BRICS Summit: Modi’s first visit to China tomorrow since Dokalam standoff

09/02/2017

Xiamen (China), Sept. 2: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, as he visits the country days after both New Delhi and Beijing decided to end their more than two-month long standoff at Doklam plateau.

The prime minister will visit the country for BRICS nation summit that will have Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa attend it. The summit, which will begin on Sunday at Xiamen — a southeastern Chinese city in Fujian province — remains on schedule despite a typhoon alert in the country’s coastal areas.

 

Modi said on Saturday that he was “looking forward” to productive discussions and positive outcomes at the summit.

"I look forward to building upon the results and outcomes of the Goa Summit. I also look forward to productive discussions and positive outcomes that will support the agenda of a stronger BRICS partnership under the chairmanship of China," the Prime Minister said in a statement.

 

Neither India nor China has thus far ruled out a meeting between the two state leaders.  

India's External Affairs Ministry has said bilateral talks were not common on the sideline of such multilateral meetings, while its Chinese counterpart has said it could be arranged it time permitted.

However, there is likely another sticking point before the meeting: terrorism, especially that originating in Pakistan, its “all-weather” ally. China has already stated explicitly that the forum was not “appropriate” to raise the issue.    

However, government sources claim that Modi was likely to take up the issue and flag its own concerns strongly at the summit, although External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar has refused to "preempt" Modi’s agenda during his intervention at the summit on Monday.

In the summit held last year, which India hosted, Modi had called Pakistan the "mothership" of terrorism and demanded decisive global action against terror outfits.

The summit, which completed 10 years since its establishment in 2016, is likely to discuss the path for the BRICS countries’ emerging economies over the next 10 years.   

Xiamen is geographically close to Taiwan and separated by a narrow strip of Taiwan Straits.

China has said it had high expectations from the summit that Russian President Vladimir Putin, South Africa's Jacob Zuma and Brazil's Michel Temer will attend.

The BRICS nations together account for 23 per cent of the 2016 global economy — almost double their share in 2006 — and 44 per cent of world population. They have contributed more than half of world economic growth in the past 10 years, becoming the strongest engines of the global economy.

Both India and China agreed to end their 73-day standoff at Doklam on August 28. The standoff began on June 16, when the Chinese military tried to build a road in a disputed territory that both Beijing and Thimphu claim but the latter holds.  

Indian troops entered the territory to block the road construction fearing that it could potentially cut off India’s access to its northeastern states.

The 89-square-km patch of territory in the Chumbi valley — sitting between Sikkim and Bhutan — is an unresolved boundary dispute Beijing has with Thimphu. The two countries have failed to resolve it despite 24 rounds of negotiations since 1984. PTI

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