Op-Ed Contributors

Meeting cements importance of BRICS

Updated: 2011-04-15 07:33

By Wang Yusheng (China Daily)

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South Africa joined the BRIC nations, Brazil, Russia, India and China, for the third BRIC summit meeting, which was held in China's resort city of Sanya, Hainan province. With emerging market economies growing all over Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America, the newly enlarged BRICS is becoming more and more influential.

BRICS is a reflection of the changing times. Since the end of the Cold War, the rise of developing countries has resulted in a historic change in the global balance of power and it was natural for the five countries to come together in order to expand their international influence and share prosperity, as cooperation among the BRICS countries is an extension of the China-Russia-India trilateral cooperation and the India-Brazil-South Africa "quasi-alliance" mechanism.

The BRICS countries share many common characteristics and aspirations. They all adhere to an independent development model and are endeavoring to establish a more just and reasonable international economic and political order and a peaceful international environment.

"Our economic potential, political influence and our development prospects as an alliance are exceptional," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said after the summit on Thursday.

The third summit was held against a different background to the first BRIC summit in Russia in 2009 and the second in Brazil in 2010, which took place amid the global financial crisis.

The latest meeting comes in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the political and military "earthquakes" in North Africa and the Middle East.

In a statement after the summit on Thursday BRICS leaders said they were deeply concerned about the turbulence in the Middle East, the North African and West African regions and said they "share the principle that the use of force should be avoided". They called for a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Libya and praised the mediation efforts of the African Union.

The massive earthquake in Japan and the ensuing nuclear power plant crisis sparked people's self-examination over the safe use of nuclear power. BRICS countries all need to develop and use nuclear energy, therefore the summit was a good opportunity for state leaders to exchange experiences and views and reach a consensus on ways forward.

Of course, it was also important for the summit to coordinate positions on ways to sustain the world economic recovery and accelerate the global rebalancing, for this year's G20 summit in France. The leaders called for a broad-based international reserve currency system that would be able to provide stability and certainty.

It is clear that some developed countries are alarmed by the rise of developing countries and they seek to use ideological differences and problems left over by history to sow discord among the BRICS members. The BRICS countries must be prudent and defuse any situations that arise promptly and carefully.

What BRICS countries are endeavoring to do is to care for each other's basic interests and strengthen dialogue and cooperation, in order to promote world peace and development.

The author is executive director of the Strategy Research Center of China International Studies Research Fund.


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