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Yesterday, Xi Jinping spoke at the 11th BRICS Summit in Brasilia, Brazil, urging friends and frenemies alike to make BRICS countries the torchbearers of multilateralism.

Some context: BRICS brings together five of the world’s largest emerging economies in one handy forum – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. So far, though, the group has struggled to find its raison d’être.

The theme of this year’s summit was strengthening economic growth. Xi had both a positive take... (Xinhua 2):

“The world is facing a new round of technology revolution and industrial changes, which gives a strong boost to productivity and socioeconomic development.”

…and a somewhat more ominous outlook:

“At the same time, protectionism, unilateralism and hegemony are on the rise, striking a blow to international trade and pushing down the global economy.”

To handle this new and precarious international situation, Xi wants BRICS countries to work together.

He proposed increased efforts to:

Create a peaceful and stable security environmentPursue greater development prospects through openness and innovationPromote mutual learning through cultural and people-to-people exchanges

Get smart: Heightened tensions with the US and Europe have made Beijing eager to deepen ties with other large emerging markets, giving increasing weight to forums like this.

Xinhua: 习近平出席金砖国家领导人第十一次会晤并发表重要讲话
Xinhua: Xi urges BRICS countries to champion multilateralism


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