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Chinese president arrives in Russia for BRICS, SCO summits

UFA, Russia, July 8 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in the southwestern Russian city of Ufa on Wednesday to attend the annual summits of BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Ufa, capital of Russia’s Republic of Bashkortostan, will host both the 7th leaders’ meeting of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) slated for July 8-9, and the 15th meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State on July 9-10. Russia holds the rotating chair of both BRICS and SCO in 2015.

It will be Xi’s third time to attend the annual BRICS summit. He and other leaders of the emerging-market bloc will exchange views on enhancing cooperation among BRICS countries and on international, regional issues of common concern.

A staunch supporter and active participant of BRICS cooperation, China hopes the Ufa summit can push for building partnerships among BRICS countries, make new progress on the operation of the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, deepen consensus on the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and promote BRICS’ exchanges with the SCO and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union.

Against the backdrop of increasing downward pressure on the economy of SCO member states and growing threats and challenges in the region, the SCO summit is tasked with charting a course for future development and cooperation.

A highlight of the SCO summit in Ufa is that President Xi and other leaders will pass a resolution on starting the procedures of granting India and Pakistan full membership of the organization.

The heads of state will also approve the SCO development strategy until 2025, sign a border defense cooperation agreement, and issue a declaration on the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War, and another declaration on drugs.

On the sidelines of the two summits, President Xi is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putinand other leaders. A trilateral meeting of leaders of China, Russia and Mongolia, the second of its kind during the annual SCO summit, is also on the agenda.

BRICS was originally known as “BRIC” before the inclusion of South Africa in 2010. The term “BRIC” was coined in 2001 by former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill in his paper entitled “Building Better Global Economic BRICs.”

BRICS gathers five major emerging economies in the world and has become an important platform for dialogue and cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries.

Founded in 2001, the SCO has China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as its full members, withAfghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan as observers and Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka as dialogue partners.

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