Before the conference started in earnest, the Prime Minister and the Chinese President were pictured having a brief conversation before taking their designated seats.
They were expected to share the stage also at the Brics business forum meeting, which was addressed by PM Modi, but Xi skipped the event and instead sent his commerce minister Wang Wentao to represent him.
PM Modi and Xi came together also in Samarkand in 2022 for the SCO summit but there was no bilateral meeting even though the summit took place barely a week after India and China resolved the standoff at the Gogra friction point.
India and China have been in a stand-off situation for the last three years and relations at all levels have deteriorated due to tensions on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The two sides have held 19 rounds of talks so far to address the boundary issues in eastern Ladakh since 2020.
PM Modi arrived in South Africa for the 15th Brics Summit on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are six nations who will be the joining the Brics from January 2024.
Supporting the decision to induct new nations, PM Modi said that India has always believed in addition of new members to Brics will further strengthen and give our shared efforts a new impetus.
Watch Open to expanding BRICS membership, but with consensus and after finalising criteria: PM Narendra Modi