Thursday, September 15, 2016

BRICS meet in New Delhi to focus on security issues

China has signalled that it wants the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping to acquire a larger security dimension, ahead of the departure to New Delhi of State Councillor, Yang Jiechi for a meeting of the national security advisers of the five emerging countries.

“The Chinese side would like to see BRICS countries play a bigger role in international and regional security issues, step up coordination and cooperation on major issues concerning security and contribute to peace, prosperity and stability of the world,” said Hua Chunying, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson.

The National Security Adviser Ajit Doval would be hosting the meeting that starts on Thursday.
Ms. Hua stressed that the participants will discuss counter-terrorism, cyber-security, energy security, situation in West Asia and North Africa as well as other international and regional issues of common interest.

Analysts say that the BRICS countries are expected to converge on a common approach of battling the Islamic State, in its breeding grounds in Syria, Iraq and its permeation in other parts of the world including South Asia and China’s Xinjiang province. Terrorism emanating from the Afghanistan-Pakistan zone is also expected to be high on the agenda.

The meeting follows the culmination of China-Russia Strategic Security Consultations, hosted by Mr. Yang and China’s public security head Meng Jianzhu. The Russian side was represented by Security Council Secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, who is also heading for talks in New Delhi. The foreign ministry spokesperson pointed out that the bilateral dialogue with Russia covered the scope of security cooperation among the BRICS countries as well as the fluid situation in Central Asia. This has been underscored by the recent terror attack on the Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan and the political transition in Uzbekistan following the death of country’s President, Islam Karimov. The Ferghana valley on the tri-junction of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan is a well-known channel for the movement of terrorists and contraband.

The Moscow-Beijing dialogue coincided with the ongoing joint naval exercises by the two countries in the South China Sea.“We have been able to reach an unprecedentedly high level of interaction between Russia and China in all spheres," Tass news agency quoted Mr. Patrushev said.

Mr. Doval is also holding separate talks both with Mr. Patrushev and Mr. Yang. Sino-Indian ties appear to have been rebooted following talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hangzhou earlier this month.

The meeting has been followed by official level talks in New Delhi on India’s bid to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Last month, the two sides had also established an omnibus mechanism headed by the Foreign Secretary and China’s Vice-Foreign Minister to discuss all thorny issues that crop up between the two countries.

With Russia, Mr. Doval is expected to take up the leasing of another Akula class nuclear submarine, in addition to possible tie-ups in the arena of outer space and nuclear energy.

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