By Liu Zhiqin Source: Global Times Published: 2017-9-3
People all over the world are paying close attention to the BRICS Summit meeting in Xiamen, and there are high expectations that the BRICS countries will provide new momentum to boost the global economy.
But today`s world is changing rapidly and more challenges are emerging.
For instance, under the administration of President Donald Trump, the US is acting like a "fighting rooster," starting arguments and trade disputes with most of its allies and other countries. The US is embroiled in fights with Mexico, Canada and EU countries to protect its own interests, and it launched a Section 301 investigation against China regarding intellectual property. All these actions show that the US is trying to make the clock run backwards, against the basic wishes of global society. But it is unlikely to succeed.
This turbulence has introduced greater uncertainty, and one of the direct effects has been the depreciation of the US dollar by 10 percent since January 2017. The weaker dollar triggered tension in global stock markets and the yuan has strengthened as a side-effect. We have to be aware that this situation will cause trouble for the BRICS economies and hinder their efforts to stabilize and boost the economic recovery in emerging markets.
Under such circumstances, the unity of the BRICS countries is more important than ever.
China has suggested the concept of "BRICS Plus" and invited five other emerging nations to take part in the summit in Xiamen. This move shows the Chinese philosophy of "openness and inclusiveness" mentioned by Chinese leaders at many international conferences. The BRICS Plus concept can help to increase representation for the people in emerging countries, many of which have poor living conditions.
The BRICS Plus concept is a revolutionary step to raise the status of emerging countries and give them more say in international affairs, especially in matters related to the core interests of emerging nations.
Due to the fact that the BRICS countries have different plans of their own for economic development, strengthening unity is becoming more critical for all members.
The principles for the BRICS must be shared benefits, shared interests and shared goals. This will enable the BRICS to be vital and dynamic in pursuing sustainable economic development.
Shared benefits means that the BRICS countries will create equal possibilities for each country to gain the same benefits from cooperation, unlike the current US approach of "America first" for its own benefit.
Shared interests cover all political, economic and sovereignty issues. It is normal for countries to have different interests and concerns, so it is essential to take measures to ensure shared interests can help avoid possible conflicts and disputes in trade relations.
The principle of shared goals involves coordinating different proposals - including those for Eurasia, India`s suggestions, and the Belt and Road initiative from China - toward one goal, so as to improve people`s quality of life, as well as poverty relief. Shared goals can lift the cooperation level among BRICS nations and boost competitiveness.
When the BRICS countries unite, they can overcome the tough problems caused by Western nations, and a common bright future will be a reality instead of a distant goal. Unity among emerging countries is vital for consistent global economic growth.
The author is a senior fellow with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.