The first offline summit since 2020 of BRICS, a group named after the world's five leading emerging economies—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August. Key agenda items discussed included closer cooperation and the expansion of the group's membership.
The BRICS mechanism originated with the BRIC concept coined by Jim O'Neill, Chief Economist of financial services giant Goldman Sachs, in 2001. The First BRIC Summit was held in Russia in 2009 before South Africa joined a year later and debuted at the 2011 BRICS Summit in China.
At this year's summit, leaders agreed to invite six more countries—Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—to become members as of January 1, 2024. As the BRICS concept gains increasing recognition, the group has become an important force in shaping the international landscape.
The charm of BRICS stems from the independence, equality, openness and inclusiveness it promotes. Successful BRICS cooperation brings confidence to developing countries that hope to accelerate their development while maintaining their independence. Since the very beginning, the BRICS mechanism has been guided by the principle of dialogue without confrontation and partnerships instead of military alliances. BRICS countries are committed to observing the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, international law and basic norms governing international relations.
BRICS nations do not gather in an exclusive circle; they believe in injecting positive energy into the world as they develop. Since it proposed BRICS Plus, a framework that promotes cooperation between the BRICS members and other developing economies, in 2017, China has reiterated its support for expanding the group. Its recent expansion is an indication of the high hopes pinned on it by the Global South and the international community at large.
BRICS countries therefore have a responsibility to make a contribution to world peace and stability. China is ready to work with its partners, carry forward the tradition of independent diplomacy and uphold international equity and justice. Together they aim to push for a multipolarization process that better reflects the interests of the developing countries where the vast majority of the people in the world reside.