India, China to boost emerging economies

Associated Press + More

By ASHOK SHARMA, Associated Press

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian and Chinese foreign ministers met Thursday ahead of a summit of leaders from five emerging economies that are pushing for a bigger voice in global financial affairs.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are members of the grouping, known as BRICS, set up nearly six years ago. New Delhi will hold the fourth BRICS summit March 28-29, said India's External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi faced a protest demonstration by Tibetan exiles outside the venue of his talks with India's External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna. Protests by the Tibetans are common during the Chinese leaders' visits.

Police detained nearly a dozen Tibetan exiles as they shouted "No border talks without free Tibet," a reference to India's boundary dispute with China, an issue expected to figure in the talks.

Nearly two dozen self-immolations have been reported in China in recent months, many by Buddhist monks and nuns calling for Tibetan freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama.

The BRICS agenda encompasses issues of global governance and challenges such as climate change, food and energy security, sustainable development, the international financial crises and international terrorism.

"We explained various aspects of preparations for the BRICS summit and the Chinese foreign minister is fully convinced of the preparatory work that has gone on in India," Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told reporters after meeting Yang. He did not give details.

He also said India's relations with China were positive and needed to be strengthened and broadened.

India and China share a long, disputed border high in the Himalayas. They fought a brief but bloody war in 1962 and 15 rounds of official-level talks have made scant progress to resolve the dispute.

The presence of Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in India is another irritant for China. The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

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