Caixin
Sep 05, 2017 07:21 PM
SOCIETY & CULTURE

5 Things to Know About the BRICS Summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a plenary session of the BRICS summit in Xiamen on Monday. Photo: Visual China
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a plenary session of the BRICS summit in Xiamen on Monday. Photo: Visual China

The three-day BRICS summit in China that came to a close on Tuesday will be remembered for its push to have more developing countries have a greater say on the world stage.

Leaders from Russian, Brazil, India and South Africa joined Chinese President Xi Jinping in Xiamen, Fujian province. They invited leaders from Egypt, Mexico, Thailand, Tajikistan and Guinea.

Here are five things you need to know about the summit.

What did the leaders vow to do?

The leaders issued a 71-article declaration, including supporting a “BRICS Plus” so that other developing countries could join the core members.

The declaration also “strongly opposed” protectionism and called for better infrastructure connections among developing countries. It also opposed terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering.

Why a ‘BRICS Plus’?

The BRICS countries said they will continue inviting developing countries to attend summits to ensure there will be a platform for emerging economies, according to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. That concept was described as “BRICS Plus,” though it wasn’t suggested that additional members would be actually added to the five core members.

Such practice of inviting leaders from non-BRICS countries to the summit began in South Africa in 2013.

On Tuesday, Xi announced that China will provide $500 million to the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund – a loose phrase that often includes all developing countries, including the many poor ones in the southern hemisphere – to tackle starvation, refugee crises, climate change and medical needs. China also pledged to set aside 500 million yuan ($76 million) to facilitate exchanges in economic and trade cooperation.

More Money for Development Bank

China said it will provide $4 million for projects of the 2-year-old New Development Bank, formerly known as the BRICS Development Bank.

Bank President Kundapur Vaman Kamath told Xinhua on Tuesday that the bank has approved 11 loans totaling more than $3 billion, mainly for new-energy projects. The loans are expected to reach $8 billion by the end of 2018, Kamath told Xinhua.

The New Development Bank started operation in July 2015 in Shanghai. Last month, it opened its first regional center in Johannesburg, South Africa.

China, India shake hands after border standoff

Tensions eased between China and India, which were in a border standoff for more than 70 days until a few days before the BRICS summit.

Xi and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in Xiamen on Tuesday.

“The two sides should respect each other, find common ground while putting aside disputes, and preserve the peace and tranquility at the border area,” Xi was quoted as saying by China’s official newspaper, the People’s Daily.

Xi said China is willing to work with India to “improve political mutual trust, promote mutually beneficial cooperation, and push Sino-Indian ties along a right track,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

India’s Hindustan Times reported Tuesday that Modi said he and Xi held “fruitful talks” on bilateral relations.

How was North Korea handled after its latest nuclear test?

They expressed concern over North Korea, which claimed to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb on Sunday, the first day of the summit. They urged peaceful means to solve the crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

“We strongly deplore the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK (North Korea),” their joint declaration read.

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Contact reporter Wu Gang (gangwu@caixin.com)
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