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China welcomes BRICS expansion, nation says in response to Venezuela’s desire to join bloc

China has always advocated for the BRICS group to be an open and inclusive mechanism and supports the process of BRICS expansion, Mao Ning, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said on Wednesday in response to Venezuela’s willingness to join the bloc.

“We welcome more like-minded partners to join the BRICS family at an early date,” Mao told a regular press conference held in Beijing.

The remarks come as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on May 29 that his country is interested in joining the BRICS, according to a report from TASS.

“If we are asked whether Venezuela wants to be part of the BRICS in the future, yes, we want to be a humble part of the BRICS and keep pace with the changing geopolitical situation,” Maduro said at a joint news conference with his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – represent 25 percent of global GDP.

Mao noted that as an important platform for cooperation between emerging market countries and developing countries, the BRICS is committed to maintaining multilateralism, actively promoting the reform of the global governance system, and enhancing the representation and voice of emerging market countries and developing countries.

The BRICS has become a positive, stable and constructive force in global affairs, she said.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also expressed his support for Venezuela to join the BRICS, noting that the group would debate requests from “several countries” wanting to join the BRICS when they meet for a summit in South Africa later this year, according to a Reuters report.

Apart from Venezuela, Saudi Arabia has been reportedly seeking to join the BRICS, which will be discussed by the members at the summit in August, Chinese outlet guancha.cn reported.

In October last year, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that BRICS leaders reached an important consensus on BRICS expansion and expressed support for the discussion on the standards and procedures of the expansion at the 14th BRICS Summit on June 23, 2022, and many countries expressed a desire to join BRICS cooperation.

Wang noted that China will work with other BRICS members to jointly advance the expansion process so that more partners will join the family.

“The bloc’s role is increasingly important for the vast developing economies, which are comparatively vulnerable to external shockwaves, especially at a time when geopolitical conflicts are flaring up, global supply chains are fragmented and the global economy has weakened,” Zhang Hong, a veteran macroeconomy observer, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

More members’ potential accession to the bloc will further enhance the capability of BRICS nations to hedge against risks and strengthen their voices in the global market, Zhang said.

Financial cooperation among the bloc members is getting closer under the New Development Bank (NDB), also known as the “BRICS bank,” and the NDB is seeing continuous expansion as it serves as a supplement to the current global financial system, which is monopolized by Western countries and offers limited help to emerging economies.

The NBD held its 8th annual meeting in Shanghai on Tuesday and Wednesday under the theme of “Shaping a New Era for Global Development.” Experts and officials attending the event said that the NDB should diversify its financing channels and methods to facilitate the development of emerging economies, which will help drive global economic growth amid rising market challenges and uncertainties.

Founded by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in 2014 to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging markets and developing countries, the NDB opened in July 2015, with its headquarters in Shanghai.

Aside from the five BRICS nations, the bank has added Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Uruguay to its list of members over the past few years.

The bank is currently in talks with Saudi Arabia on admitting the country as its ninth member, the Financial Times reported.
Source: Global Times

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