From the warmth that greeted him in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Narendra Modiheaded Thursday to Hamburg for the

G-20 summit, and what would be his first encounter with Chinese President Xi Jinping amid the ongoing border stand-off between the two countries, which has led to a chill in bilateral ties.

China has already set the tone, with a senior government official saying Thursday that “the atmosphere is not right for a bilateral meeting between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay, who is travelling with the Prime Minister in Israel, made it clear that there was no official meeting with Xi slotted on Modi’s Hamburg schedule.

“As mentioned earlier, the PM is visiting Hamburg from July 6 to 8 for the G-20 summit. His bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit are with Argentina President Mauricio Macri, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, Italy, Japan PM Shinzo Abe, Mexico PM Enrique Pena Nieto, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, UK PM Theresa May and Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. There is no change in the Prime Minister’s schedule,” said Baglay.

In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said, “As for the arrangement of the bilateral meeting between President Xi and Prime Minister Modi, I have to point out that recently Indian troops trespassed into China and obstructed normal activities of Chinese troops in Doklam region. This endangers China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and has damaged the political foundations of bilateral relations between China and India.”

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