NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the BRICS summit, hosted by China, virtually on June 23. The 14th summit of BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — will be hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on June 23 via video link, the Chinese foreign ministry announced on Friday.
The summit is unlikely to bring anything major on the table for India as there are many unresolved issues between India and China. India’s foremost issue with China has been the build-up by the latter around the LAC. Besides, China recently spoke against the Indian government following the remarks of the now-suspended BJP spokespersons against Prophet Mohammed. Another issue that India has been trying to resolve with China is the granting of visas to over 23,000 Indian students enrolled in Chinese universities.
The theme of the summit is ‘Foster High-quality BRICS partnership, usher in New Era for Global Development’. According to China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, the summit will discuss the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran said nothing substantive could be expected from the summit.
“The summit is being held virtually so the awkwardness of our PM meeting the Chinese president will be avoided. However, the optics of Modi meeting both Putin and Xi Jinping — both considered villains by the West — will be viewed negatively. I don’t think anything substantive will be achieved in the current environment but India’s persistence in maintaining its presence in a number of regional and international platforms underscores that India’s range of interests today demands various interest-based coalitions rather than exclusive partnerships,” he said.
The LAC bottleneck
The summit is unlikely to bring anything major on the table for India as there are many unresolved issues between India and China, especially the infrastructure and military build-up by the PLA along the Line of Actual Control