Amid the ongoing border standoff between New Delhi and Beijing, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met and greeted each other at an informal meeting of Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) nations in Hamburg on Friday, 7 July.

The two leaders are in the German city to take part in G20 summit. While speaking to his fellow leaders, Modi "appreciated momentum in Brics under the Chairmanship of President Xi and extended full cooperation and best wishes for the Brics Xiamen Summit."

"Brics has been a strong voice and needs to show leadership on terrorism and global economy," said the Indian prime minister.

Although the leaders greeted each other amid the border tensions, there are no bilateral talks scheduled between the two. China had earlier said that said the atmosphere was not conducive enough for talks. However, the two leaders are reported to have held a five-minute pull-aside chat during the Brics session. Local reports said the duo spoke on a "range of issues" during their brief conversation.

On his part, the Chinese president also praised India's strong commitment in its combat against terrorism and recalibrating the focus on economic growth. Prior to Modi's and Xi's remarks, Beijing and New Delhi were engaged in a sharp war of words asking each other scale down the tensions in the Sikkim border standoff. Cross-border tensions at a crucial tri-junction – where the borders of India, China and Bhutan meet – rapidly escalated in recent days due to a road construction by Beijing.

Brics leaders have also issued a joint communiqué urging the emerging nations to fully implement the Paris climate change accord, from which the US had withdrawn recently. Their statement said the nations of the G20, which account for 80% of the world economy, should help setting up transparent, non-discriminatory and multilateral trading system.

Brics summit in Hamburg
Brazil's President Michel Temer (clockwise from bottom left), India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, China's President Xi Jinping and South Africa's President Jacob Zuma attend a BRICS leaders' meeting as he takes part in the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany Reuters