Chinese President Xi Jinping heads to Russia with a high-power team

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a welcoming ceremony for Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yamon in Beijing, China, on 3 July 2015.

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a welcoming ceremony for Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yamon in Beijing, China, on 3 July 2015. File photo/Getty Images/Lintao Zhang


BEIJING, China, 8 July 2015

Chinese President Xi Jinping today left for Russia with a high-power team to attend the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summits, on the sidelines of which he is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mr Xi will attend the 7th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit on 8-9 July and the 15th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on 9-10 July in Russian city of Ufa at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

While operationalising the BRICS New Development Bank headed by noted Indian banker KV Kamath and emergency reserve arrangement of the five emerging economies is the highlight of the BRICS summit, clearing way for the entry of India and Pakistan into the six-nation SCO is the focus of its summit.

Mr Xi is also expected to have a meeting with Modi on the sidelines of the summit to review the progress on the implementation of the outcomes of the Prime Minister’s visit to China in May. He is also due to have similar meetings with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Putin.

Mr Xi’s entourage for Ufa included senior member of the politburo of the ruling Communist Party of China Wang Huning and Li Zhanshu, State Councilor Yang Jiechi and central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan among others.

Ahead of the visit, the Chinese official media has projected a positive outcome of the two summits.

“The GDP of the BRICS countries has increased from 7 per cent of the global total to over 20 per cent. Especially after the financial crisis in 2008, the BRICS countries became the engine of global economic growth,” said a commentary by the People’s Daily on the progress made by BRICS countries.

“Even the most optimistic forecast did not predict the rapid development that BRICS economies would undergo,” it said. But at the same time “it’s true that the economic growth of the BRICS countries is facing a slowdown recently and worries are emerging that the BRICS dream is fading,” it said.

“However, although the slowdown in their economies is a fact, there are both external and internal factors, among which those countries’ structural reforms based on their own economic development play an important role,” it said.

“Thus, it is not appropriate to regard the trend as the sign of the decline of the BRICS countries. Besides, slowdown is a relative term. Compared with their own speed of economic growth in the past, there is a deceleration, but compared with the developed world, their pace of growth is still rather high,” it said.

Outlining the progress of the BRICS, the daily said since the first-ever meeting of its foreign ministers in 2006, the BRICS countries have established a multi-level framework of collaboration in terms of finance, economy and trade, industry and commerce, agriculture, health, science and technology.

“It is now a driving force in promoting global economic growth, improving global economic governance, and strengthening multilateralism as well as the democratization of international relations,” it said.

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