President Xi Jinping will attend the eighth meeting of BRICS leaders in Goa, India, from Oct 15 to 16. This will be their first meeting after their informal gathering at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, in early September, and it is a meeting that is of practical importance.
The cooperation of the BRICS members intensified after the onset of the international financial crisis in 2008. In response to the crisis, the BRICS states strengthened their bilateral and multilateral economic and trade cooperation, and they have continued to deepen their cooperation since.
The collective rise of emerging economies and the comparative fall of the developed economies constitute one of the most important phenomena of international politics in the early 21st century.
The BRICS members boast advantages in scale with regard to their territorial areas, populations and resources. They account for 30 percent of the world's land, 43 percent of the global population, 21 percent of the world's gross domestic product and 40 percent of global foreign exchange.
The BRICS states are all big countries in their respective regions and have correspondingly large says and influence in regional affairs.
The cooperation of the BRICS countries is of practical meaning to protect and enhance the interests of emerging economies and developing countries.
With the BRICS members as representatives, the emerging market countries and developing countries have seen marked and rapid increases in their international influence.
And with a combined population of about 3 billion people, the rise of the BRICS countries is related to the fate of the whole world and humanity. The five countries are expected to play active and constructive roles in setting the global development agenda, climate change negotiations, reform of the International Monetary Fund, and other global topics.
Because the BRICS countries are all major members of the United Nations－China and Russia are both permanent members of the UN Security Council－and cooperative representatives of developing and developed countries in G20, the BRICS members bridge the different camps among countries.
The World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the other regional financial organizations, such as development banks in Asia and Africa, are actually controlled by Western countries, with the United States dominant. The establishment of the New Development Bank of BRICS is therefore significant for establishing a fairer international financial structure.
The New Development Bank is an international financial agency that the BRICS states fund and manage themselves. This is an important breakthrough in the global financial system, one that is promoting transformation of the international financial order, and one that can enhance developing countries' status and voice in the international financial governance.
The bank can help solve the BRICS countries' shortage of medium－and short-term funding, boost their infrastructure construction and economic growth, and reduce their excess reliance on the US dollar, euro and yen.
China plays a special and constructive role in the cooperation among the BRICS countries. It is also an active advocate and supporter of South-South cooperation, and cooperating with developing countries is an important part of China's opening-up strategy.
The cooperation mechanism of BRICS provides an effective way to promote South-South cooperation. China's cooperation with the other BRICS members is conducive to breaking Western countries' trade protectionism and strengthening their coordination on actions to address climate change, prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the fight against terrorism, as well as many other global issues.
BRICS cooperation is not intended to rival current system, but rather aims to seek effective cooperation with the developed countries. The essence of the BRICS' cooperation spirit is openness and inclusiveness.
The author is vice-president of China Foreign Affairs University.