Published:  02:29 AM, 20 May 2022

China wants to expand BRICS bloc of emerging economies

China wants to expand the group of emerging economies known as BRICS, in the first shake up of the bloc in over a decade, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Thursday. Brazil, Russia, India and China initially formed the bloc in 2009, with South Africa joining in 2010."China proposes to start the BRICS expansion process, explore the criteria and procedures for the expansion, and gradually form a consensus," Wang Yi, China's state councillor and foreign minister, told an online meeting of BRICS foreign ministers,  Reuters reports.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday said the BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - need to strengthen political trust and security cooperation and help stabilize international relations at a time of global turbulence.In an address ahead of the BRICS foreign ministers' meeting, Xi said countries should not seek their own security at the expense of the security of other countries because that would create new tension and risks.

Xi appeared to be referring to the ongoing Russian military operation in Ukraine - without directly saying so - which Beijing has refused to call an invasion.China has instead blamed the conflict on the aggressive policies of the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) in eastern Europe. "President Xi stressed that both history and reality tell us that seeking one's own security at the expense of others' will only create new tensions and risks," the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement quoting Xi.

"BRICS countries need to strengthen political mutual trust and security cooperation, maintain close communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns, respect each other's sovereignty, security and development interests."

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