China has committed itself to providing $76 million to launch economic and technical cooperation between BRICS nations.
The BRICS Summit is being held in the city of Xiamen in China. It is the first time Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping after the Doklam stand-off.
BRICS is a conglomerate of five of the largest emerging economies in the world. It stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Earlier it was just called BRIC, however in 2010, South Africa was inducted into the group.
The body works towards fostering more economic and political cooperation between these countries. BRICS nations together represent 40% of the world population and all five are members of the G-20.
In June 2017, a skirmish broke out between Indian and Chinese troops at the Doklam plateau. Indian soldiers had intervened the construction work being conducted by China in the region. The area is a disputed territory between Bhutan (an Indian ally) and China. Following the clashes, both sides increased their military presence in the region. India argued that China’s actions in Doklam posed a security threat for the nation. An impasse continued for multiple weeks with neither nation willing to stand down. During this period, China issued a number of veiled threats to India that pointed towards military conflict.
However, days before the commencement of the BRICS Summit, India and China announced that the military stand-off had ended. The two nations said that an agreement of military withdrawal was brokered through diplomatic channels.
According to Chinese media, China agreed to end the stand-off as it did not want to deter the summit and the agenda. It has put in a considerable amount of effort towards organizing the summit. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that the nation would contribute $76 million towards better trade relations between the nations.
He said, “I wish to announce here that China will launch the economic and technical cooperation plan for BRICS countries with ¥ 500 million (about $76 million at the current exchange rates) for the first term to facilitate policy exchange and practical cooperation in economic and trade field. We need to make the international order more just and equitable. Our ever closer ties require that we five countries play more active in global governance. Without our participation, many pressing global challenges cannot be effectively resolved."
The announcement was made during the opening plenary session. This is the first time Indian Prime Minister Modi and Jinping met after the Doklam conflict. The leaders displayed bonhomie as they greeted one another warmly. The two are also scheduled for a meeting later during the summit.
India has already scored a significant diplomatic win at the summit. For the first time in its history, BRICS nations named and condemned a number of Pakistani based terror outfits. The announcement is surprising giving the cordial relations shared by Pakistan and China. The statement read, “We strongly condemn terrorist attacks resulting in death to innocent Afghan nationals. We, in this regard, express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al Qaida and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir.”
Our assessment is that China and India seem intent on putting the Doklam stand-off behind them and starting afresh with the BRICS Summit. However, it remains to be seen if these friendly overtures would lead to more peaceful existence along the Indo-Sino border. We believe that border issues will re-surface again after China’s 19th National Congress to be held on 19th October 2017.