Updated: October 5, 2020 7:31:06 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will come face-to-face with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time amid the standoff along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh during a virtual BRICS summit on November 17. Russia on Monday formally announced the date of the 12th BRICS summit, which PM Modi and Xi are expected to attend through video conference.
The theme of this year’s summit is “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth”. Established in 2009, BRICS represents the collective voice of the Global South with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa as its members.
While there has been no sign of any major breakthrough in border talks, both the armies are preparing to dig in for the winter. India and China have around 50,000 troops each in the region, along with additional artillery, tanks and air defence assets. India wants troops from both sides to move back to their positions of April-end.
China and India have hardened their stances since September 21. China had said last week that it does not recognise the new Union Territory of Ladakh, and that it is opposed to India building infrastructure there “for military control purposes”. The External Affairs Ministry had stated that India has “never accepted the so-called unilaterally defined 1959 Line of Actual Control”, and that it is “untenable”.
PM Modi had sent then out a strong message to Beijing when he visited Ladakh in July after 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in clashes with Chinese troops on June 15. Modi said the “era of expansionism is over” and “history is witness that such forces have been wiped out, or have been forced to turn around”. Underlining that valour and strength are a precondition for peace, Modi reminded troops that “India has emerged stronger after every attack”.
“In the centuries past, expansionism has tried to destroy mankind. Whenever anyone has been driven by expansionism, world peace has been threatened,” he said.
“History is witness that such forces have been wiped out, or have been forced to turn around. This has been the global experience. Based on that experience, the entire world decided against expansionism. Today the world is committed to development and welcomes competition in development,” he had said.
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