What the BRICS summit means for SA

Xi Jinping,Cyril Ramaphosa,China

President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted Xi at the Union Buildings offices in Pretoria on Tuesday on a State visit ahead of the Brics summit.

"The worldwide community has reached a new crossroads; and we are facing a choice between cooperation and confrontation, between opening-up and a close-door policy, and between mutual benefit and a beggar-thy-neighbor approach", Xi said.

"Xi Jinping sees Africa, and South Africa in particular, as a region of special interest where China continues to play a supporting role", said Ramaphosa.

The Chinese leader told the summit that "we are facing a choice between cooperation and confrontation, between opening up and a closed-door policy".

China has told developing nations there would be no victor in a global trade war.

Beijing this week sharply rejected accusations by Mr Trump that it was manipulating the yuan to give its exporters an edge, saying Washington appeared determined to provoke a trade war, according to AFP.

Last week, President Trump said he was ready to impose tariffs on all goods imported from China - worth $500bn (£380bn).

Trump warns Iran of "consequences" in all-caps Twitter rebuke
He said "overthrow, disintegration, boycott and weakening" were the main U.S. policies against Iran . Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday cautioned U.S.

South Africa is now hosting the 10 Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) summit. "But, this is positive, especially because South Africa has been downgraded", Fikeni said.

The BRICS group, comprising more than 40 percent of the global population, represents some of the biggest emerging economies, but it has struggled to find a unified voice - as well as achieving sharply different growth rates.

Analysts say its members have struggled to find a unified voice, but their common opposition to United States trade policy could help to galvanise them.

In just three years, the bank has issued $5.7 billion (R74.98bn) in loans to BRICS member countries, and intends on increasing that amount to $15bn in the next three years. South Africa being part of crafting a new direction can only be positive if it is handled correctly by the government.

Signalling diplomatic rivalry over influence in Africa, PM Modi visited Rwanda and Uganda on his own five-day tour of the continent including the BRICS summit. This week the BRICS business council are holding a summit to chart a way forward on business and trade with the five countries.

BRICS takes up 26 per cent of the world's land mass.

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan will also attend a summit as the current chair of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and will meet Putin on the summit's sidelines.

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