India Begins BRICS Chairship With Inaugural 3-Day-Long Sherpas' Meeting
India kicked off its BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Chairship with the inaugural three-day-long Sherpas' meeting, said Anurag Srivastava, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson on Wednesday.
Taking to Twitter, Mr Srivastava said, "India kicked off its BRICS Chairship with the inaugural three-day-long Sherpas'' meeting. Secretary (CPV & OIA) chaired the meeting and introduced our themes, priorities, and calendar for #BRICS2021."
"India looks forward to continuing productive discussions with our BRICS partners over the next two days," Srivastava wrote in a subsequent tweet.
According to the MEA release, on February 19, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar launched India's BRICS 2021 website at the BRICS Secretariat at Sushma Swaraj Bhawan.
Extending the support to India in hosting this year's summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping may visit India later this year.
Asked about Xi's possible attendance at the summit and whether the border tension would affect their multilateral cooperation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said BRICS had become an influential grouping and Beijing supported New Delhi's efforts as host, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
"China attaches great importance to the BRICS mechanism," Wang said at a regular press conference on Monday. "The Chinese side supports the Indian side in hosting the meeting and is willing to work with India and other BRICS countries in expanding cooperation on economy, politics and people-to-people exchanges," Wang added.
Wenbin's statement comes a day after India and China "positively appraised" the smooth completion of disengagement of frontline troops in the Pangong Lake area and agreed to continue their communication and push for a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector.
The exchange took place during the 10th round of the China-India Corps Commander level meeting. The meeting was held on the Chinese side of the Moldo/Chushul border meeting point on Saturday.
The two sides had a "candid and in-depth" exchange of views on other issues along the LAC in the Western Sector, according to India-China Joint Statement.
The two countries have had a stand-off along the LAC since April-May last year due to actions of the Chinese army and have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks.