Inclusiveness makes ‘greater BRICS cooperation’ vibrant: Global Times editorial

The BRICS Foreign Ministers' Meeting is held in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, from June 10 to 11. Wang Yi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs, was invited to attend. In addition to the BRICS foreign ministers, representatives from the rotating chairmanships of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and ASEAN, as well as representatives of the African Union and the Arab League were also invited to attend the meeting. Today, when far-right forces are impacting the European Parliament and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict divides the world's perception, the "greater BRICS" remains united and vibrant, attracting global attention with its stability.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Iran and Ethiopia joined BRICS in January, 2024, marking a milestone in the development of the BRICS mechanism. The expansion of the "BRICS" family is still ongoing, with dozens of countries expressing interest or formally applying to join the BRICS mechanism. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said during his visit to China on June 3 that Turkey hopes to join the BRICS. At the end of May, the Thai government approved a draft of the official letter that indicates Thailand's intention to become a member of the BRICS. The international community is highly interested in the identities of these two countries as "a NATO member" and "an ASEAN country," which not only expand the imagination of the BRICS family but also sends a unique signal of inclusiveness for "greater BRICS cooperation."

In fact, "openness, inclusiveness, cooperation and win-win" have always been the spirit of the BRICS mechanism. From the beginning, it has positioned itself with the principles of not reinventing the wheel, not engaging in camp confrontations, and not seeking to replace anyone. These principles remain unchanged before and after expansion. Developing countries wholeheartedly identify with the spirit of BRICS and recognize the BRICS cooperation mechanism. Presidential Adviser of the Republic of Nicaragua Laureano Ortega Murillo compared the BRICS countries to a "great family" striving to build a fairer world. For the international community, this not only means more cooperation in financial fields, providing more impetus for the global economy to overcome difficulties, but more importantly, it means that such a large population will have the opportunity to have a voice that they reasonably deserve, which is the essence of achieving fairness and justice in the international order. 

Coincidentally the G7 will hold a summit in Italy from June 13 to 15. Ahead of the meeting, the agenda of pushing unilateral sanctions and stirring up confrontations between camps has been exposed by the media. It is reported that the G7 is expected to not only continue to take sides in the Russia-Ukraine conflict but also to slander China for "assisting Russia in evading Western sanctions." Composed of the US and its core allies, the G7 represents the wealthiest group of countries in the world but often displays exclusivity and targeted interest in its small-minded approach. This style of "throwing punches" to maintain its global hegemony is truly repugnant, and it is no wonder that the prestige and influence of the G7 are not as strong as before.

Unlike the G7, the BRICS advocates a behavior pattern of "embracing" rather than "throwing punches." It eyes establishing political mutual trust based on respecting the sovereignty and core interests of each country, engaging in cultural exchanges with sincerity based on respecting different civilizations, histories, and development paths, and embracing economic and financial cooperation on the premise of equality and mutual benefit without attaching any political conditions. The BRICS mechanism itself is an open institutional arrangement, not a camp of either friends or enemies, and never engages in camp confrontation. This inclusive arrangement relieves participating countries of the pressure of taking sides.

While attracting many emerging countries, the BRICS also does not exclude developed countries. Institutions such as the BRICS New Development Bank welcome the participation of developed countries. As the Global South increasingly shows confidence and is no longer willing to passively participate in the international system, greater BRICS cooperation responds to the call of historical development. The work priorities listed by the BRICS mechanism this year include 13 items of political and security cooperation, 17 items of economic, trade and financial cooperation, and 10 items of cultural cooperation, with practical cooperation being the key. The content of the inclusive cooperation of the greater BRICS is both deep and broad.

Currently, the BRICS countries account for 30 percent of the global land area, 45 percent of the world's population, roughly 40 percent of oil production and reserves in global energy landscape, and their total GDP calculated by purchasing power parity has surpassed that of the G7. BRICS countries should play a greater role in global governance. In fields like global trade settlement systems and advanced technology industries where a monopoly by developed countries is likely, the voices of developing nations should be heard. In the future, a greater BRICS platform with more members and partners will become a multipolar force center dedicated to building a more just, fair, and inclusive international order, making the future of human society better. The BRICS steadily advancing in this direction will surely attract more and more like-minded partners.