Johannesburg: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was spotted having a brief exchange of words with Chinese Premier Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) leaders' press conference on Thursday. Before the conference started in earnest, PM Modi and Xi were pictured having a brief conversation before taking their designated seats.
2022 G20 dinner
Notably, in November 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chanced upon Xi at the G20 dinner hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Bali, Indonesia. Both the leaders exchanged pleasantries at the G20 dinner. Notably, this was the first handshake since the standoff between China's Peoples Liberation Army and the Indian forces in eastern Ladakh in April 2020.
Tensions on the Line of Actual Control (LAC)
India and China have been in a stand-off situation for the last three years and relations at all levels have deteriorated due to tensions on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The two sides have held 19 rounds of talks so far to address the boundary issues in eastern Ladakh since 2020, post the Chinese aggression there.
PM Modi in South Africa for 15th BRICS Summit
PM Modi arrived in South Africa for the 15th BRICS Summit on Tuesday.
The opening day of the summit in Johannesburg was witness to the BRICS Business Forum Leaders’ Dialogue. In his address at the BRICS Business Forum Leaders' Dialogue, PM Modi said India will soon be a 5 trillion dollar economy and in the coming years will be the growth engine of the world.
PM Modi’s special message to the dialogue was that mutual trust and transparency can help create a big impact, especially in the Global South. This is the first in-person BRICS Summit after three consecutive years of virtual meetings owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"India had given a lot of importance to the countries of Global South"
Later on, on the second day, at the open plenary session of the 15th BRICS Summit, PM Modi said India had given a lot of importance to the countries of Global South under its G20 Presidency and lauded South Africa for the initiative as the chair of the BRICS summit.
“We welcome the move to give special importance to the countries of the Global South in BRICS under the chairmanship of South Africa. This is not just the aspiration, but also the need of the present times. India has also given importance to this subject under its G20 presidency. One Earth One Family One Future - we are trying to move forward with all countries on this mantra. In the Voice of Global South summit in January this year, 125 countries participated and shared their concerns and priorities,” he said.