A day after China, the current chair of the BRICS, indicated “widening” of the five-nation grouping during its summit later this year, India on Thursday said it awaits details of the Chinese suggestion. Maintaining that BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China) is an important platform, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said, “We await details of the Chinese suggestion.”
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He was replying to a query on Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s comments in Beijing yesterday that the grouping will build a platform for “south-south” cooperation, exploring a ‘BRICS-plus’ model by holding talks with other developing countries to establish a more extensive partnership.
“We will widen the circle of friends and turn BRICS into the most-influential platform for south-south cooperation in the world,” Wang had said.
Baglay also noted that every BRICS Chair in its turn has arranged outreach alongside BRICS events and brought a flavor of its geography to the participants. India had chaired the BRICS summit last year in Goa and also held BIMSTEC meet as part of its outreach event.
This year’s summit is scheduled to be held in September in the southeastern Xiamen city of China. Asked about China’s warning to India against visit of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh, the spokesperson said India’s position on the issue is consistent.
“He is a revered religious figure who is treated as such by the government and the people of India. The government has no say in his travels within India and no political meaning should be attached to them as such,” Baglay said.
During a briefing in Beijing last week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had warned India against allowing the visit, saying it would cause “serious damage” to the bilateral ties and peace in the “disputed” border region.
“China is gravely concerned over information that India has granted permission to the Dalai to visit Arunachal Pradesh,” Geng had said.