Ninth Summit of BRICS was taking place in Xiamen city of China. India is an important member of the grouping and its concern cannot be ignored. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was able to prove this in the Summit. In fact, due to tension between India and China in Sikkim sector over Dokalam standoff, the fate of this summit had become uncertain. China was hinting a war against India. Its newspaper Global Times had reported that the countdown to the war had begun. Although India was sure that China would not go so far, it had still deployed its army along Indo- China border as a precautionary measure.
The time of Summit was approaching fast, but India had not made clear whether it would take part in it. Last year, India had refused to attend SAARC summit in Pakistan and its decision had resulted into indefinite postponement of the Summit which is yet to take place. When China was dropping hints of war, India was dropping hints that it may boycott the BRICS Summit in the same way as it had boycotted SAARC Summit slated to take place in Pakistan. It would have been a major decision for China to declare war against India, but it would have been a minor decision for India to boycott BRICS Summit.
BRICS has only five member countries including India. They are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Absence of India in the Summit would have given a bloody blow to BRICS itself and China would have been responsible for it. That is why China was compelled to enter into talks with India over Dokalam standoff. The issue was settled after talks between the two. Only then did India give its confirmation saying that it would be taking part in the Summit being held in Xiamen coastal city of China. In this way, India established its importance even before the beginning of the Summit. China proved to be pragmatic by understanding India’s concerns.
Terrorism is one of the major problems being faced by India. Pakistan’s endorsement of terrorism in India has been established many times. But China has shown that it could go to any extent in its support to Pakistan if India tries to corner Pakistan on international forum. India had raised the issue of Pakistan backed terrorism in Goa Summit last year and it was natural that it was bound to raise the issue in the Xiamen Summit too. China had asked India not to raise this issue because, as Pakistan’s friend, China would be forced to counter India over the issue.
India ignored China’s concerns. India not only raised the issue of Pak-backed terrorism, but was also successful in persuading participating countries to pass resolution in its support. China had to bow to the pressure exerted by India and other BRICS member countries. It was a diplomatic victory for India not just over Pakistan, but also over China.
As a host of BRICS Summit, it was not easy for China to go against the wishes of its guests. It has thus had to include the Indian concern against Pakistan in the resolution. Now, Pakistan has been isolated. It will be difficult for China to support Pakistan in UN over the issue of Masood Azhar, who has not yet been banned by United Nation Security Council because of China’s veto.
Xiamen Summit has cleared the way for broader cooperation and partnership among member countries. It has shown that member countries are ready to bury differences for deep coordination. It is a good sign for not only the member countries but the international community as well. In the face of danger of protectionism, BRICS provides some hope for continued opening up of international markets for trade and investment.
– Contributed by Kriti
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