From A Concept to A Partnership: BRICS Members to Build Future Through Cooperation

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The world is now casting its eyes on Xiamen, the coastal city in China’s Fujian Province, as it will host the ninth BRICS Summit themed “deepening the BRICS partnership and opening up a brighter future” in early September.

“BRICS”, since its birth as a new concept, has evolved into a cooperative mechanism guided by the regular meeting of leaders from the five emerging markets–Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The mechanism also involves a series of exchanges and dialogue activities, including regular ministerial meetings, business forums and think-tank forums.

Over the past decade, the BRICS bloc has transformed itself from a concept to an entity by strengthening dialogue, deepening cooperation and establishing the New Development Bank (NDB) and Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA).

The members, as a result, have contributed much to stimulating world economic growth, reforming and improving global economic governance and boosting democratization of international relations.

BRICS countries enjoy enormous potential for cooperation since they, being in similar development phase, share similar historical missions, development objectives, large population, huge market and highly complementary economies.

A closer relationship among the BRICS members would impact not only their own development, but the world economic growth and international order.

A community of shared interest, first of all, must be established among the BRICS countries.

The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 has been recognized and supported by an increasing number of countries, among which Russia is an active one.

Xi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin signed a joint statement on docking the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) construction in May, 2015.

Moreover, China and other BRICS partners are also moving forward to align their development strategies and regional cooperation plans. China’s investment and its external cooperation on production capacity can tighten the interest bonds of BRICS members and their peoples by giving a boost to their infrastructure construction and industry upgrade.

A community of actions should be set up among them as well. BRICS members, all influential nations in the region where they are located, share a strong sense of responsibility to promote the establishment of a global governance framework that can reflect the new world political and economic arena based on the principles of multipolarity.

The regular meetings between leaders can work as a platform on which the BRICS nations could exchange their views on key international and regional agendas, so that more joint actions could be launched to vindicate UN’s core status in international affairs, promote the democratization of international relations, and safeguard world peace and development.

By raising their voice and influence and sending a unified message, the five members have played a significant role in improving global governance and strengthening multilateralism.

A community of shared responsibility should also be built by the bloc.

As today’s world is still faced with rising trade protectionism, hegemonism and power politics, BRICS countries have a duty to safeguard the common interests of emerging markets and developing economies in terms of climatic change, reform of the International Monetary Fund, counter-terrorism, transnational crime, network security and other key agendas in global governance.

As big emerging markets and global stakeholders, BRICS nations have the responsibility for and the ability of providing rational solutions to address global challenges as well as more public goods for the international community on the premise of properly handling their own domestic affairs.

Li Hui is Chinese Ambassador to Russia.

This article was translated from Chinese and was originally published by People’s Daily.

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