News analysis |
India is seemingly thrilled by the Joint Declaration of the BRICS Summit which ended today in the eastern Chinese city of Xiamen. Delhi is euphoric because the Declaration has mentioned the names of alleged terror outfits in Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba, and that Pakistan’s all-weather friend, China did not object to it, something which it in the last summit held in Goa.
The Joint Declaration among other things condemned terrorism in all forms and manifestations. The statement read:”We, in this regard, express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir.
However, China had already indicated that BRICS will be bolstered by garnering support from member-nations. To that effect, the Chinese Foreign Minister had expressed his desire to tag along with India despite differences.
While the statement has not mentioned Pakistan, India considers it as a major tactical victory. There are a few reasons as to why Delhi is ecstatic for now. After being embroiled in a potentially dangerous standoff at Doklam which ended days before the summit, it was expected that tensions between India and China would mar the conference but it didn’t happen. Moreover, China and Russia had resisted the inclusion of LET and JM in the GOA Summit last year, so India considers it a great breakthrough. India has another reason to be elated which pertains to China’s full fledged support to Pakistan over Trump new Afghan policy. India seemingly is chuffed because it dissuaded China from accentuating Pakistan’s fight against terrorism.
However, China had already indicated that BRICS will be bolstered by garnering support from member-nations. To that effect, the Chinese Foreign Minister had expressed his desire to tag along with India despite differences. “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.
It is difficult to conclude that the BRICS Declaration will paper over these differences. If anything, China and Pakistan have agreed to jointly work towards an amicable solution to the Afghan quagmire, much to the detriment of Trump’s new policy.
Many bones of contention
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.
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It is difficult to conclude that the BRICS Declaration will paper over these differences. If anything, China and Pakistan have agreed to jointly work towards an amicable solution to the Afghan quagmire, much to the detriment of Trump’s new policy. Such a modus vivendi was reflected in the Xiamen Declaration too. The statement read:”There is a need for immediate cessation of violence. We reaffirm our support to the people of Afghanistan in their efforts to achieve “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace and national reconciliation, to the ongoing international efforts, including the Moscow Format of consultations on Afghanistan and “Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process”. This plan has only been shunned by India and the US while two BRICS countries in China and Russia along with Pakistan and Iran have fully embraced this idea.
Beijing’s tacit approval of inducting JM and LET in the Declaration is an attempt to woo India for BRICS Plus. “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. So Delhi has to take everything into account before arriving at early conclusions. If anything, the centrality of CPEC to OBOR has locked China and Pakistan in an irrevocable marriage.