Virtual BRICS Summit to take place

The 12th summit between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) is set to take place virtually today. Representatives

brics summit 2019

Photo: EPA-EFE/Michael Klimentyev/Sputnik

The 12th summit between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) is set to take place virtually today.

Representatives of BRICS are expected to confer under the theme of “Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth”. Topics of discussion will range from economic cooperation to regional security. The bloc is expected to approve two policy agreements, “BRICS Anti-Terrorism Strategy” and an updated version “Strategy for Economic Partnership to 2025.”

Many of today’s discussions are likely to address global efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic and develop a vaccine. Despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s current chairmanship of the bloc, expect Beijing to take the lead on addressing the virus. Thus far, China has sought to revitalise its economy and fund the World Health Organization, whereas Russia is close to approaching two million confirmed cases.

Playing on this purported leadership, expect Beijing to use COVID-19 to assert its clout within the bloc and the greater global economy. In the medium- to long-term, this will likely manifest itself in continued efforts by China to expand its global economic influence vis-à-vis investment initiatives and aid to countries struggling to economically recover from lockdown-induced recessions.

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