INTERNATIONAL - The 9th BRICS summit hosted by China has shown more “internal optimism and external confidence,” Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a prolific China expert and observer, said.
As leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa concluded their three-day gathering on Tuesday in the coastal Chinese city of Xiamen, Kuhn remarked on the positive mood at the summit.
“I sense more internal optimism and external confidence, driven by two factors: the improving economic situation of several of the Brics members and, frankly, China hosting the summit, which increases the visibility, publicity and international interest,” he said.
The chairperson of the Kuhn Foundation and author and editor of more than two dozen books added that the summit was the last major event in China before the 19th CPC National Congress, which gives it a special significance in China. Kuhn also commented on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at the opening ceremony of the summit by mentioning some of the current international themes - a community of shared future, win-win co-operation, people-to-people exchanges, multilateralism and a new kind of global governance.
Yet this time, Kuhn said, the emphasis had shifted a bit. “I sensed a greater emphasis on global peace and stability, with specific stress on international security, fighting terrorism and creating conditions for settling regional conflicts. President Xi’s message fits the moment,” Kuhn said.
“President Xi’s grand vision for ‘common, comprehensive, co-operative and sustainable security’ stands in stark contrast to disruptive actions that seek to undermine global peace and stability,” the expert said.
Kuhn said Brics is of great importance to China. “Brics development enables China to expand and diversify its international trade. In addition, Brics facilitates China’s vision of a new style of global governance, as presented by President Xi,” Kuhn said.
“Certainly the continuing common interests among Brics members have only grown greater over the past decade,” he said. Those interests include developing mutual trade in the face of challenging domestic and international circumstances and advocating a stronger voice in global governance, especially in financial and economic matters, for Brics nations.
“There are certainly fundamental differences among the Brics countries, especially different domestic conditions, but what unites them is stronger than what divides them: a great need to increase international trade and a deep sense that the current international system does not properly represent the interest of the developing world,” he said.