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Monday, October 2, 2023

China confirms Xi will attend BRICS summit in South Africa followed by state visit

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BEIJING, Aug 18 (AP): Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend next week’s summit of the BRICS
nations in Johannesburg, to be followed by a state visit to South Africa, the Foreign Ministry said on
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying also said in a statement that during his August 21-24
visit to South Africa, Xi will co-chair the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue with his South African
counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa.
China is a core member of the BRICS nations, which also include Brazil, Russia and India.
The grouping was predicated on linking the interests of the world’s leading emerging economies but
has sought to expand into other civil and governmental fields.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided not to attend the summit because of an arrest warrant
issued by the International Criminal Court for him, according to South African authorities.
The development could be viewed as embarrassing for Putin, who is expected to be the only leader
of a country in the bloc not to attend.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Putin “has decided to take part” in the summit via video
link, without confirming if he had intended to attend in person.
The BRICS summit is the first to be held in person since 2019 and comes as the bloc seeks new
relevance amidst Russia’s war in Ukraine, South Africa’s crashing economy and sharpening
competition between Asian giants China and India.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has said that he supports more countries joining the
group and intends to raise the topic at the summit.
Around 20 countries have formally applied to join, Brazilian Foreign Affairs Minister Mauro Vieira
said following the comments by Lula, who since taking office has repeatedly bucked the existing
Western-dominated international structure. Among the hopefuls are Argentina, United Arab
Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Iran and Venezuela, Vieira said.
Facing isolation by the US and European Union, China and Russia have sought to expand their
economic influence in developing countries.
Beijing has done so partly through the Chinese-backed New Development Bank, commonly known as
the BRICS bank, which is funding infrastructure projects in Brazil and elsewhere in the developing
Asked at a daily briefing about China’s expectations for the summit, Foreign Ministry spokesperson
Wang Wenbin said BRICS had been "taking on increasing international influence," but did not
mention the issue of expansion.
He said China looks forward to working with South Africa to “jointly pursue development and
revitalisation and make a positive contribution to a multipolar world and greater democracy in
international relations.”
“All sides will have an in-depth exchange of views on prominent global challenges, enhance
coordination and cooperation in international affairs, and inject stability and positive energy into
today’s world,” Wang said.

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The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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