With a focus on a divided leadership in the West, as was evident at the recent G-7 summit, the BRICS leaders have committed themselves to an unprecedented emphasis on the principles of “democracy” and “multilateralism” in the declaration. of Johannesburg. Democracy is mentioned half a dozen times in the declaration, which, according to the interlocutors of the Indian government, is worthy of mention, since at least two member countries of the group are socialist and non-democratic countries. In the Xiamen Declaration, democracy was mentioned three times, mainly in the context of a democratic global order.
Multilateralism was mentioned 23 times in the Johannesburg declaration, compared with seven in Xiamen’s statement last year. This assumes importance because the United States, under President Donald Trump, acted unilaterally on several occasions, from the Israel-Palestine affair to Iran, and withdrew from multilateral pacts such as the JCPOA and the TPP. He also retired from UNESCO and the UN Human Rights Council.
The Indian interlocutors said that the leakage of democratic order and the consequent democratization of the BRICS order have been an Indian footprint in the Johannesburg declaration, which is different from previous BRICS statements. The emphasis on inclusion has also increased in the Johannesburg declaration, since “inclusive” was mentioned 19 times, compared to 9 times in the Xiamen declaration.
“These are the most important points from the point of view of India, that we have been able to put democracy and inclusion in the lexicon in a more pronounced way,” said one of the Indian interlocutors to The Indian Express. The sources said that the Chinese lexicon of a prosperous, shared future and a mutually beneficial relationship of the previous summits of the SCO has now given way to a more Indian and South African jargon: a representative world order approach.
The leadership of BRICS has also given a message of solidarity and geopolitical maturity, the officials of the negotiations told The Indian Express, against the rancor and the divisive tone at the G7 summit.
The sources said Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the above issues with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Xi said that as major emerging market economies, as claimants and contributors to the current international order, China and India should strengthen bilateral cooperation while exploring a new model of regional cooperation, defending multilateralism, defending economic globalization and fighting for a more fair and equitable. rational international order, reported Xinhua.
“We have provided a high-level design for bilateral relations in a macroscopic perspective and in a timely manner, which is conducive to mobilize the positive elements of all sectors in both countries and unite the wills of the 2.6 billion people of the two countries , so as to form a force that drives bilateral ties to the future, “Xi told Modi.
“It is important to maintain this momentum and for this we must, at our level, review our relationship periodically and give the appropriate instructions when necessary,” Modi told Xi in his opening remarks. In Wuhan, Modi and Xi had decided to issue “strategic guidance” to their armed forces to strengthen communications to build trust, a move aimed at avoiding another situation similar to that of Doklam.
In Johannesburg, the two leaders reaffirmed their willingness to give the necessary direction to their military to improve communication between them and maintain peace in the border areas. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the two sides had agreed in Qingdao that the Chinese defense and public security ministers would travel to India this year. “It was decided that these two visits would take place in August and October, respectively,” he said.
In Beijing, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Ren Guoqiang confirmed that State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe “plans to conduct a friendly official visit to India” at the invitation of his Indian counterpart, Nirmala Sitharaman.
Xi also conveyed to Modi that he was very happy to accept his invitation to visit India for an informal summit, the second, next year and both sides agreed to follow up on a number of issues, added the foreign secretary.
Xi and Modi will meet again on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina later this year.