What India failed to achieve on home turf, during the previous Brics summit in Goa last year, it realised that in far off Xiamen, China. On Monday, the second day of the ongoing Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit, the bloc came up with a joint declaration against terrorism, naming, for the first time, extremist outfits that have harmed Indian interests time and again, along with a host of other subversive entities.
Expressing its resolve to jointly fight terror in all forms, the Brics statement issued on Monday named Jaesh-e-Mohammad (JeM), Lashkar-e-Taiba, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Taliban, Daesh (the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), Al Qaida and its associates, including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network and the Hizb-ut-Tahrir in a list of terror outfits that the bloc considered as constituting a potent threat to global security and stability.
A lack of consensus among the Brics members, primarily at the behest of Beijing, saw the joint statement in Goa steer clear of naming any specific terrorist outfit or organisation.
New Delhi’s frantic attempts to have terror organisations named in the Brics Declaration came to a naught as Beijing stymied the move to hedge support for its strategic alliance in South Asia.
In that sense, Monday’s joint declaration is significant as it not only marks a huge tactical victory for India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but also underscores, for the first time, China’s decisive and very definitive move to share and acknowledge India’s security concerns.
As Beijing counters a growing threat of extremism within its own borders, primarily in the form of the Uighurs, some of its major commercial and financial interests involved in rebuilding infrastructure in Afghanistan also face increasing extremist threat. The joint declaration acquires a new dimension, given the fact that Beijing has, in the past, thwarted New Delhi’s initiative to have the United Nations stamp its approval on designating JeM chief Masoud Azhar as an international terrorist. From blocking India’s push for a permanent membership at the UN Security Council (UNSC) to throwing a spanner in the works of the Modi-led dispensation to secure New Delhi’s seat at the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG), Beijing’s resolve to keep its Asian arch-rival at bay has been pronounced over the last several years. As China sought to economic muscle-flexing through its robust implementation of a geo-strategic behemoth called Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the recent border dispute in Doklam between the two countries only created further distrust and an avoidable diplomatic and military pow-wow.
Coming close on the heels of the just-resolved standoff in Doklam, Beijing’s acceptance of New Delhi’s demands to name terror outfits that are detrimental to India’s interests, in particular, is indeed part of a confidence-building measure that is likely to have a far-reaching impact on Sino-India relations. At the same time, it is also a public acknowledgement on the part of the world’s second-largest economy that there can be no discrimination so far as identification of extremist and subversive elements is concerned. Terror in any form and in any part of the globe is reprehensible.
Secondly, what this Xiamen Declaration has also done is to proclaim in the most definitive terms, since the inception of the five-member bloc, that no amount of economic cooperation and trade pact can produce their desired results unless there is a consensus among all Brics members to fight the scourge of terrorism.
Right from initiating a multi-nation trade and commerce pact spanning across three continents, in the form of BRI, to augmenting People’s Liberation Army’s presence at the China-Bhutan border in Doklam, Chinese President Xi Jinping has never let a single opportunity go unutilised to keep India on tenterhooks.
From that perspective, the mutual decision by China and India to withdraw troops from Doklam offered a face-saver to both Beijing and New Delhi without a shot being fired.
Source : Gulf News