BRICS Summit: PM Modi, Xi to hold first bilateral meeting post Doklam today

According to external affairs ministry officials, Modi will meet Xi at 12.30 pm (10 am IST), the Prime Minister’s last official engagement before flying off to Myanmar on a bilateral visit.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2017 09:07 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Xiamen
PM Modi,Xi Jinping,Narendra Modi
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) welcomes Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a banquet dinner during the BRICS Summit in Xiamen on Monday.(AFP)

The road ahead of the Doklam impasse will likely be the broad focus of discussions when PM Narendra Modi meets President Xi Jinping at the end of the 9th BRICS Summit at the southeastern coastal city of Xiamen on Tuesday.

The troops of the two countries were engaged in a 72-day standoff at Doklam near the mountainous India-China border at Sikkim, and were “disengaged” last Monday, giving the leaders an opportunity to chart a course forward.

Even if the two leaders look at the broader framework of bilateral ties, the standoff and its resolution will possibly be a starting point for the conversation — it will give diplomats and officials of the two countries to the take the initiative forward.

There was considerable buzz about the meeting between Modi and Xi ahead of the Summit, especially because both are looked upon as strong leaders with popularity and influence.

Foreign diplomats and journalists attending the summit are keen to follow how Modi and Xi take India-China ties forward and provide leadership to the BRICS despite bilateral differences.

The atmosphere for the meeting was suitably smoothened — at least for India — by Monday’s Xiamen Declaration for this BRICS summit which bracketed Pakistan-based terror groups JeM and LeT with ISIL and Taliban.

It was the first time anti-India groups have been named in a BRICS declaration although the five-country grouping has denounced terror in the past. In the run-up to the summit in Xiamen, China’s foreign ministry had even suggested the counter-terror efforts of its “iron brother” ally Pakistan would not be an appropriate topic for discussion.

That’s not a guarantee that China and India will now be on the same page on counter-terrorism especially where, as far as New Delhi’s contention is, Pakistan is involved

Interestingly, it actually wasn’t the first time that the Pakistan-based groups were put in the same group with ISIL at a multilateral forum: the first time was in the Amritsar Declaration released at the end of the 6th Ministerial Conference Of Heart Of Asia, a mechanism to discuss regional and security issues.

“We remain concerned by the gravity of the security situation in Afghanistan in particular, and the region, and the high level of violence caused by the Taliban, terrorist groups including ISIL/DAISH and its affiliates, the Haqqani Network, Al Qaida, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, East Turkistan Islamic Movement, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Jundullah and other foreign terrorist fighters,” the declaration said.

The declaration was incidentally endorsed by both Pakistan and China.

However, in the months after endorsing the declaration, China, at least twice, blocked India’s efforts to get JeM chief, Masood Azhar, banned at the UN Security Council.

Also Read:Chinese reporter sings old Bollywood song during BRICS summit, Twitter finds her ‘adorable’

First Published: Sep 04, 2017 22:07 IST