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INFOCUS|INDIA-CHINA|FORUM

1HZ 'HYHORSPHQW %DQN 1'%  DQG &RQWLQJHQW 5HVHUYH $JHQF\ &5$  were concluded. These initiatives are PDLQO\ WR ¿QDQFH LQIUDVWUXFWXUH GHvelopment in these developing countries. Additionally, Business Council and think-tanks forum have also been set up. These mechanisms have made it easier for BRICS member-states to exchange ideas to promote trade and investment and also strengthen intellectual support for pragmatic cooperation. Secondly, there is a sense of equality amongst BRICS members. For instance, it was agreed that these countries will contribute an equal amount of US$ 10 billion for the BRICS bank. BRICS’ New Development Bank 7KHPRVWVLJQL¿FDQWDFKLHYHPHQWRI BRICS has been the establishment of its own bank, NDB (National DevelopPHQW%DQN 7KHPDLQSXUSRVHRIWKLV ¿QDQFLDO LQVWLWXWLRQ LV WR GHYHORS WKH infrastructure in the BRICS countries. It is in this context that the set up of the NDB and CRA has been seen as a welcoming step, indicating constructive cooperation between these countries. One of the fundamental reasons is that the emergence of BRICS Bank is rapidly turning into what this author

CLOSER INDIA-CHINA RELATIONS WOULD NOT ONLY MAKE THE OTHER MEMBERSTATES MORE COMFORTABLE IN DEALING WITH EACH OF THE TWO ASIAN GIANTS BUT ALSO ENABLE THE ‘BRICS’ COUNTRIES TO TAKE A MORE COMPREHENSIVE STAND ON ISSUES THAT THEY FACE AT THE WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION has termed as the ‘Bank for the New :RUOG 2UGHUÂś 7KH UHDVRQV FLWHG IRU this are;unlike the World Bank, where the votes are determined on the basis of capital share, NDB follows the LGHD RI ÂľRQH FRXQWU\ RQH YRWHÂś LH all members have equal votes. What makes the NDB even more remarkable is the fact that no member has the veto power, which would stop one country from dominating the decision-making process and functioning of the bank. 2Q ,QGLDÂśV LQVLVWHQFH LW KDV EHHQ

|50| India-China Chronicle ƒ March-April 2015

agreed that each country will have equal share of capital (US$ 10 billion HDFKFXUUHQWO\ DQGQRFRXQWU\FDQLQcrease its share of capital without the approval of the other four members. Clearly, this wipes out the possibility of one country dominating the system– a dominant feature of the World Bank; it has also been argued that with the NDB and AIIB, dollar-dominated world economic system would come to an end. While it seems a far-fetched conclusion at this moment, considerLQJ&KLQDœVJURZLQJHFRQRPLFSRZHU such a scenario cannot be ruled out. India-China and the Way Forward for BRICS 7KH\HDUSURYHGWREHVLJQL¿cant for BRICS as the agreement for VHWWLQJ XS WKH 1'% ZDV ¿QDOO\ FRQcluded. In fact, all the BRICS counWULHV VSHFL¿FDOO\ &KLQD VKRZHG SXUsuance for the speedy establishment of the bank. The trend shows optimistic results about India-China cooperation in BRICS. It is evident that both sides want to expand their cooperation through multilateral exchanges as such cooperation serves mutual benH¿WV DQG SURPRWHV HFRQRPLF JURZWK and regional integration.

There are several indicators to measure the level of cooperation between two countries. One such indicator is economic cooperation. India and China are the two largest economies in the grouping. While the two sides are poised to reach new heights in terms of economic growth, keeping the group united would require some effort. There are, however, a few challenges that need the attention of the BRICS members in general and India, China in particular. India-China boundary demarcation process has been a persistent challenge to the cordial relations between the two countries, and demands careful handling. Rising tide of nationalism in both India and China has been phenomenal. For better or worse, this tide is based on the hopes that the people of the two countries have on their leaders. If the reforms are not realised and the two leaders fail to keep their promises, the situation would negatively affect the India-China relations in the form of economic protectionism. It may be said that the onus lies on China, as it LV \HW WR EDODQFH WKH KXJH WUDGH GH¿cit in India-China trade. The balance of trade is in China’s favour, and India has raised the issue over and again,

WELL-ESTABLISHED MECHANISMS OF BRICS HAVE MADE IT EASIER FOR MEMBER-STATES TO EXCHANGE IDEAS SO AS TO PROMOTE TRADE AND INVESTMENT AND ALSO STRENGTHEN INTELLECTUAL SUPPORT FOR PRAGMATIC COOPERATION asking China to rectify the same. A comprehensive engagement with India, aimed at addressing the latter’s concerns would only help China gain more access to one of the world’s biggest markets. The Indian Prime Minister’s visit to China in May 2015 would become a major milestone if the two sides carefully work towards making it a success. Regional, multilateral and institutional cooperation is a natural outcome of strengthened India- China ties, and in that context, BRICS becomes a key grouping. Closer India-China relations would not only make the other members more comfortable in dealing with

the two Asian giants, but would also be able to take a more comprehensive stand on issues that face the WTO. In addition, BRICS countries can greatly EHQH¿W LQ WKH FOLPDWH FKDQJH QHJRtiations, South-South Cooperation, UNSC (United Nations Security CounFLO  UHIRUPV LQ ¿JKWLQJ WHUURULVP amongst others, if India and China are able to achieve a qualitative change in their relationship. The Seventh BRICS Summit, to be held at Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia is likely to take place in the second half of the year. BRICS enthusiasts are looking at the year 2015 with a lot of hope. The year 2015 can indeed be a major milestone for BRICS, provided the challenges pertaining to cohesion, sustaining low demands for oil and rapid downfall of oil (especially for Russia) and mutually agreeable common agenda are pushed with determination. Lot of it depends on how India and China work with each other and what turn their relationship takes in the future. ‰

Sana Hashmi is Associate Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi

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