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China has said the “atmosphere” is “not right” for a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, amid a standoff between the armies of the two countries in the Sikkim section.

“The atmosphere is not right for a bilateral meeting between President Xi and Prime Minister Modi,” PTI quoted a Chinese Foreign Ministry official said ahead of the G20 Summit in the German city of Hamburg from on Friday.

China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for past 19 days after a Chinese Army’s construction party attempted to build a road. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.

Both sides have never officially confirmed that a meeting was to take place, but reports earlier said Modi and Xi may meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg. Modi arrives in Hamburg after wrapping up a three-day tour of Israel.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang expressed hope that “India can immediately withdraw the border troops to the Indian side of the boundary”. “I think this is the pre-condition for any meaningful peace talks between the two sides,” he said.

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