Amid speculation over whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go ahead with his visit to China for the BRICS Summit early next month if the Doklam stand-off continues, Chinese state-media reported on Wednesday that there was a possibility of the Indian leader not attending the 5-nation meet and sending ‘lower-ranking’ officials instead.
‘’Due to India’s disruption, in recent years BRICS has barely made any progress in promoting internal cooperation and reform of global economic governance. In fact, any international organisation in which India has a big say can’t play its due role,’’ said the hawkish Global Times, which reflects the opinion of the Communist Party of China.
The daily said if India felt humiliated in the ongoing stand-off, it might even undermine the outcomes of the BRICS Summit.
At the same time, it cautioned the Chinese leadership that a successful BRICS Summit from 3-5 September at Xiamen could lift China’s international reputation but it would not offset the losses that an ‘inappropriate’ handling of the Doklam face-off would inflict on the country.
Indian sources, when contacted, declined to react to the article, saying it had become a habit with the newspaper to carry anti-India propaganda on a daily basis. Sources said preparations were underway for Modi’s visit to China from 2 September but the final decision would be taken only by the PM himself in consultation with his close aides.
Charging India with orchestrating the stand-off, the daily said New Delhi wanted to disrupt China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). ‘’In this way, it can reverse its strategic disparity with China in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region and tighten its grip on small countries there.’’
It went on to say that India hoped to achieve its strategic goals by delaying withdrawal from Doklam. New Delhi’s intention was to compel and admit that there were territorial disputes over the Sikkim section of the India-China boundary.
The newspaper said China must gear up without any hesitation and enhance its communication with other BRICS nations — Russia, Brazil and South Africa — and other developing countries and make clear to the international community that New Delhi intended to undermine the cooperation between emerging and developing countries and blackmail China at the cost of South-South cooperation.
Another article carried by the daily said the aggressiveness demonstrated by India at Doklam showed that the Modi government was strengthening its intention for a comprehensive strategic confrontation with China. By challenging China’s sovereignty in the Doklam region, India aimed to maintain and showcase its ‘hegemonic status’ in South Asia, it added.