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After the amicable resolution of a border standoff, India and China will face-off at the BRICS Summit next week in eastern China. The annual BRICS summit will be attended by the leader of the five nation in South Africa, Russia, Brazil, India, and China. The Summit has gained much more traction and attention after the sudden end to the Doklam issue was attributed to the summit.

Though BRICS aims to work towards a vision where it can play a pronounced role in global affairs, the Indo-Sino tiff can overshadow these aspirations.

Read more: BRICS And Walls

A brazen China

There is still a chance for BRICS to be an important platform where both countries can cooperate in more meaningful ways, despite differences

The most plausible explanation given to the abrupt end to the Doklam issue is that China didn’t want a disruption in the Summit in the shape of a boycott from the Indian premier. However, India, on the other hand, may have been compelled to attend the summit in a bid to counter China’s BRICS plus idea. Exercising its prerogative as the host country, China has invited five non-BRICS countries to attend the Xiamen summit but this will be a temporary arrangement limited to this summit.

While the MEA in Delhi said that the country has withdrawn troops, China was rather boisterous and claimed that it has evicted transgressors. “On the afternoon on August 28, India has pulled back all trespassing personnel and equipment to the Indian side of the boundary. Chinese personnel on the ground have verified this. The Chinese side will continue to exercise its sovereignty and uphold territorial integrity in accordance with the historical conventions,” added foreign ministry spokeswoman on Monday.

Read more: China hopeful that India has learned its lessons from Doklam

Perhaps BRICS and SCO are not meant to iron out differences but to allow cooperation in spite of them

In a  press conference on Wednesday, foreign minister Wang Yi said: “Of course we hope the Indian side will learn lessons from this incident and prevent similar things from happening again.”

BRICS Plus postponed

China has held back the BRICS Plus plan for now as it has not been able to convince the other members. “We need to have some further explanation about BRICS Plus to help people better understand the rationale of this idea,” Wang said. However, he expressed the importance and the need to further strengthen BRICS as a counterweight to Western domineering influence.

Trade-related issues can be discussed but still, BRICS need a strong mechanism to limit the impact of bad blood between the two giants

“It’s in the interests of all sides to strengthen cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries through BRICS; therefore, China has proposed the BRICS plus concept based on past experiences,” Wang said. Analysts opine that China wants to expand its clout through inducing more countries that align with its worldview.

Read more: A ‘new normal’ in the South China Sea

Beijing’s top diplomat also said that despite differences there is huge potential for cooperation. “What’s important is that we put these problems in the appropriate place, and appropriately handle and control them in the spirit of mutual respect and based on the consensus of both countries’ leaders,” Wang said.

There are concerns that the summit will be marred by strained Indo-Sino ties. Both countries have reasons to be skeptical of each other

Analysts label the delay in the institution of BRICS Plus as a tactical victory for India. However, there are concerns that the summit will be marred by strained Indo-Sino ties. Both countries have reasons to be skeptical of each other. India’s growing ties with the Dalai Lama and those with the US are a cause of concern for China. Meanwhile, India is distraught at China’s CPEC project with Pakistan; its rejection of India’s seats in the UNSC and the NSG.

Read more: Russia-China-India triangle – then and now

However, there is still a chance for BRICS to be an important platform where both countries can cooperate in more meaningful ways, despite differences. Trade-related issues can be discussed but still, BRICS need a strong mechanism to limit the impact of bad blood between the two giants. Perhaps BRICS and SCO are not meant to iron out differences but to allow cooperation in spite of them.

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