India Scores A Win Over China At The BRICS Summit
The 2017 annual summit of BRICS was held at Ziamen in China and was presided by the State heads of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS summit proved a clear victory for India, as terror was placed with determination on the discussion table. The five nations of the BRICS adopted a joint declaration that blasted the Pakistan –based terror groups Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) plus Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) for the first time.
Inspite of China’s great distress and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s assertion prior to the summit that BRICS is not the exact forum for terror discussion, terror was brought up on the negotiation table. The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi was pepped up by his result oriented Doklam strategy and was correct in ignoring Xi Jinping’s advice of not mentioning terror in the summit. It was a major diplomatic win for India to find the mention of JeM and Let in the joint declaration of Xiamen. It was also the first time that such a statement was signed by China that named the terrorist groups located in Pakistan.
An interesting aspect was the mentioning of the Panchsheel Agreement and the 5 Principles of coexisting peacefully. It hinted at the efforts to improve bilateral relations after the faceoff at Doklam. Both India and China are the most significant members of the BRICS group and the main motivators of their bilateral ties had been trade plus economics.
As a matter of fact, sensitive geopolitical matters have dominated presently over their more resourceful aspects. Moreover, China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) push and the anxiety of India over the Economic Corridor between China and Pakistan (CPEC) are the main roadblocks in the mutual ties. Above all, both the two nations presented evident diplomatic maturity at the BRICS summit and created grounds for multilateral partnership on varied issues, thus making it a beneficial summit.
China had in its plans to employ BRICS as a countermeasure to Western influence emanating from organizations such as NATO, OCED plus G7. China has a greater economy compared to the other four countries of the BRICS put collectively. That advantage has allowed China to hijack in itself the de facto control over BRICS. It however, faces a stumbling block as India, which is the second biggest economic power is not in tune with it. The Doklam confrontation has ended, relatively to make way for a hassle free BRICS meet at Xiamen. China however, had to suffer humiliation as it had to stop it’s road-building plans which was the reason as why the Indian troops had to enter Doklam.
A loss of face is always not taken as favorable by the Chinese as they feel that it would encourage the smaller Asian nations whom they have bullied effectively to challenge them. With economic slide faced by Brazil and South Africa, and the economy of Russia getting impacted by the Western sanctions and declining oil and gas rates, China remains troubled by BRICS emerging as a bipolar conclave between India and China. It is something that the egotistical leadership of Beijing is very uncomfortable about and hence it has raised the bogey of expanding BRICS to include larger emerging economies that can fulfill its global ambitions.
India on the other hand has obstructed such Chinese proposal of BRICS expansion. So far, India strategically accepts the India-China duality that emerged in its favor at BRICS. To gain some saving grace, China extended invitation to five nations that includes Mexico, Tajikistan, Egypt, Thailand and Guinea for the BRICS summit ahead as its “outreach” plan. A cautious omission was made of Pakistan.
The Takeaways For India
BRICS from the Indian perspective served a more detailed purpose. India has arrived as a major player inside the BIMSTEC and SAARC arena. BIMSTEC has flocked closely the nations of the Bay of Bengal area and fairly includes Myanmar where Prime Minister immediately landed after the BRICS forum. The refugee issue relating to Myanmar’s Rohingya also requires a quick and sensitive handling and as a significant BIMSTEC member, India can utilize the summit that includes besides Myanmar, Bangladesh where more than 80,000 Rohingyas had escaped and also set right the border problems as well with both the nations.
So far as China is concerned, the present status of BRICS fails to meet its global plans. Beijing desires to use its economic as well as geopolitical dominance in a curve extending from the South China Sea towards Europe plus Africa. It wants to achieve this through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that comprises of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) and the CPEC that is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The resistance of India towards both BRI and OBOR angers the Chinese in the same way as the visit of Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh does. Beijing is terribly upset at its helplessness to act on both the way it wants to.
The visit of the Japanese head of the State, Shinzo Abe is all the more likely to irritate China when he will reach India to inaugurate the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) that is viewed as a contrast to OBOR and it will connect Asia and Africa on trade, individual contacts and also on infrastructure. The geopolitical aspirations of India are getting strongly defined with its plans of developing a north-south corridor with Iran and Russia for a close link between Asia and Europe.
The tri-alliance between India, US and Japan is also causing displeasure to Beijing and is posing a threat to its monopoly that it wants to have. The hydrogen bomb testing carried out by North Korea has brought its aide China into direct conflict with the United States which has cautioned Beijing with trade sanctions.
Above all, Narendra Modi as a practical statesman considers BRICS as the only volley in his arsenal to fire along with the others like BIMSTEC, SCO and SAARC along with the latest two corridors connecting India to Africa plus Europe. Above all, the BRICS conclave at Xiamen has asserted that Xi Jinping has found his match in Narendra Modi.