In Fortaleza to attend the BRICS Summit, Mr. Modi and Mr.
Xi met for 80 minutes – extending beyond the scheduled 40 minutes.
China’s President Xi Jinping on Tuesday invited Prime
Minister Narendra Modi to visit China in November and called for a
“negotiated resolution” to the boundary dispute “at an early date”.
China had invited Mr. Modi to attend the APEC leaders’
meeting in Beijing in November. However, with scheduled SAARC and G20
meetings that same month, the visit may take place at a later date.
Mr. Xi called for a “negotiated solution to the border
issues at an early date”
Prime Minister Modi said that maintaining peace and
tranquility on the border was essential for resolving the issue and India is
willing to peacefully settle the boundary issue through exisiting mechanisms
and friendly negotiations.
The Prime Minister also referred to India and China’s
common civilisational heritage, and links through Buddhism, and called for
both countries to do more together to tackle their common challenge of
The Chinese President said he wanted both countries to
launch “a batch of exemplary projects” in infrastructure, such as railway
construction, to enable more balanced and sustainable trade. The rising
trade deficit in China’s favour, reaching $ 29 billion last year, was raised
by Mr. Modi.
Mr. Xi also said China welcomed India to join its
initiative to set up a new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a
founding member, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
BRICS countries ironed out their differences over the
announcement of the BRICS bank and the contingent reserve fund. The two
economic initiatives are the major announcements of the Fortaleza
Shanghai won out as the location for the headquarters for
the BRICS bank with equal shareholding for all BRICS members. India would
assume the first presidency of the bank, which would be named, as per the
Indian suggestion, the “New Development Bank”.
The NDB, to be headquartered in Shanghai, will have an
initial authorised capital of $100 billion and an initial subscribed capital
of $50 billion equally shared by the five member countries.
What has clouded the bank’s future in recent months is
the unexpected move by China to push forward the setting up of another
financial institution — the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The AIIB is expected to focus on China and Southeast
Asia, while the BRICS bank effort which would emphasise projects in the
member countries and in Africa.
The AIIB move is being seen as an effort by China to
challenge the influence of Japan in the region, as seen in Japanese
influence in the functioning of the Asian Development Bank.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said that The U.N.
Security Council and the IMF are in need of “urgent reform”.
He also pitched for a common outlook on global crises
such as the conflict in Israel, Syria and Iraq, and called for BRICS
countries to help “Afghanistan fight the forces of terrorism.” He said that
cyber security was a priority for BRICS countries, and called for a united
stand on “zero terrorism”.
Mr. Modi invoked mantra of “Vasudaiv kutumbakam” (the
global family), and called for more “people to people” ties within the BRICS
countries, including a BRICS university, more travel, scientific exchanges
and sharing of healthcare facilities.
Despite an aggressive counter campaign by the British and
Americans, the Indian side is firm about wrapping up the Rafale deal.
The Rafale has made the grade because it is a safer
twin-engine aircraft, which the IAF wants to fly for the next 40 years.
The French have modified the Rafale for atomic weapon
delivery, which opens up the possibility of its role in imparting “second
strike” capability, which is central for validating India’s posture of
credible nuclear deterrence.
Presently Russia’s Su-30 MKI forming the core of the
IAF’s strike force, supplemented by the air superiority Mirage-2000 jets and
the Jaguar bombers.
Russia is fast losing its dominance in Indian skies as
the Indian Air Force, instead of another batch of IL-78 air-to-air
refuellers, which are central for extending the strike range of fighter
aircraft, the IAF has declared its preference for the French A330 MRTT
Anticipating a loss of turf, the Russians are,
nevertheless showing signs of mounting a riposte by developing weapons in
partnership with Indian companies, taking advantage of the 49 per cent stake
that foreign companies are now allowed in Indian defence industry.