On January 1, 2017, President Xi Jinping sent letters to President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, President Michel Temer of Brazil and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India on China’s official assumption of the BRICS presidency, introducing China’s vision on advancing the BRICS cooperation process during its presidency to leaders of the four countries.
Xi Jinping said that China will hold the ninth BRICS Summit in Xiamen of Fujian Province in September, 2017. With joint efforts of the member countries, the BRICS cooperation has gone through its first decade successfully with fruitful results in areas such as politics, economy, and people-to-people and cultural engagement. The summit has been constantly taking new steps to inject new impetus to the BRICS cooperation. BRICS countries are recognized as models for cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries, bringing benefits to people of all member countries and making important contributions to boosting world economy, improving global governance and democratizing international relations.
Xi Jinping stressed that the year 2017 will open the second decade for the BRICS cooperation. Looking into the future, BRICS countries will make greater progress in their cooperation and play a greater role in international affairs. Currently, BRICS countries should strengthen solidarity and cooperation and safeguard common interests amid the mounting global challenges as well as the increasing uncertainties and instability in the international landscape. As the BRICS presidency in 2017, China looks forward to working with other member countries to pool consensus and chart the blueprint for cooperation within the theme of “deepening the BRICS partnership and opening up a brighter future”. To this end, the Xiamen Summit will make progress in the following key aspects: first, deepen practical cooperation to promote common development; second, strengthen global governance to jointly address challenges; third, carry out people-to-people and cultural exchanges to consolidate the public opinion basis; and fourth, promote mechanism building to forge more extensive partnerships. China will uphold the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation and join hands with other member countries to push the Xiamen Summit for a success and the BRICS cooperation to a new level.
The BRICS cooperation mechanism was established in 2006. Since the first summit in 2009, eight summits have been held so far. Xi Jinping’s letters to leaders of other BRIC countries at the beginning of the year officially lift the curtain of the “Year of China” for BRICS countries in 2017, marking an overall initiation of China’s work as the BRICS presidency.