China on Thursday hinted that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are likely to meet on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit next week.

Asked if the two leaders will meet, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “During multilateral meetings, arranging bilateral meetings is practice. If time allows, China will make proper arrangements.”

A Modi-Xi meeting, if it happens, will follow the resolution of the over two-month military stand-off border row which had plunged ties between the two countries to a new low.

The annual Summit of the BRICS begins at the Chinese city Xiamen on 3 September.

This will be their third meeting between Modi and Xi this year.

Their last bilateral meet was during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meet at Astana in June. They met informally at G20 in Germany the following month amid the border crisis.

Meanwhile, another report said that China’s armed forces will strengthen patrolling and defence of Doklam area on the border where Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a face-off for over two months, a military spokesperson said on Thursday.

China’s military has paid close attention to the situation and taken “emergency measures” to reinforce border controls since the Dong Lang or Doklam incident occurred, Xinhua news agency quoted Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defence, as saying.

“Chinese troops resolutely maintain the country’s territorial sovereignty and legitimate rights,” he told the media, adding they have also used military diplomacy and border contact channels to promote the proper resolution of the border row.

The stand-off began on 18 June when Indian troops crossed into Doklam, claimed by both Bhutan and China, triggering a dragging stand-off. The issue was diplomatically resolved on Monday. IANS

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