third country’s army can enter the area disputed by India and Pakistan, including India-controlled Kashmir,” said an article.