"In the past 10 years, BRICS combined GDP has grown by 179%, trade by 94% & urban population by 28%", Xi said on Sunday underlining the growing clout of the bloc. There was no confirmation from officials of both sides if they would meet on Tuesday before Modi leaves Xiamen for his next stop in Myanmar that evening.
China has begun construction of headquarters for the new BRICS New Development Bank, NDB, in Shanghai, marking its inauguration with a groundbreaking ceremony. After the bilateral meeting with the host, Modi will be travelling to Myanmar.
China expects Modi to send out a public signal that the reconciliation initiated after the Doklam crisis is having an effect, and India is keen to improve the relationship with China, a Chinese expert told TNN while requesting anonymity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he will also meet leaders bilaterally on the sidelines of the BRICS summit. India alone has lodged several trade cases against China this year.
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He also talked about the newly implemented Goods and Services Tax (GST) and termed it as India's biggest piece of economic reform.
However, Modi and Xi will shake hands and meet briefly during other events like a cultural event and a welcome banquet. The summit in Xiamen is expected to shed light on this. "This serves the common interest of all parties", she added. In March, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China would explore options for expansion to a "Brics plus" and build a wider partnership through dialogue with developing countries and global organizations. "The agenda of the 9th BRICS Summit includes important global issues, such as economics and worldwide economic governance; peace and security; people-to-people exchanges; institutional development and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development", the press office member added.
Beijing too has ruled out discussion on India's concerns over terrorism emanating from Pakistan at the summit.
BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
India is in a stronger position to raise the issue because US President Donald Trump recently accused Pakistan of sheltering terrorists and threatened to withdraw financial aid if Islamabad refused to mend its ways.