India and China have put up a united front in the BRICS summit. Both have proposed a revival of the Panchsheel principles of peaceful cooperation.
What is the significance of the BRICS meet for India and China?
- India and China have signaled that they are trying to put the bitterness of the past few months behind them.
- The tenor of the meetings between the two leaders was particularly remarkable given that the long Doklam military stand-off was resolved just a week ago.
Consensus arrived at the meet
- Both countries expressed similar views about resisting economic protectionism of the kind that the Trump administration in the U.S. has been espousing.
- BRICS countries have together committed to an “open and inclusive” multilateral trading system.
- Another area of consonance was the North Korean nuclear tests.
- China’s nod to the inclusion of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed among the terrorist groups threatening regional stability, and its choosing not to speak of the contentious Belt and Road Initiative at the summit suggested it was heeding India’s concerns.
- With the BRICS meet concluded, it is important that Indian and Chinese officials re-engage in a sustained manner to address all areas of discord which led to the charged situation at Doklam.
- Both must review where the border defense standard operating procedures failed.
- The two countries must convene the delayed meeting of the Special Representatives, and add the latest claims and counterclaims over the Sikkim boundary and the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction to the agenda for discussions.
It is important that the gains of the BRICS summit in terms of the India-China bilateral atmospherics are optimized.