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Brics Plus: China wants more countries in grouping; will India's influence be reduced?

Brics may soon have more member countries, courtesy China. According to a report in The Times of India, the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi has come up with the idea of expanding the membership of the five-nation economic grouping too include other emerging economies like Mexico, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. At present the grouping has five member countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The Chinese top diplomat was quoted by the publication as saying, " China would explore modalities for Brics-plus, to hold outreach dialogues with other major developing countries". Wang added, “We will widen the circle of friends and turn Brics into the most-influential platform for south-south cooperation in the world”.

 Brics Plus: China wants more countries in grouping; will Indias influence be reduced?

Brics leaders posing for a group photo before the summit in Benaulim, Goa. PTI

The development assumes significance as China will be holding the presidency of the Brics this year. It will be hosting the ninth summit at Xiamen in September.

China also added that this year’s Brics Summit hosted by it will seek breakthrough in political and security cooperation and widen the grouping’s circle to make it the “most influential platform” for developing countries.

The Times of India reported that the latest idea mooted by China is Beijing's ploy to cut India's influence in the group by roping in more pro-China countries into it.

It is to be noted that Pakistan, Mexico and Sri Lanka — countries suggested by China — has had close ties with Beijing since recent times.

Nevertheless, the report also added that the proposal may not get New Delhi's support since the Brics will be focussing on consolidation rather than expansion in view of the economic and political turmoil in Brazil and South Africa.

Quoting Swaran Singh, a professor at Institute of International Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University, the report added that India is still analysing the ramifications of a Donald Trump presidency and would not like to take any politically decisive step in such a scenario.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Mar 09, 2017 15:17:57 IST