China calls for BRICS expansion

The five-nation bloc should add more member states, Beijing says

Reports from Sputnik 20 May 2022 / RT 19 May 2022

China wants to expand the group of emerging economies known as BRICS, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Thursday. The economic bloc currently consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

“China proposes to start the BRICS expansion process, explore the criteria and procedures for the expansion, and gradually form a consensus,” Wang Yi, China’s state councilor and foreign minister, told an online meeting of BRICS foreign ministers, as quoted by Reuters.

BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa

In an address ahead of the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged to strengthen cooperation. Xi had previously invited the Argentinian government to participate in the BRICS summit. Argentina has been striving to join the group for more than a decade. In February, during an official visit to China, Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez reiterated the request.

Monday’s virtual meeting between foreign ministers of the usual BRICS nations was reportedly followed by a broader “BRICS Plus” discussion which included representatives of Argentina, Kazakhstan, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Thailand.

The group includes a number of countries that have expressed interest in joining the bloc’s New Development Bank, which was established in 2014 as a kind of counterweight to the IMF and the World Bank. The bank has already brought Bangladesh and the UAE on board, and Egypt and Uruguay are set to join the financial institution soon.

But Argentina is the only nation with a clear path to joining the bloc. A series of high-level visits and discussions between Argentinian and Chinese officials in recent months culminated in an official invitation for Argentinian Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero to join in on the meeting Thursday, reportedly at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Thursday morning, after ceremonies opened with an address by President Xi, Argentine ambassador to China Sabino Vaca Narvaja read aloud a letter penned by Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez, in which the South American head of state described BRICS as an “an excellent alternative for cooperation in the face of a world order that has been working for the benefit of a few.”

~ by Joel Huan on May 22, 2022.

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