BEIJING: China on Monday expressed its support for India in hosting this year's BRICS summit and said it will work with New Delhi to strengthen the cooperation among the five-member grouping of emerging economies.
India has assumed the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Chairmanship for 2021 and is set to hold this year's summit. On February 19, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar launched India's BRICS 2021 website at the BRICS Secretariat at Sushma Swaraj Bhawan in New Delhi.
Asked about India assuming the BRICS Chairmanship this year, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing here that Beijing backs New Delhi in hosting the summit. "The BRICS is a cooperation mechanism with global influence consisting of emerging economies and developing countries. In recent years, it has seen greater solidarity and deeper practical cooperation and greater influence," Wang said.
BRICS is now a "positive, stable and constructive force" in international affairs, he said, adding that China attaches importance to this mechanism. "We are committed to deepening strategic partnership within it to consolidate solidarity and cooperation," Wang said.
"We support India hosting this year's meeting and will work with it and other members to strengthen communication dialogue and consolidate the three-pillar cooperation, expand BRICS plus cooperation and work for greater progress under BRICS and also help the world to defeat COVID-19, resume economic growth and improve global governance," he said.
Wang, however, did not specify whether Chinese President Xi Jinping would attend the summit expected to be held later this year. Xi has attended all the annual summits of the five-member bloc in the past, including the one last year hosted by Russia in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi took part.
China's announcement backing India to host the BRICS summit came as the armies of the two countries began disengagement of troops locked in over eight-month-long standoff in eastern Ladakh. Both countries have reached a mutual agreement for disengagement of troops from the most contentious area of North and South Pangong Lake.
Military commanders of both the armies held the 10th round of talks on the Chinese side of the Moldo/Chushul border meeting point on February 20.
A joint statement issued at the end of a lengthy round of talks said the two sides positively appraised the smooth completion of disengagement of frontline troops in the Pangong Lake area, noting that it was a significant step forward that provided a good basis for resolution of other remaining issues along the LAC in the Western Sector.