BRICS Caught Between India and China by Global Risk Insights
The 8th annual BRICS summit, held in Goa, once again exposed geopolitical fault lines which divide the diverse grouping.
The latest meeting of the BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — came to an end with India reasserting that all BRICS nations were united in the global threat posed by terrorism. This cohesive stance was, however, taken after President Modi, without mentioning names, referred to Pakistan as the “mother-ship of terrorism.”
Indeed, India used the BRICS platform as a way to steer the group’s political views while simultaneously stirring tension with China. This was not the first disagreement that the two economic powerhouses have displayed over the neighboring state of Pakistan, and once again the cohesion and stability of the BRICS is under question.
Modi tries to steer the BRICS
Most notably in President Modi’s remarks, India proposed that the BRICS joint declaration include the names of terrorist groups headquartered in Pakistan, such as Jaish-e-Mohammed. India has a tense relationship with Pakistan; it has condemned the state in the past for harboring terrorists and threatening the security of Asia. It became apparent that India was using the BRICS platform as a way of expressing its own political views, and Modi was trying to encourage the BRICS nations to adopt similar stances.
This did not go over well with the other nations, and China offered a strong opposition to India’s position. Hua Chunying, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, said that “everyone knows that India and Pakistan are victims of terrorism. Pakistan has made a huge effort and great sacrifices in fighting terrorism. I think that the international community should respect this.”
Hua also remarked that although China is committed to fighting terrorism, it opposes the linking of terrorism to a particular country, ethnicity, or religion. Although India may have expected the support from Russia on the issue of Pakistani-sponsored terror, Vladimir Putin openly opposed India’s position.