China hosts BRICS meeting amid rising economic concerns

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday is hosting a virtual summit with the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa collectively known as the “BRICS,” amid rising concerns over the global economic outlook and a growing political divide between Beijing and New Delhi, Associated Press reported.

While no agenda has been issued for the talks, Ukraine is likely to feature heavily in the background. China has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion while criticizing sanctions brought against Moscow. India has bought large amounts of Russian oil at a heavy discount, and South Africa abstained on a United Nations vote condemning Russia’s actions.

Along with Xi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro are scheduled to join the two days of discussions.

China has sought to use the BRICS meetings to further its vision of an alliance to counter the U.S.-led liberal democratic world order while expanding its economic and political footprint.

That has produced few tangible results, but Xi remains committed to the idea of an alternative — and principally authoritarian — global governance mode, investing heavily in countries like Cambodia while cracking down on civil rights in Hong Kong and boosting its military to assert its claims in the South China Sea and threats to annex Taiwan by force.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday is hosting a virtual summit with the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa collectively known as the “BRICS,” amid rising concerns over the global economic outlook and a growing political divide between Beijing and New Delhi.

While no agenda has been issued for the talks, Ukraine is likely to feature heavily in the background. China has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion while criticizing sanctions brought against Moscow. India has bought large amounts of Russian oil at a heavy discount, and South Africa abstained on a United Nations vote condemning Russia’s actions.

Along with Xi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro are scheduled to join the two days of discussions.

China has sought to use the BRICS meetings to further its vision of an alliance to counter the U.S.-led liberal democratic world order while expanding its economic and political footprint.

That has produced few tangible results, but Xi remains committed to the idea of an alternative — and principally authoritarian — global governance mode, investing heavily in countries like Cambodia while cracking down on civil rights in Hong Kong and boosting its military to assert its claims in the South China Sea and threats to annex Taiwan by force.

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