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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

China gets BRICS bank, India to be its first head

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 16, 2014
First Published: 00:56 IST(16/7/2014) | Last Updated: 10:14 IST(16/7/2014)

China is likely to get its way on having the BRICS bank headquartered in Shanghai while India, which wanted it based in New Delhi, will have to settle for a first shot at its presidency.

This was the indication as hectic negotiations over the joint development bank, which aims to challenge western dominance over global finances, continued Tuesday. It came in the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi starting his first multilateral engagement with a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza.

Read: BRICS to create development bank, 'mini-IMF

Indian sources said there was an understanding that each country would have a shareholding of $10 billion in the bank, which will have a rotational five-year presidency. Negotiations to create the bank have dragged on for more than two years with Brazil and India fighting Chinese attempts to get a bigger share in the lender.

Watch: Modi asks Chinese prez to resolve border dispute on priority

Just three hours after his arrival in Brazil for the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit, Modi and Xi spoke for 80 minutes — overshooting the scheduled 40 minutes — on a range of issues, including the boundary issue. In a significant move, Xi invited Modi to the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting being hosted by China in November. India has never attended an APEC summit, though it has long sought to become a member.

“This is the first time India has been invited to an APEC meeting. We take this as a very serious and important invitation,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.

Read: China invites Narendra Modi for Asia-Pacific trade group summit, but rivalry continues

There were also indications from the Chinese side that it would support full membership for India in the regional grouping of the Shanghazi Cooperation Organisation. “The Chinese President mentioned that he looked forward to India working more deeply with the SCO,” the spokesperson added.

Russian president Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and Chinese president Xi Jinping pose for the photo session during the 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil. (AFP photo)

Modi, on his part, pressed for early resolution of the border dispute, saying an amicable settlement would be an example to the world. “Both sides emphasised the need to find a solution to the boundary question. The PM stressed the importance of strengthening mutual trust and confidence and maintaining peace and tranquility,” said a statement issued by the PMO.

New Delhi and Beijing have held 17 rounds of special representative talks aimed at resolving the issue. China claims Arunanchal Pradesh as its own while India says China occupies 38,000sqkm of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the western sector.

Read: Let’s join hands to end terror, crisis in Iraq: Modi to BRICS

Among other things, Modi suggested an additional route for the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra in Tibet, keeping in view the difficult terrain, while Xi talked about expanding the market for Indian exports and more Chinese tourist visiting India.

“The PM stressed on economic linkages, spoke about infrastructure cooperation. References were made to industrial parks and the need to address trade deficit,” Akbaruddin said.

Earlier, Modi — dressed in a light maroon bandhgala — was received by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. The two chatted briefly before posing for photos.

With agency inputs


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