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‘BRICS Plus’ offers new model for dialogue, cooperation

Author  :  Wang Yiwei     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2017-07-11

When meeting with the heads of delegations from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, who were in Beijing to attend the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping remarked on June 19 that BRICS cooperation can “not only benefit the people in the five countries but also offer a recipe for the world to address food and security problems.”

Xi pointed out that BRICS cooperation is an innovation that abandons the old pattern of political and military alliance in favor of partnerships. The mechanism transcends old mentalities and explores a new path for mutual respect and progress. It also overcomes the old zero-sum mindset and disputes based on ideological differences. 

BRICS countries are a community with shared interests and a common destiny. It is justifiable to say that BRICS cooperation reflects the general aspiration of emerging countries as well as the new requirements and trends in the international community. It promotes the reshaping of international relations and forms an effective link in the global partnership network.

First, BRICS countries have extensive common benefits. In the first decade of its existence, the BRICS cooperation mechanism has matured and developed rapidly in scope and depth. It has brought an ever-growing number of benefits to BRICS countries. The economic contribution of the BRICS countries to the global economy has increased from 12 percent to 23, accounting for more than half of world economic growth. 

Trade and investment among five BRICS countries have also increased rapidly while the discourse power of the five countries within the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other major international financial institutions has grown remarkably.

Furthermore, these countries have expanded the fields of cooperation to include economic and political spheres and people-to-people exchanges, promoting an all-dimensional partnership in a number of areas. In terms of influence, in the UN, the G20 and other organizations, the BRICS group closely cooperate to protect the benefits of developing countries and offer the BRICS vision and proposals to cope with global challenges. 

Second, the BRICS countries have the historical foundation and similar aspirations to form a community of shared interests and common destiny. They have made steady progress in promoting cooperation and maintaining their vitality, and the key is to uphold the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness, cooperation and mutual benefit.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the press conference of the meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs that BRICS cooperation should act as the booster for the unity and cooperation between the emerging market countries and developing countries, a source of stability for the regional and global situation, as well as a catalyst for the reform of the international order. The Foreign Ministers from the five countries all agreed upon the three roles of the mechanism and this signifies that the BRICS countries have reached a consensus to work toward their shared interests and common destiny. 

A decade ago, the BRICS emerged amid the world multi-polarization and economic globalization trend, ushering in a new era for the unity and cooperation among emerging market countries. In the past 10 years, the five countries have followed the roadmap outlined by their leaders, forming three pillars of cooperation—political security, economy and finance, and people-to-people exchanges—while making substantial progress in these areas.

As the rotating chair country of the BRICS group this year, also the first year of a second decade of BRICS cooperation, China will collaborate with the four other countries to fortify these three cooperation pillars—political security, economy and finance—as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges, with tangible and important progress in these fields. 

Together with the four other countries, China will continue to strengthen and enrich the three cooperation pillars based on consensus through consultation, actively develop more cooperation in emerging fields, and expand the “BRICS Plus” model of dialogue and cooperation, build a broad partnership and help BRICS cooperation to grow into a big tree with luxuriant foliage and more bountiful fruits.


Wang Yiwei is a senior research fellow from the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China. 






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