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Xi's visit to promote cooperation among BRICS, enhance ties with LatAm

Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming Latin America tour will strengthen cooperation among BRICS countries and develop the overall and bilateral relationship between China and Latin American nations.

During the trip, scheduled for July 15-23, Xi will attend the sixth BRICS summit in Brazil and pay state visits to Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba.

The Latin America tour is another major diplomatic endeavor following Xi's visit to South Korea earlier this month.

A More "Glittering" BRICS

The sixth BRICS leaders' meeting on July 15-16 will be the first major event during Xi's tour.

It is the start of BRICS' second round of meetings after all of its member states -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- have hosted at least one summit.

During the meeting, Xi, together with leaders of other member states, will map out the blueprint for future cooperation among BRICS countries.

After five years of development, BRICS countries now have forged a multi-level and wide-range cooperation framework led by the leaders' meeting. It has also become an important force promoting internal cooperation within the mechanism, tackling international financial crisis, driving global economic growth, and boosting international democratization.

Despite the concrete and obvious achievements of BRICS' cooperation, the five countries are still facing challenging tasks, such as how to maintain their rapid development, push forward the in-depth development of the mechanism, and play a bigger role on the international stage.

"Over the past few years, various international issues keep popping up, posing challenges to BRICS as well as each member state. It is very important to summarize the past experience and lessons, and plan the developing framework for the future," said Li Jianmin, a research fellow of Russian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

During the summit, Xi will offer China's ideas about and solutions to the future development of BRICS.

China has always supported and actively participated in the BRICS cooperation. As the largest economy in BRICS, China's influence will only become stronger as the mechanism develops.

Li said that with the development of cooperation among BRICS nations and the increase of its economic strength, BRICS should become a strategic cooperative mechanism of greater binding power.

During the summit, Xi will expound on the bright prospects of the development of BRICS, infusing confidence into its member states.

The relative slowdown of BRICS countries' economic growth, resulting from the change of international financial situation and their economic structural adjustment, has drawn negative prediction for them.

Responding to the skepticism, Fan Yongming, director of the Center for BRICS Studies at Fudan University, said these arguments are miscalculations of BRICS' development as well as the world economy.

There are ups and downs in economic growth, he said, adding that the economic cycle applies to both developed and developing countries.

"From a medium and long-term perspective, BRICS countries have enjoyed advantages in terms of demography, resources and markets compared to their developed peers," Fan said.

As long as its member nations fulfill their cooperative projects, BRICS will be as glittering as ever.

The upcoming summit is expected to accelerate the establishment of a development bank and a foreign exchange reserve pool, which are solid cooperative projects among the BRICS countries.

During his tour, Xi, together with other leaders of the BRICS countries, will also meet leaders of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the first dialogue of its kind.

BRICS' enhanced cooperation with Latin American countries demonstrates its inclusiveness and openness, and will bring more opportunities for development, experts say.

For South American countries, to work closely with the BRICS nations will provide them with more opportunities for development.

BRICS and South American nations are all emerging markets and developing countries, which have huge development potential and are rising powers in the global pattern, experts say.

The two sides' dialogue will help emerging and developing countries safeguard their common interests and increase their voices in global governance.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 10Jul14]

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