New Delhi: In what could be the first interaction between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping since the start of the border standoff in Ladakh this May, the two leaders are scheduled to attend the BRICS summit meeting via virtual mode on November 17.
Russia, which currently holds the BRICS chair, announced Monday that the 12th BRICS Summit — of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa — is going to be held via video conference. Modi and Xi, who have met at least 18 times in the last six years, have not spoken to each other or met since the border standoff. No meeting or phone call between the two leaders is scheduled before November 17 although the possibility of a conversation, sources said, could not be ruled out completely.
They last shared a platform on March 26 when Saudi Arabia held an extraordinary virtual gathering of G-20 leaders over the Covid-19 pandemic.
In fact, Modi and Xi will have another opportunity to share the G-20 platform — also via video conference — on November 21-22. The annual G-20 summit will be held four days after the BRICS summit. Announcing the BRICS summit, Russia said the theme of the meeting this year is “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth”.
It said the five countries have continued “close strategic partnership on all the three major pillars: peace and security, economy and finance, cultural and people-to-people exchanges”.