BRICS Summit a turning point for China’s influence on global development

5 September 2017

Leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa convened this week for their 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China. Under the summit theme of ‘BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future’, international development and economic growth was high on the agenda as China continues to promote greater cooperation between the BRICS rising powers to address global challenges.

Leaders at the 9th BRICS Summit 2017. Credit: Government of South Africa (CC BY-ND 2.0)

China has talked of the next “golden decade” and “BRICS Plus”, inviting leaders from five further countries, on what some consider a continued effort to strengthen its influence on global development cooperation in contrast to the USA which is cutting back international aid programmes.

Jing Gu, Research Fellow and Director of the Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development, says:

"This 9th BRICS Leaders Summit hosted in China may represent a turning point for global development. Whilst President Trump has planned drastic cuts to his foreign aid budget, President Xi has pledged to invest billions of dollars in aid and investments.

“China has spear-headed numerous international initiatives which support this pledge such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank, and more recently its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, covering trade, energy, finance and culture amongst other things.

“This massive investment in development is good news for low income countries in Africa and elsewhere, as long as governments in these countries set the priorities and ensure the integration with their national development strategies.”

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