Xi Jinping: The Governance of China. (File photo)
China assumed the BRICS' chair on Jan 1, 2017, and will play host to the upcoming 9th BRICS Summit. The year of China's chairmanship also marks the beginning of the second decade of BRICS cooperation.
For the city of Xiamen in East China's Fujian province, this year is one of "double happiness", as it will host the BRICS Summit less than two months after its Gulangyu Island was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
We earnestly hope that BRICS cooperation will bring us good luck. But only good luck is not enough to achieve success; it needs great efforts, too. And true to their word, China and other member states have lent firm support to BRICS to not only strengthen its structure but also to help it deliver vigorous, better results. As Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a news conference during the BRICS foreign ministers' meeting in Beijing in June, the BRICS cooperation mechanism, beating the odds, has shown strong vitality during the past 10 years.
Among the endeavors BRICS has undertaken in recent years is one to make the global financial system fairer, so that it can help developing countries overcome their development challenges and boost their economic growth. And to help such countries meet their financial needs, BRICS established the Contingent Reserve Arrangement with an initial capital of $100 billion in 2014, the New Development Bank in Shanghai in 2015, and the NDB's African Regional Centre in Johannesburg early this month.
Despite the challenging anti-globalization trend in some major economies, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have propelled the world economy forward. Together, the five countries accounted for nearly a quarter of the global GDP and contributed more than half of global growth last year. Their different national conditions, development models and cultures have not prevented the BRICS member states from drawing upon their strengths to engage in cooperation. This has prompted the idea of "BRICS Plus", that is, inviting more developing and emerging countries to join the grouping and expand its reach and influence.
During the BRICS Seminar on Governance in Quangzhou, Fujian province, on Aug 17-18, many academics and business leaders from developing countries exchanged ideas on governance. Zhang Weiwei, director of China Institute of Fudan University, who chaired a panel discussion on "increasing communication for cultural prosperity", said the panelists reached a consensus that every country should be free to choose its own governance mechanism and style, and that China has established a governance system that suits its national conditions.
The panelists also said BRICS is confident of better reflecting the common interests and collective will of the developing countries in fields such as finance, business and education.
According to collective Chinese wisdom, "seeking common ground while reserving differences" is a harmonious way of balancing diversity and unity. This principle has been a feature of China's history and culture. In the same spirit, China is willing to share its experiences in governance and reform, which have helped it propel economic growth, both at the domestic and global levels, in order to deepen cooperation with other BRICS members and developing countries, and promote confidence building.
BRICS members are expected to have a greater impact on the legitimacy, credibility and effectiveness of global governance. And they will take more measures to safeguard the interests and benefits of all developing countries and emerging market economies, and give them a greater say in world affairs so as to maintain peace and stability, and boost development across the world.
The author Chen Kangling is assistant director, China Institute, Fudan University.