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Vitality of BRICS stems from its answering call of the times: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-09-09 19:33


When Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill coined the term BRIC in 2001 predicting that the world's fastest-growing emerging market economies — Brazil, Russia, India and China — would come to dominate the global economy by 2050, they accounted for about 15 percent of the global GDP. In 2010, South Africa was added to the group to form BRICS, and the five countries' combined share of the global economy is now about 24 percent.

That rise is mainly due to the remarkable growth of the Chinese economy, which surpassed France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan to become the world's second-largest economy during that period of time. Nonetheless, their cooperation and exchanges as a group have constantly intensified since the first BRIC summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, in 2009.

With the normalization of the ministerial-level meetings under the BRICS framework, along with other mechanisms and channels, the collaboration among the five countries now extends beyond their trade ties to encompass finance and innovation, green development and public health, and cultural exchanges and security.

Each summit of the BRICS countries is a milestone marking the broadening and deepening of their cooperation, delivering tangible benefits not just to their own peoples but those in other countries as well. The 13th BRICS Summit held via video link on Thursday was no exception.

The BRICS countries demonstrated at the summit that there is an alternative to the coercion and cajoling of Washington, which is intent on dragging the world into a new Cold War with the cliques it is marshaling to target countries such as China and Russia.

With the emphasis on cooperation, the summit provided an opportunity for the BRICS countries to deepen their practical cooperation in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

The top priority for the world at the moment is to contain the pandemic as early as possible. To help achieve that goal, the BRICS countries will not only strengthen their coordination in cross-border prevention and control measures, but also pool more resources and talent for vaccine cooperation, the most potent weapon to defeat the virus.

China launched the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Center-China Center this May, a move to implement what Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed at last year's summit. It is necessary to accelerate the construction of the vaccine R&D center, carry out production cooperation and bridge the global vaccine divide and ensure developing countries can get the COVID-19 vaccines they need.

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