hinese President Xi Jinping attended the eighth BRICS summit (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) held in Goa, India, from October 15-16, encouraging all member countries to more closely cooperate for better development.
Xi expressed this wish in a speech he delivered at the summit where he called for BRICS countries to jointly improve global governance, safeguard global justice and peace, and promote international cooperation by creative and sustainable development.
His speech matched the summit’s theme of “effective, inclusive and joint solutions” which analysts believe was a response to some critics’ pessimism about BRICS. The emerging economies have been struggling in the last few years. China’s economic growth has slowed and it is attempting to upgrade its industries. Russia and Brazil are in recessions caused by fluctuations in the prices of bulk commodities. South Africa’s currency, the rand, is falling sharply. Many observers wonder whether the BRICS are fading.
Xi, however, argued against this idea, claiming that BRICS nations still retain resource, market and labor advantages. The BRICS now represent 23 percent of the global economy, up from 12 percent just a decade ago.
During the summit, Xi emphasized China’s One Belt, One Road initiative and pledged to keep supporting South Africa’s development. He also talked with the leaders of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, proposing to cooperate with them in a wider range of fields.
“The BRICS are like the five fingers of a hand that form a fist when they are gripped together,” said Xi.
As China and Russia are the two pillars of the BRICS movement, the meeting between Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin raised particular interest. As early as the 2016 G20 summit held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in early September, the two presidents met and reached a consensus on a deeper strategic partnership.
Analysts predicted that China would focus on establishing long-term BRICS working mechanisms to ensure further cooperation when it takes over the chair of BRICS next year.