17:36 GMT06 May 2021
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    China has come up with an idea of inviting some developing countries under the banner of BRICS Plus in BRICS meetings.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) The concept of BRICS Plus within BRICS, the brain child of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, has put India on the back foot, primarily since the Plus grouping could mean a invite for rival Pakistan into the grouping.

    On the Indian side, there is also concern that China might ultimately highjack the BRICS. “BRICS is an important platform and India has chaired the BRICS Summit last year. Every one of the BRICS Chair in its turn has arranged outreach alongside BRICS events and brought a flavor of its geography to the participants. We await details of the Chinese suggestions,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay told media.

    In fact, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, on Wednesday said that, China would explore modalities for BRICS Plus, to hold dialogues with other major developing countries. India is apprehensive that China would include those countries under the ‘BRICS Plus’ who are its close allies which will thwart India’s interests in BRICS.

    “In fact, China wants to expand BRICS and include Mexico, Pakistan and Argentina under BRICS Plus. China wants to induct its friendly countries into BRICS under the banner of BRICS Plus. In the initial stage, BRICS was only BRIC but after China’s initiative South Africa was added into the grouping. India was not enthusiastic initially, but supported the inclusion of South Africa as India has good relations with South Africa. The forum will become ineffective due to the increase in the number of member countries as mutual differences will override cooperation. India does not want that BRICS should become a political forum but China is interested in making it a political forum. Therefore, India will not support BRICS Plus,” Arun Mohanty, Professor at the Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies in New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, told Sputnik.

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