The 10th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg has demonstrated that the group of five emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – is placing even more emphasis on its partnership with Africa.
Five years ago when the 5th BRICS Summit was held in Durban, South Africa, the theme was “BRICS and Africa”. Now it is “BRICS in Africa”, highlighting the BRICS countries’ shared commitment to the development of the continent, which is home to more developing countries than any other.
Boasting average growth of 5.3 percent and contributing more than half of the global growth in 2017, as well as their own experiences as latecomers, the BRICS economies are in a privileged position to help African countries chart their development courses. And the growing comprehensive strength of the BRICS countries supports their pledge to build the BRICS-Africa Partnership into a model for South-South cooperation.
China, as a leading beneficiary and proponent of free global trade and multilateral international cooperation, has a particular interest in helping Africa prosper because of its long-standing friendships with African countries. Beijing wants to dovetail the development strategies of African countries, along with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, with the Belt and Road Initiative to accelerate the realization of the continent’s development potential.
And, based on his strong conviction that the collective rise of emerging economies and developing countries is “irresistible”, President Xi Jinping has urged BRICS and African nations to more proactively participate in the formulation of a new type of international relations in the face of profound changes “not seen in centuries”.
Speaking at the BRICS Business Forum on Wednesday, he reiterated his call for countries to oppose unilateralism, protectionism, and economic hegemony, and stated unequivocally that China does not seek to overthrow the present world order. “The current international order is not perfect,” he said, but as long as it is based on rules, oriented at fairness, and aimed at win-win outcomes, “it should not be discarded casually, still less should it be dismantled and built all over again”.
As Xi explained, what Beijing pursues is international rule-making that takes into full consideration the opinions of emerging economies and developing countries, and reflects their interests and appeals, so as to ensure there is enough room for their development.
BRICS owes its birth and development to the major changes unfolding in the world. In Johannesburg, Xi has once again emphasized that China rejects a beggar-thy-neighbor approach in favor of a better balanced global economy and multipolar international system that can form the framework for a community with a shared future for all mankind.