Hamburg: Amid increased tension between India and China on developments near Sikkim, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday appreciated momentum in the BRICS bloc under the Chinese chairmanship and extended full cooperation for the grouping's upcoming summit to be hosted by Beijing.
Speaking at an informal meeting of BRICS leaders here on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, Modi also called upon the group leaders to show leadership in fighting terrorism and boosting global economic growth. Chinese President Xi Jinping, speaking right after Modi, also appreciated the momentum witnessed at the BRICS bloc during India's chairmanship before it was passed on to China. The two leaders met in the sidelines of the summit and shook hands.
The leaders of five BRICS countries -- which also included Russia's Vladimir Putin -- discussed preparedness and priorities for the forthcoming 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China, in September. Xi said he looked forward to welcoming the BRICS leaders. Modi said BRICS has been a strong voice and needs to show leadership on terrorism and global economy, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs after the meeting.
"G20 should collectively oppose terrorism financing, franchises, safe havens, support and sponsors," Modi said. Referring to the reforms in India, including the recent introduction of GST, he stated that it is necessary to work together for sustained global economic recovery. He advocated collective voice against the practices of protectionism, especially in the spheres of trade and movement of knowledge and professionals.
Besides, Modi reiterated India's commitment to implementing the Paris agreement in letter and spirit and described its implementation globally as essential to fighting climate change. He called for expeditious action to establish a BRICS rating agency and stated that cooperation on development of Africa should be a priority. While stressing on the need for greater people-to-people exchanges, the prime minister appreciated momentum in BRICS under the chairmanship of Xi and extended full cooperation and best wishes for the BRICS Xiamen Summit.
Modi started his speech by thanking Xi for his welcome and hosting the meeting. "Under Xi's chairmanship, the progress and positive momentum of BRICS has further deepened our cooperation," Modi said. The prime minister, who spoke in Hindi, also said "lastly, I extend my best wishes and full cooperation to President Xi Jinping for the upcoming ninth BRICS Summit".
China and India have been engaged in a stand-off in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction after a Chinese Army's construction party attempted to build a road. The stand-off is near Sikkim section.
Concluding the meeting immediately after the Prime Minister's remarks, Xi appreciated India's strong resolve against terrorism and the momentum in BRICS introduced under India's chairmanship and through the outcomes of the Goa Summit in 2016. He also appreciated India's success in economic and social development and wished India even bigger success.