15th BRICS Summit: When asked if PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping may meet, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra replied yesterday that his itinerary is “still being developed.”
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares to leave for South Africa for the BRICS Summit, sources believe a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping is possible.
In Johannesburg, the Prime Minister will meet with the presidents of Brazil, China, Russia, and South Africa. This will be the first BRICS meeting held in person since 2019. Arrangements have been held virtually during the previous three years due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
When asked if PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping may meet on the sidelines, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra indicated yesterday that his itinerary is “still being developed.” “We have an optimistic intent and an open mind regarding BRICS expansion,” added Mr Kwatra.
As he left for the BRICS Summit early this morning, the Prime Minister stated that it will give a beneficial chance for its members to “identify future areas of cooperation.” “We value the fact that BRICS has become a venue for discussing and deliberating on issues of concern to the entire Global South,” he added.
Even though the two sides concluded disengagement at various locations following prolonged diplomatic and military discussions, Indian and Chinese soldiers have been embroiled in a three-year conflict in specific friction sites in eastern Ladakh.
A new round of high-level negotiations between the two countries was held earlier this month, with the goal of resolving the outstanding difficulties. The conversations were described as “positive, constructive, and in-depth” in a joint statement.
On the margins of the BRICS conference in Johannesburg last month, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met with senior Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Mr. Doval stressed the necessity of ongoing efforts to thoroughly settle the issue and restore peace and tranquillity along the border.
Following a severe skirmish in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, India-China relations worsened, marking the most major military conflict between the two countries in decades.
Following a series of military and diplomatic discussions, the two parties concluded the disengagement process on the north and south banks of Pangong Lake and the Gogra region in 2021. India has maintained that its relations with China cannot be normalized unless the border areas remain peaceful.
The BRICS, which represent 40% of the world’s population over three continents and have economies at various stages of development, have a similar ambition for a global order that better reflects their interests and expanding weight.
If PM Modi and Xi Jinping meet, it will be their first meeting since the India-China border impasse began in May 2020. Last November, the two presidents met briefly at the G20 dinner in Bali hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.