9th BRICS Summit 2017
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Guests: Jabin T Jacob, Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies; Subhomoy Bhattacharjee, Consulting Editor, The Business Standard; Sushant Sareen, Strategic Affairs Expert; S. R. Tayal, Former Diplomat
The 2017 BRICS summit was the ninth annual BRICS summit, an international relations conference attended by the heads of state or heads of government of the five member states Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The summit was held in Xiamen, China, the second time the China has hosted the summit after the 2011 summit.
The 43-page Xiamen Declaration issued at the end of the ninth BRICS summit.
The BRICS annual summit was held this week from September 3-5 in Xiamen, China, and was attended by the heads of state of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The theme of the five-member group’s ninth summit was “BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future.” The summit was particularly significant as it was held against the backdrop of recent border discord in the Doklam area in the Himalayas between India and China.
The 73-day standoff between the two countries had casted shadow over the possibility of a successful summit this year. However, the standoff came to an end significantly days before the BRICS summit was scheduled to be held in China. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs issued statement on August 28 announcing “expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam.” The ministry clarified in a separate statement the next day that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be visiting China for the BRICS summit. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying maintained that “Indian personnel and equipments have been withdrawn to the Indian side of the boundary” and “in light of the changes on the ground” China will make “necessary adjustments and deployment.” Talking about BRICS, she argued that “China stands ready to make active efforts and play a positive role in ensuring the success of the event.” Although there were differences in the manner in which disengagement was announced by the two sides, it nevertheless cleared the path for the 2017 edition of the BRICS summit.
The Xiamen Declaration signed by the members during the summit emphasized that BRICS, as a forum, has “fostered the spirit of mutual respect and understanding, equality, solidarity, openness, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation,” among the members and reiterated the shared desire for “peace, security, development and cooperation.”
The BRICS organization, which is comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, represents over 40% of the global population, and its collective economy accounts for over one-fifth of global GDP. Two of the countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council and the other three are aspiring to be. BRICS is thus a major world power bloc.