In what is understood to be a befitting message to China, a virtual meeting of NSAs from BRICS countries on Thursday reviewed a draft strategy which incorporated fundamental aspects for the group’s nations such as “respect for sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs, adherence to international law and recognition of the UN’s central and coordinating role in security matters.”
National Security Advisors from BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) also reviewed a draft anti-terrorist strategy. The draft will be submitted for approval during the upcoming summit which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Presidents Vladimir Putin, Jair Bolsonaro, Xi Jinping and Cyril Ramaphosa.
NSA Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi were face-to-face during the virtual meeting. Sources said that Doval spoke at length about how the member countries of the BRICS should respect the sovereignty of other nations. Doval was actually trying to drive home the message with regard to China’s behaviour along the Line of Actual Control.
Sources told The Daily Guardian that Russia, which is the chair of BRICS at pre- sent, backed the Indian NSA on this, following which both Indian and Russian NSAs gave their suggestions to how the draft could be made more effective especially where it deals with the sovereignty issue. The draft also stressed the need to respect the international law, which is also, according to sources, a message to China. Beijing has been showing no regard to the international laws wherever they are applicable. “This should be seen in the perspective of China’s aggressive behaviour in oceanic regions especially South China Sea and Indian Ocean Region,” said sources.
“The NSAs also discussed the prospects for cooperation between the BRICS states in the field of biological security.” Though Doval and Jiechi did not have the opportunity to talk to each other bilaterally, the Indian NSA made maximum use of the opportunity to send out a message to the Chinese counterpart, sources said. His focus was on how countries of the group (read China) should behave when it comes to respecting the bilateral agreements and other laws of mutual existence.
“Russia backs India’s views vis-à-vis Chinese aggressions along the LAC, and Moscow does believe that Beijing’s such behaviour is not good for the reputation of a grouping like BRICS,” said an official. “Therefore, all the members of the BRICS want China to mend its ways, otherwise the forum’s image will be tarnished in the international community,” a diplomat said.
Indian diplomats have been taking this issue up with the BRICS members also. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has had a word with his Russian counterpart on how China’s irresponsible activities and misconducts can do a great disservice to the grouping like BRICS. It may be recalled the foreign ministers of BRICS have already had a virtual meeting before the NSAs’ meet.