India

India denies Modi-Xi meeting was cancelled

Indian PM Narendra Modi with China's President Xi Jinping at the G20 meeting in Hangzhou on September 4, 2016 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping are both in Hamburg for the G20 summit

India's foreign ministry has denied reports that China had "cancelled" a meeting between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg.

Spokesman Gopal Baglay told reporters that a meeting with Mr Xi had never been on Mr Modi's agenda.

China's foreign ministry had said the atmosphere was not right for a meeting.

Troops have been facing off along one stretch of India and China's shared border along the Himalayas.

Indian media reports said that despite the government's position that a meeting between the two sides was never planned, China conclusively ruling it out was being seen as a hardening of its stance.

A potential meeting between Mr Xi and Mr Modi was being seen as a way of defusing tensions.

Both countries have been engaging in sharp rhetoric, after Indian troops stopped Chinese engineers from extending a border road through a plateau known as Doklam in India and Donglang in China.

The plateau, which lies at a junction between China, the north-eastern Indian state of Sikkim and Bhutan, is currently disputed between Beijing and Thimphu.

India supports Bhutan's claim over it.

It is one of the longest stand-offs between the two sides since a war in 1962, where China defeated India.

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