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Commentary: Time for BRICS to assume a leadership role

XIAMEN — The BRICS summit in Xiamen offers a new chance for the leaders of the five member nations to bridge the governance deficit as the world order is in urgent need of an overhaul.

The summit, with the theme “Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future,” will include discussions on fairer use of resources to improve infrastructure and ensure the free flow of goods and services within the emerging-market bloc.

For decades, resources have been monopolized by developed nations, leaving developing nations lacking infrastructure and social development.

Contributing more than half of global growth over the past ten years, the BRICS nations are finding their own solutions to address the governance disparity.

The bloc’s New Development Bank (NDB), which was launched in 2014 with a focus on infrastructure and sustainable development projects, stands as a good example of what a new kind of world governance would look like.

In contrast to the quota system of other international financial institutions based on the role of a certain member, members of the NDB have equal voting power, a distinctive feature of the bank.

China has put forward the “BRICS Plus” proposal this year by inviting the leaders of Egypt, Guinea, Mexico, Tajikistan and Thailand to attend the Dialogue of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries during the summit and engage in dialogue with the BRICS members.

This will allow the BRICS summit to be an effective platform for voicing the needs, demands and aspirations of both the developing and underdeveloped nations in the world, and enable the organization to play a more decisive role in global governance.

As Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a US-based China observer, has said, since there is no perfection, it makes sense for the BRICS bloc to provide diversity to global governance and serve as a test for sharing governance of global affairs.

With the rise of protectionism taking hold in major markets like the United States and parts of Europe, the BRICS leaders’ messages of free-market globalization ring out around the world, and create opportunities for worldwide prosperity.

BRICS must step into this vacuum and give some clear direction about what they see as the future of globalization, and play their part in building the next phase of globalization.

With the G20, Belt and Road Initiative and BRICS, the world order is undergoing incremental changes and inching toward a more just and balanced world.

China is not willing or able to replace or replicate the vast web of political and economic tendrils maintained by the United States. But any benign supplement to the existing order would be desirable for world prosperity.