Home China China supports Kazakhstan joining BRICS: President Xi

China supports Kazakhstan joining BRICS: President Xi

Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands during a signing ceremony following their talks in Astana, Kazakhstan July 3, 2024. Press Service of the President of Kazakhstan/Handout via REUTERS

China’s President Xi Jinping said he supports Kazakhstan joining the BRICS bloc, Chinese state media reported on Wednesday, as the group of developing nations mulls further expansion.

Speaking to the media alongside Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev following a meeting in the Central Asian state’s capital, Xi encouraged Kazakhstan to “play the role of a middle power on the global stage and make its due contribution to global governance,” while endorsing Astana’s accession.

China and Russia are pushing for the expansion of the BRICS grouping, which also includes Brazil, India and South Africa, as they seek to counter Western economic dominance.

Originally an acronym coined by Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill in 2001, the bloc was founded as an informal four-nation club in 2009 and added South Africa a year later. The first-ever summit of the four countries was held in Yekaterinburg.

Last August, the BRICS bloc agreed to admit Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. However, Saudi Arabia has not yet joined the group.

The BRICS summit in Kazan, Russia on October 22-24 will be the key event of the Russian Presidency. It will be the first BRICS summit following the group’s enlargement.

Argentina had planned to join BRICS, but President Javier Milei withdrew his country soon after taking office in December.

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It was on January 1 this year that Russia took over the rotating chairmanship of the newly expanded BRICS.

In an interview in March this year, Yury Ushakov, Russian presidential foreign policy aide, said that BRICS countries really, practically express the interests of the Global Majority.  He said that this year Russia is planning to hold an Outreach/BRICS Plus summit meeting in Kazan by inviting the heads of member states and heads of executive bodies of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and possibly a number of other countries and regional organizations.

Yury said that during its Presidency, Russia will focus on the organic integration of “new-comers” into the architecture of partnership mechanisms, and on familiarizing them with “BRICS culture” that has been established over 15 years.

Xi is in Kazakhstan to attend a heads of state meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization from July 3-4.

During his meeting with Tokayev, China and Kazakhstan also agreed to double their two-way trade as soon as possible, the report added.

(With Inputs From Reuters)