Despite Border Standoff, China Supports ‘Adversary’ India On A Key Geopolitical Issue At BRICS Summit 2021

India’s perspective on the ongoing developments in Afghanistan and the region was supported by China, Russia, South Africa, and Brazil at the BRICS Summit 2021, according to India’s foreign ministry.

The summit was held in the backdrop of a more than a year-long border standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh.  

The BRICS Summit, which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was held virtually on September 9. The meeting was attended by all BRICS leaders — Brazil President Jair Bolsanaro, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“There was a very strong condemnation of terrorism and that the Afghan territory should not be used either for terrorism or for drug trafficking and that it should not become a problem in the neighborhood”, said Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary Consular, Passport, Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs (CPV&OIA). 

BRICS summit
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairing the BRICS Summit 2021, on September 9.

“There is a strong reference to the Afghan issue in the ‘New Delhi Declaration’. There is a strong sense of consensus which is supportive of our perspective on the developments in Afghanistan and the region”, he said during a virtual briefing..

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit also discussed the humanitarian aspect in Afghanistan, Bhattacharya said. “The role of the UN Security Council was also referred to in the context of Afghanistan”, he added. Leaders of the BRICS nations reportedly adopted the ‘New Delhi Declaration’ during the virtual meet.

They called for the settlement of the Afghan crises through “peaceful means” and highlighted the importance of fighting terrorism. They stressed the importance of preventing the attempts made by terrorist organizations to use Afghan soil as a terrorist sanctuary and plan and execute attacks against other countries, ANI reported.

In the declaration of the summit, the leaders strongly condemned terrorism in all its “forms and manifestations whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed”.

“They committed to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the cross-border movement of terrorists, and terrorism financing networks and safe-havens”, the declaration read.

The BRICS leaders called for “refraining from violence and settling the situation by peaceful means in Afghanistan, through an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue so as to ensure stability, civil peace, law and order in the country”, with respect to the issues in Afghanistan.

BRICS Summit 2021

The XIII BRICS summit was held virtually on September 9 under the chairmanship of India. The Afghanistan crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic were believed to be the “hot-topics” for discussion during the summit. BRICS nations are expected to evaluate the prospects of strategic partnership within the “five” members, including joint steps to combat the spread of coronavirus infection.

It is believed that member states will also discuss international and regional agendas with an emphasis on the situation in Afghanistan. “The main agreements will be reflected in the final declaration,” the press service of the Russian leader said.

As specified by the Indian Foreign Ministry, the summit was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The theme of the event is “BRICS 15th Anniversary: Five-way Cooperation of Countries in the Interest of Ensuring Continuity, Strengthening Interaction and the Principle of Consensus”.

For the period of its chairmanship, India has identified several priority areas within the framework of the association including – fight against terrorism, the use of digital and technological tools to achieve sustainable development goals, and the strengthening of humanitarian contacts, the Foreign Ministry said.