BRICS Summit provides framework to overcome challenges

2017-08-25 09:51Global Times Editor: Li Yan ECNS App Download

Summit to offer platform to overcome challenges

The upcoming BRICS Summit, which will open on September 2, in Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province, is expected to provide a pragmatic framework for the five members to overcome challenges in their economy, society and politics, Chinese analysts said.

The past decade has seen the growth of the BRICS cooperation platform into an influential international mechanism, and has helped bring changes to global economic governance structures. This includes greater voting rights for China and India in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

However, BRICS countries face different levels of development.

"Compared to the first summit, the five countries have developed at a different pace from each other," Lu Jing, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University's Institute of International Relations, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"The economies of China and India have performed well, but Brazil and South Africa have suffered economic crises," Lu said.

"BRICS countries are undergoing a period of economic adjustment," Chen Fengying, former Director of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations' Institute of World Economy, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"Russia and Brazil, as resources countries, are recovering from an economic recession," she said.

"Social problems were hidden when BRICS countries enjoyed prosperity. The problems surfaced during the economic crises, which also affected their political stability," Chen said.

Reforms have also led to domestic turbulence, which has affected diplomacy, Chen noted.

"Meanwhile, the desire and need of developed countries to cooperate with emerging economies has ebbed because they feel threatened," Lu said.

US President Donald Trump's protectionist policy has also placed a greater burden on BRICS countries in a more complicated international environment.

"Internal frictions among BRICS countries have always existed," Lu noted.

The BRICS grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa has entered its second decade. Since 2009, BRICS summits have been held annually. Their foreign, finance and security ministers also meet regularly under the BRICS framework.

Trade between Fujian, the southeastern Chinese province that will host the upcoming BRICS summit in a few weeks, and BRICS countries soared 67.7 percent to 49.42 billion yuan ($7.42 billion) in the first half, Xinhua said.

Moving forward

"BRICS has made great strides in pragmatic cooperation, such as the BRICS New Development Bank and the Contingency Reserve Arrangement," Lu said.

"The summit in September will allow BRICS to be more effective and practical," Lu said.

"It will provide the direction of how the countries solve their problems and will lead to an agreement to build a firm partnership and the foundations for the future," Chen said.

"BRICS countries will also focus on global governance and will unite to enhance their global influence and confront pressure from Western countries," Chen said.

The highlight of this year's BRICS summit is to establish a new platform for south-south cooperation by exploring the "BRICS Plus" model involving more countries under BRICS.

"The new BRICS Plus could bring more openness and vitality to the mechanism. Adding members could also lead BRICS to its development goals," Chen added.

Aside from economic and trade cooperation, it also seeks to enhance cultural cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, Xinhua reported.

The summit will also present the concept of a community of common destiny to lead global governance, Lu added.

China's diplomatic agenda

As this year's BRICS president, China's diplomatic agenda of cooperation with other BRICS countries has always been a priority, Xinhua reported.

China has been a staunch supporter of and participant in the BRICS mechanism, and takes BRICS cooperation as one of its diplomatic priorities.

The ninth BRICS Summit would build a second "golden decade" for BRICS by taking the successful experience, strengthening internal cooperation and becoming more open, Lu said.

A Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson said Thursday that India should follow WTO rules and avoid abusing trade remedy measures, Xinhua reported.

"As BRICS nations and large developing countries, China and India should work together to champion a free and open multilateral trade mechanism," Gao Feng said at a press conference.

China is willing to work with India to build a platform for industrial dialogue and negotiations to resolve trade frictions and achieve mutually beneficial results, Gao added.

"The BRICS Summit is multilateral and not bilateral. Therefore, even if China and India face differences, cooperation should be the focus of the summit, not turbulence," Chen said.


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