Looking forward to ‘productive’ discussions at BRICS: Modi

Looking forward to ‘productive’ discussions at BRICS: Modi

(L-R) Brazil’s President Michel Temer, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African President Jacob Zuma pose infront of a sand sculpture ahead of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit in Benaulim, in the western state of Goa, India, October 15, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui


New Delhi, September 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said he is looking forward to “productive” discussions at the BRICS summit, which is set to start in Xiamen, China, from Sunday.


In a statement posted on Facebook and Twitter, the Prime Minister also mentioned his visit to Myanmar after the BRICS summit, and hoped it would deepen bilateral cooperation.


Prime Minister Modi will be in China for the BRICS summit from September 3-5, and will be in Myanmar from September 5-7.


“India had the privilege of hosting the previous Summit in Goa in October last year. I look forward to building upon the results and outcomes of the Goa Summit. I also look forward to productive discussions and positive outcomes that will support the agenda of a stronger BRICS partnership under the chairmanship of China,” Modi said.


“We will also interact with the BRICS Business Council represented by captains of industry from all five countries. In addition, I look forward to engaging with leaders of nine other countries, including BRICS partners, in an Emerging Markets and Developing Countries Dialogue, hosted by President Xi Jinping on September 5,” the Prime Minister said.


Modi said he will also meet leaders bilaterally on the sidelines of the summit.


Modi is likely to have a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the summit, which comes shortly after a period of increased tension following a two-and-half month long standoff between their forces in Doklam, along the Sikkim border, and a scuffle between their troops in Ladakh on August 15.


“India attaches high importance to the role of BRICS that has begun a second decade of its partnership for progress and peace. BRICS has important contributions to make in addressing global challenges and upholding world peace and security,” Modi said.


In another post he mentioned his visit to Myanmar, and said he is looking forward to meeting President U Htin Kyaw as also Foreign Affairs Minister Aung San Suu Kyi.


Modi said during the visit, the two sides will review developments in bilateral relations, especially the extensive programme of development cooperation and socio-economic assistance that India is undertaking in Myanmar. New areas to work together will also be explored.


“We will also look at strengthening our existing cooperation on security and counter-terrorism, trade and investment, skill development, infrastructure and energy, and culture,” Modi said.


The Prime Minister added he is looking forward to visiting the famed heritage city of Bagan, where the Archaeological Survey of India has renovated the Ananda Temple, and will be undertaking further restoration work on a number of pagodas and murals that were damaged in last year’s earthquake.


“I will end my visit in Yangon, where I look forward to visiting various historical spots that symbolise the shared heritage of India and Myanmar. I am also keen to meet and interact with the Indian-origin community of Myanmar, whose history goes back more than a century,” he said.


“I am confident that the visit will open a bright new chapter in India-Myanmar relations and will help in charting a roadmap for closer cooperation between our governments, our business communities and at the people-to-people level,” Modi added.


BRICS summit begins Sunday; Modi-Xi meet will be focal point


Xiamen (China), September 2 (IANS) The three-day BRICS summit is set to begin on Sunday in China’s southwestern city of Xiamen where India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are likely to meet on the sidelines.


Although economic, security and other multilateral issues will figure in the annual meet of the five-member grouping, a probable one-on-one between Modi and Xi will be a focal point, especially after the protracted military standoff along the Sino-India border in Doklam.


“Since the (Doklam) dispute has been resolved, the Xiamen meeting (bilateral meet between Modi and Xi) will be a turning point,” Wang Dehua, an expert at one of China’s top think tanks the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told IANS.


Wang, who was one of the Chinese experts threatening India with war during the standoff at Doklam, said “there was no reason for India and China to be hostile to each other”.


“I always advocate ‘Chindia’ which is integration of China and India. I think it is a turning point. If we work together, the world will listen to us,” Wang said.


The troops of India and China were locked in an over two-month standoff over stopping construction of a Chinese road by the Indian Army in Doklam, at the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan.


The dispute, which had begun to threaten the success of the BRICS summit, was resolved on Monday.


“It’s good news that Modi is coming, but the reasons causing such kind of stand-offs increase strategic mistrust,” Hu Shisheng, director of the Institute of South and Southeast Asia and Oceania Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, told IANS.


Asked about the issues he expects that will figure in the meet, Hu said: They (Modi and Xi) should give a kind of signal that this standoff does not happen again.”


When questioned what if Modi raises India’s concerns over terrorism emanating from Pakistan, Hu said: “This is the time of recovery. They will meet in the general way to discuss bilateral issues.”


“It will take some time to recover from the damage,” he said referring to the face-off.


China has ruled out discussion on India’s concerns over terrorism emanating from Pakistan at the summit.


This is one of the thorny issues between India and China.


Beijing’s Belt and Road project, whose key artery the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passes through a disputed Kashmir area claimed by India, is another sore point between the two nations.


Issues like counter-terrorism and the global financial crisis will also come for up discussion.


The proposed BRICS rating agency will be one of the key issues at the 9th meet of the grouping, which will be chaired by Xi.


The five-member bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa was formed in 2006. They comprise 42 percent of the world’s population, have 23 percent of global GDP and 17 percent share in world trade. The theme of the ninth BRICS summit is `Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future’.