G20 Summit: Amid stand-off, PM Modi meets Xi Jinping in Hamburg, discusses ‘range of issues’

The tone was kept positive on the first day of the G20 meeting by Modi, as he “appreciated” momentum in the BRICS bloc under the Chinese chairmanship and extended full cooperation for the grouping’s upcoming summit to be hosted by Beijing.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | Hamburg | Updated: July 7, 2017 9:12 pm
 sikkim standoff, india-china standoff, india-china-bhutan, pm narendra modi, xi jinping, modi in hamburg, BRICS meeting, G20 summit, modi against terrorism, india news, indian express At the BRICS leaders’ informal gathering at Hamburg hosted by China, PM Narendra Modi and President Xi had a conversation on a range of issues. (Source: Twitter/ @MEAIndia)

Even as the border stand-off between India and China played out back home, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his way to the Grand Elysee hotel, where Chinese President Xi Jinping was staying, and had a conversation on a “range of issues” during the BRICS leaders’ informal meeting.

Officials said the Prime Minister went from his hotel, Atlantic Kempinski, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau are also staying, and crossed the Alster Lake for a seven-minute ride to the Grand Elysee hotel to attend the BRICS meeting, which was hosted by Xi. “He went there for the BRICS meeting since it was being hosted by the Chinese President,” a source said.

The Indian embassy in Beijing had sent R Madhusudan — first secretary (political) in the Indian embassy and someone who has been the Chinese to English and vice-versa interpreter for Modi for the last three years — in anticipation of a possible interaction.

As reported by The Indian Express on Friday, sources said that the two sides had been in touch with each other diplomatically on possible “encounters”, if not “structured bilateral meetings”, and Madhusudan’s presence was an anticipatory move in that direction. Madhusudan was also present during the Modi-Xi meeting in Astana last month, as well as for Xi’s visit to India in September 2014.

While there was no official word on whether the border stand-off figured during the interactions or not, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Gopal Baglay only tweeted a picture of the two leaders shaking hands, with a smile, and surrounded by Indian and Chinese officials.

“At d (sic) BRICS leaders’ informal gathering @ Hamburg hosted by China, PM @narendramodi and President Xi had a conversation on a range of issues,” Baglay tweeted, minutes after their handshake-smile encounter.

The tone was kept positive on the first day of the G20 meeting by Modi, as he “appreciated” momentum in the BRICS bloc under the Chinese chairmanship and extended full cooperation for the grouping’s upcoming summit to be hosted by Beijing. The BRICS leaders’ summit is expected to take place in Xiamen from September 3 to September 5.

Modi started his speech by thanking Xi for his welcome and for hosting the meeting. “Under Xi’s chairmanship, the progress and positive momentum of BRICS has further deepened our cooperation,” Modi said.

Modi, who spoke in Hindi, also said, “Lastly, I extend my best wishes and full cooperation to President Xi Jinping for the upcoming ninth BRICS Summit.”

Xi, speaking right after Modi, also appreciated the momentum witnessed at the BRICS bloc during India’s chairmanship before it was passed on to China.

With the pleasantries done, Modi used two occasions available to him to stress on terrorism, once at the BRICS meeting, and again at the leaders’ session on “fighting terrorism”. The Indian PM, chosen by consensus, was the lead speaker at the session, organised by Merkel.

Modi said BRICS has been a strong voice and needs to show leadership on terrorism and global economy. “G20 should collectively oppose terrorism financing, franchises, safe havens, support and sponsors,” Modi said.

Taking aim at Pakistan — China’s all-weather friend — Modi used the opportunity as lead speaker at the “fighting terrorism” session to propose effective implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions pertaining to the issue of terrorism, as part of his 11-point plan to combat terrorism. This was in reference to China blocking India’s move to get a UN ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar.

Naming Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Haqqani network as terrorist groups affecting South Asia, Modi said that “some countries use terrorists for achieving their political objectives” — an oblique reference to Pakistan.

In a radical suggestion, he said that officials of countries that support terrorism should be banned from entering G-20 countries. This sort of a deterrent action is necessary against such countries, he said.

Modi also suggested that the national lists of suspected terrorists be exchanged between G-20 countries and joint action be taken against such terrorists and their supporters.

He also proposed that for effective cooperation, legal processes like extradition be simplified and expedited.

Modi also called for deradicalisation programmes and exchange of beat practices within G-20 nations. Pitching for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, he asked for setting up of a mechanism between National Security Advisors of G-20 countries.

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  1. S
    Jul 8, 2017 at 9:31 am
    This is what i always say. This man takes his decisions on the spot without consulting any one in his ministry. Till yesterday, our government and foreign office was saying that there is no agenda to met chinese leade and within hrs, pur PM meets Xi Jinping and discusses several issues? What kind of collective responsibilty this cabinet has. Cab hin Sushamajee tel us honestly that she was awre of this meeting. The answer is no. This is the locus standy of our senior cabinet minister who has distinction of being in the list of probable names for RASHTRAPATI. Stop this man or some time he will take such a decision without consulting others and that decision will take india 100 years back. Be aware.
    1. Y
      Jul 8, 2017 at 11:54 am
      hahhahahah. before writing pls understand and than write. this is not official meeting . this is informal meeting between this two. pls keep your knowledge with ur self.
    2. M
      Jul 8, 2017 at 2:26 am
      "he asked for setting up of a mechanism between National Security Advisors of G-20 countries" a very naive idea, or just making buzz? forgotten Sikkim, some babus have to scramble back to their files ...
      1. M
        Jul 8, 2017 at 1:31 am
        PM Modi now is not just a Indian leader but he is a world leader of highest quality. Humanity is bound to take a turn for the better once other world leaders who are historically in commanding and responsible positions take note of this and use this opportunity for the better of humanity. There will be some falling under the rolling wheels of progress but still not willing to cooperate but what one can do? Just pray for the peace of their souls hoping they will also see the benefit of greater and responsible peace initiatives without mixing real humanity with local politics and presenting it as ultimate humanity!
        1. A
          Atul Sapre
          Jul 8, 2017 at 10:50 am
          How can this uneducated buffoon responsible for murdering people and a member of terrorist organisation called RSS be a world leader? He is just the usual feku looking for publicity. He has spoilt relationship with China and Pakistan. He has leads a govt that has not been able to appoint a defence minister for half the term and then the stupid BJP goon talk of security. Just like Vajpayee surrendered in a typical RSS/ Savarkar fashion he will show strength when facing the weak and put his tail between his legs a run at the slightest fear
          1. Y
            Jul 8, 2017 at 11:55 am
            hahahhahah. Take a pill. Fruststrated man.
        2. H
          Jul 7, 2017 at 9:58 pm
          is look tense in the pic.
          1. M
            Jul 8, 2017 at 1:22 am
            Because they are not used to the good side of human behavior winning friends by goodwill and with sense of responsible behavior. Those who wants to grab and ran away with what they can get hold of is not a way forward for the humanity to emulate which will invariably lead to conflict and final outcome of which will be war to level the field once again and to restart the "engine" of humanity again! That's the very reason why the world needs the real India (not the fake one that was projected in last few decades), which has plenty of human wisdom (re: Risis and Sanyasis) and resources in store for those who are willing to take it - finding ways even around war but achieving same if not better results. Just go through Vedic literature and do research on how all different kinds of conflicts of human nature has been meticulously analyzed reaching conclusions for humanity to follow. Condition: give up misplaced ego, be a responsible share holder in humanity says the great wisdom of India.