As tensions simmer between India and China along their disputed border in Ladakh, all eyes are now on the possibility of a capacity assembly between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) summit. Set to take place in New Delhi from October 13–14, the summit is visible as a vital platform for each leader to cope with the continued border standoff and explore avenues for de-escalation.
While the exact agenda and format of the BRICS summit are yet to be finalized, it’s widely expected that Modi and Xi will participate within the multilateral gathering, presenting an opportunity for a potential bilateral assembly on the sidelines. Such a meeting might mark the primary face-to-face interaction between the two leaders due to their casual summit in Wuhan again in 2018.
The viable assembly holds enormous diplomatic significance for both sides. For India, it gives the possibility to reiterate its concerns over incursions into its territory, look for the recovery of reputation quo ante along the Line of Actual Control, and talk about measures to prevent future border incidents. It additionally enables Modi to spotlight India’s preference for peaceful coexistence and mutual cooperation with China in diverse sectors, such as alternates and funding.
On the other hand, for China, a high-quality outcome from the meeting could reaffirm its commitment to regional balance and amicable relations with its associates. It would offer Xi the possibility of coping with India’s worries while showcasing China’s willingness to resolve the border dispute in a non-violent way.
Considering the significance of the BRICS summit and the complexity of the India-China relationship, expectations for a leap forward inside the deadlock have to not be sky-high. However, the assembly itself holds symbolic value, underscoring the importance of diplomatic channels in resolving contentious troubles.
While the hypotheses keep mounting, the international community eagerly awaits the final results of any potential face-to-face interaction between Modi and Xi. The BRICS summit may nicely function as a platform to foster mutual expertise, revive dialogue, and pave the way for a peaceful resolution to the continued India-China standoff in Ladakh.