China’s President Xi Jinping Urges Accelerated Expansion of BRICS Group

BEIJING (Reuters) – In a summit held in Johannesburg, China’s President Xi Jinping called for the acceleration of the expansion of the BRICS group on Wednesday, highlighting China’s long-standing goal for broader membership.

Addressing the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, Xi expressed his satisfaction with the interest shown by developing countries in joining the BRICS group. He emphasized the need to include more countries in order to enhance global governance and promote fairness and equity.

The BRICS group, consisting of five major emerging economies, has been discussing the rules and criteria for admitting new members. Last month, South Africa revealed that over 40 nations had expressed their interest in joining the bloc, with 22 of them formally submitting applications. The organization aims to counterbalance the perceived dominance of the U.S.-led West in global affairs.

China, being the world’s second-largest economy, has long sought the expansion of BRICS in the hopes of amplifying the group’s influence. With their existing membership already covering around 40% of the global population and a quarter of global GDP, China believes that broadening the membership will further strengthen the group’s significance.

Russia has also expressed keenness for expanding the group, while South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently voiced support for this idea during a bilateral meeting with Xi.

In addition to discussing expansion plans, President Xi also announced that the BRICS countries agreed to establish a study group focused on artificial intelligence (AI), with a goal of fostering cooperation in this field. This includes strengthening information exchange and technical collaboration on AI.

As the BRICS group plans to expand its reach, this call for acceleration demonstrates China’s determination to empower developing nations and increase the bloc’s influence on the global stage. The response from potential new members and the outcomes of the ongoing discussions will shape the future trajectory of BRICS as a significant player in global governance.