Following its positive attendance at the SCO meeting last week, Indian premier Narendra Modi will display his effective statesmanship and India's spirit of collaboration at the Brics and upcoming G20 summits.
Amidst a rising death toll that is being recorded in Russia due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Moscow will be hosting the 12th Brics Summit which will bring, face to face, virtually for the second time in a month, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Chinese premier Xi Jinping. The summit will showcase Indian diplomacy at its very best against the fact that New Delhi and Beijing share frosty relations thanks to the latter's adventurism across the LAC that divides the two nations.
But more than the diplomatic optics lies another underlying fact - Brics, since it was formed, has failed to live up to its original purpose which was to add economic heft, technological sophistication and political power.
Thanks to the pandemic the world and a global order has been turned upside down and the members of Brics have been trying to negotiate past economic challenges of their own. Added to that has been China's unbridled smash and grab tactics across the world to usurp economic, political and military superiority in the course of which it has virtually abandoned all the existing international rules, checks and balances to maintain diplomatic courtesy, law and order between nations.
This current summit will be crucial given that the five economies who are a part of it account for literally 42 per cent of the world's population, 23 per cent of global GDP, 17 per cent of global trade and almost 14 per cent of World Bank voting power.
Strengthening of and respecting previously existing bilateral ties will be the order of the day. It would behove China to be cognisant of this. Beijing has now realized that New Delhi, under the stewardship of PM Modi, will not concede an inch in the ongoing diplomatic and military face off that confronts the two nations and the world is on India's side as it reflects able leadership and a fitting example of how effective diplomatic relations should be conducted between nations with courtesy and mutual collaboration being the cornerstone of its philosophy.
It will be more beneficial for Beijing to stop the sabre rattling - as it loses international standing among nations - and focus on key global issues - efforts to contain the Covid-19 virus; reform of the multilateral system; cooperation in counter terrorism; trade; health; energy and people to people exchange.
Prime minister Modi has, in previous Brics summits, categorized terrorism, terror financing, drugs trade and organized crime as the key deterrent to global trade and economy and he had stressed this last week as well while facing off China's Xi and Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. It is worth noting that India will take over the chairmanship of the 13th edition of Brics (its third time since 2012 and 2016) for its next edition which will be hosted in New Delhi.
The current edition of Brics will, no doubt, show the real, enabling, healing, collaborative face of India as it stands up to be counted as one among the leading nations of the world. The destabilizing efforts of Beijing will not erode global opinion against New Delhi, even while China stands to be viewed with suspicion on multiple fronts.
India's credible face and China's battered international image will once again be on display at the virtual G20 summit later this week hosted by Saudi Arabia where the knowledge and experience that India has brought to the G20 as well as its remarkable efforts in extending medical supplies to several countries across the globe to deal with the pandemic will be on display.
The much-awaited summit is scheduled to be attended by US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron among others.
In March, the G20 had announced that over $5 trillion would be injected into the global economy to offset the impact of the pandemic. There have been expectations that the G20 will unveil an economic stimulus programme as well as a framework for debt reductions for poor countries at the summit as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to leave long-lasting scars on the global economy. The theme for the upcoming edition of the G20 - empowering people, safeguarding the planet and shaping new frontiers - are principles that India has been actively advocating across multiple platforms as the global community views it as a model example among the community of nations.