Today, the leaders of the “BRICS” countries are looking to expand the group of five countries seeking to enhance its role in the international arena and reduce the dominance of Western powers.
According to the “French” China, the most prominent country in the group that also includes Russia, India, South Africa and Brazil, is seeking to expand the “BRICS” made up of major developing economies, in the midst of fierce competition with the United States.
While more than 40 countries have expressed their desire to join BRICS, India is reluctant to agree to this step.
This file is the main item on the agenda of the group summit, which will be hosted by Johannesburg over a period of three days, and it was officially launched as of Tuesday.
BRICS, in its current composition, represents 40 percent of the Earth’s population and a quarter of the global economy. The group, which includes powers of varying economic size and political system, shares an orientation towards an alternative to a world order dominated by Western powers that better serves the interests of developing countries.
“The world is changing,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said at the opening of the BRICS plenary session on Wednesday.
“The new realities require a radical reform of global governance institutions in order to be more representative and able to respond better to the challenges facing humanity,” he added.
The summit is attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in addition to about 50 invited leaders of other countries.
Among the group’s leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has an international arrest warrant in connection with the war in Ukraine, is absent. Putin addressed the summit via video, while Russia was represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech to the meeting that the course of history will be determined by the choices we make, noting that the talks in Johannesburg do not aim to ask countries to choose one side against another or create collective confrontation, but rather to expand the scope of the engineering of peace and development.
He added in a speech delivered on his behalf by Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, “Regardless of any resistance you may encounter, the BRICS group is a positive and unwavering force of goodwill and is constantly growing.”
“Within BRICS, we will forge a stronger strategic partnership…we will push forward to expand membership and help make the world order more just and equitable,” he added.
BRICS was set up in 2009 and South Africa joined the following year.