Foreign minister S Jaishankar was also present at the spot where the two leaders had a little chat.
While India and China have not yet resumed normal bilateral exchanges, they have also not allowed differences over the border issue to come in the way of cooperation at multilateral forums, including SCO, Brics and G20. China has expressed support for India’s G20 presidency and Xi is likely to visit India for the summit in September next year.
This was only the second time they came face to face physically since the military standoff in eastern Ladakh started in May 2022. They also stood next to each other for the leaders’ photo-op at the SCO summit in Uzbekistan in September this year. However, on both occasions – in Samarkand and now in Bali – there was no bilateral meeting between the two leaders. Interestingly, Modi and Xi were not photographed shaking hands in Samarkand. Modi and Xi were together in Samarkand for SCO barely a week after India and China announced troop disengagement from the friction point at Gogra-Hot Springs in Ladakh.
There was no proposal for a meeting between the two leaders by either side, sources said. India continues to maintain that to return to normalcy in ties its important to first complete disengagement at all friction points in eastern Ladakh and work towards de-escalation.
Modi will on Wednesday also have bilateral meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron, UK PM Rishi Sunak, Australian PM Anthony Albanese and also the leaders of several other countries.