Modi listening, Xi: Cold War mentality, bloc confrontation must be abandoned

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WITH THE PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday said the world “must abandon the Cold War mentality” and “bloc confrontation” and “resist unilateral sanctions and the abuse of sanctions.”

Xi’s references to the Cold War and blocs at the annual G5 summit appear to be aimed at NATO and the Square, of which India is a part. And his mention of sanctions seemed to be aimed at getting the US and Europe to contain Russia after the US invasion. Ukraine.

Putin also raised the issue of sanctions, but Modi refrained from making any specific mention and spoke of “managing the global economy” in the context of the pandemic.

“Even though the epidemic has shrunk around the world…many of its detrimental effects are still visible in the global economy. We, the BRICS countries, have a very similar idea of ​​managing the global economy. And so our mutual cooperation can make a useful contribution to the global post-COVID recovery,” Modi said.

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Later, in a carefully worded joint statement, the BRICS leaders said they “support the talks between Russia and Ukraine.” They also pledged to “respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of all states and “peacefully resolve differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation.”

Earlier, Xi, who chaired the summit, said: “We must abandon the mentality of the cold war and bloc confrontation, and oppose unilateral sanctions and the abuse of sanctions. And it’s important that the world recognizes that building a community with a shared future, like an extended family, is much better than building closed circles.”

The reference to “exclusive circles” is also often used in China for groups such as the Quad.

In his speech, Putin said that the BRICS “could find a way out of the crisis” in the global economy due to the “ill-conceived and selfish actions” of some countries that “use financial mechanisms” – a clear reference to Western sanctions.

“I am convinced that… the leadership of the BRICS is relevant for the formation of a truly positive unifying force for the formation of a multipolar system… based on the universal norms of international law and the key principles of the UN Charter,” Putin said.

Modi did not respond to these concerns and did not share them in his statement.

Although the prime minister’s statement was heard by an internal audience, there was a technical glitch that prevented the BRICS leaders from hearing his speech. Xi urged Modi to repeat the opening statement later during the closing speech.

Modi said that the BRICS initiatives, including the establishment of a vaccine research and development center, coordination between customs services, the establishment of a common satellite constellation and the mutual recognition of pharmaceutical products, directly benefit people.

He said that the BRICS youth summits, sports and interaction between civil society organizations and think tanks have strengthened people-to-people contacts.

The virtual summit was also attended by Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The leaders said in a joint statement: “We discussed the situation in Ukraine and recall our national positions expressed in the relevant forums, namely in the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly. We support negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. We also discussed our concerns about the humanitarian situation in and around Ukraine and expressed support for the efforts of the UN Secretary General, UN agencies and the ICRC to provide humanitarian assistance…”.

The statement or declaration has also become an important moment in the context of the war in Ukraine, as well as the border standoff between India and China. “We commit to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states, underline our commitment to the peaceful resolution of differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation, and support all efforts that contribute to the peaceful resolution of crises,” the statement said.

With regard to Afghanistan, the leaders stressed that the territory should not “be used to threaten or attack any country, or to hide or train terrorists, or to plan the financing of terrorist acts.” They stressed the need for all parties to encourage the Afghan authorities to achieve national reconciliation through dialogue and the establishment of an inclusive and representative political structure.

Regarding terrorism, the statement said: “We are committed to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the cross-border movement of terrorists, terrorist financing networks and safe havens. We reiterate that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.”

Modi’s participation in the 14th summit came after New Delhi opted for a virtual summit over an in-person event in China. The decision was made in view of the aggravation of bilateral relations due to a two-year border confrontation in eastern Ladakh.

China is hosting the summit this year as the chair of the BRICS. Beijing has made an attempt to revive bilateral dialogue and set the stage for a BRICS summit in China, where Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi arrives in New Delhi on an unannounced visit on March 24.

Beijing has proposed a series of events to jump-start the dialogue, starting with possible high-level visits from both sides. China’s ultimate and clear goal was to host Modi in a personal summit. But the move failed.

The last BRICS summit in China took place in September 2017 in Xiamen, attended by Modi, shortly after the resolution of the Doklam border standoff. The last face-to-face meeting between Modi and Xi took place in Brazil at the BRICS summit in November 2019.

BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) brings together the five largest developing countries, which account for 41% of the world’s population, 24% of world GDP and 16% of world trade.

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