Russia, China look to advance agendas at BRICS Summit « Khabarhub
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Russia, China look to advance agendas at BRICS Summit

22 August 2023  

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JOHANNESBURG: Russia and China will look to gain more political and economic ground in the developing world at a summit in South Africa this week, when an expected joint dose of anti-West grumbling from them may take on a sharper edge with a formal move to bring Saudi Arabia closer.

Leaders from the BRICS economic bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will hold three days of meetings in Johannesburg’s financial district of Sandton, with Chinese premier Xi Jinping’s attendance underlining the diplomatic capital his country has invested in the bloc over the last decade-and-a-bit as an avenue for its ambitions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will appear on a video link after his travel to South Africa was complicated by an International Criminal Court arrest warrant against him over the war in Ukraine.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be at the summit alongside Xi.

The main summit on Wednesday — and sideline meetings Tuesday and Thursday — are expected to produce general calls for more cooperation among countries in the Global South amid their rising discontent over perceived Western dominance of global institutions.

That’s a sentiment that Russia and China are more than happy to lean into. Leaders or representatives of dozens more developing countries are set to attend the sideline meetings in Africa’s wealthiest city to give Xi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who will represent Putin in South Africa, a sizeable audience.

One specific policy point with more direct implications will be discussed and possibly decided on — the proposed expansion of the BRICS bloc, which was formed in 2009 by the emerging market countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, and added South Africa the following year.

Saudi Arabia is one of more than 20 countries to have formally applied to join BRICS in another possible expansion, South African officials say.

Any move toward the inclusion of the world’s second-biggest oil producer in an economic bloc with Russia and China would clearly draw attention from the United States and its allies in an extra-frosty geopolitical climate, and amid a recent move by Beijing to exert some influence in the Persian Gulf.


Publish Date : 22 August 2023 13:37 PM

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