Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to discuss the US’ trade protectionism and other issues of mutual interest during the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg next week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
The two leaders will meet on the sidelines of the July 25-27 BRICS Summit nearly three months after they held a two-day informal summit in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late April to reset bilateral ties after the Doklam standoff and discuss major global issues.
The two leaders also met during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Qingdao, China in June.
“President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi will go to South Africa for the BRICS summit. On the sidelines of the summit, Xi will hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of India and other countries. The relevant details (of the meeting) are under negotiation,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told correspondents.
Asked if the on-going trade war by the US will be discussed between Modi and Xi, Hua said: “They will exchange views on the international landscape, BRICS cooperation and other issues of mutual interest. As for the US trade protectionism and unilateralism, it has aroused wide concerns from the international community.”
“China and India uphold multilateralism and free trade and the open world economy. They hold consensus and common interests in this aspect. I think the leaders will exchange views on the issue of common interests including this issue. This is also the consensus of the BRICS countries,” Hua said.
The BRICS Summit will take place as the Trump administration has pushed forward with an array of tariffs on several nations, including China.
Recently, the US announced plans to impose USD 200 billion in new tariffs on Chinese imports, leading China to file a case with the World Trade Organisation. Other US tariffs on aluminum and steel have upset major trade partners like Canada, Mexico and the EU, prompting them to impose retaliatory duties, leading to global concern over a looming trade war.
The bloc of the world’s emerging economies, which was founded in 2009 as BRIC with four initial members Brazil, Russia, India and China expanded that acronym to BRICS following South Africa’s inclusion in 2011.
(With agency inputs)