In a hugely symbolic move ahead of the Brics summit that will start in Goa on Sunday and the bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday, China on Friday cancelled its session at the Brics Business Forum 2016 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.
The session was due to start at 10.30 am and was cancelled as China was apparently upset with trade barriers within Brics. This comes as India is gearing up to strongly take up the issue of terrorism with China over the issue of Beijing’s opposition to a proposal that the UN ban Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar. So while India is miffed with China over the terrorism issue, Beijing has signalled it is upset with New Delhi over trade barriers.
The Chinese see India as a huge market for their goods. But India is also expected to continue with its diplomatic offensive against Pakistan over terrorism when it plays host to Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as the Chinese President and the leaders of Brazil and South Africa at the summit on Sunday.
Modi to also raise China, Pakistan economic corridor Issues such as India’s NSG membership bid and China blocking UN ban on JeM chief and Pathankot attack mastermind, Masood Azhar, are likely to be raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping here on Saturday.
China is keen to have a free trade area for Brics. Earlier this month a Chinese spokesperson in Beijing said that by setting up a free trade area, the Brics countries would be able to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers, give play to their comparative advantages, and advance trade and investment liberalisation between them, reports in the Chinese media claimed.
However, India is not keen to give duty-free access to Chinese products. India recently imposed duties on steel coming from China. The menace of terror, China’s continued opposition to a proposed UN ban on Pakistan-based JeM’s chief Masood Azhar and Beijing blocking India’s NSG membership attempt are expected to dominate the bilateral talks between visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi that are likely to take place in Goa on Saturday ahead of the summit.
kIndia’s objections to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), that will pass through PoK, and the reports of China blocking a tributary of the Brahmaputra in Tibet as part of the construction of its “most expensive” hydro-power project are among the other issues that Mr Modi is likely to take up with the top Chinese leader.