Chinese President Xi Jinping is on his way to Johannesburg in South Africa to participate in the upcoming BRICS summit over the next few days. China aims to expand the power base of that group with new member states.
After a fourteen-hour flight, Chinese President Xi arrives in Johannesburg today. This is only his second foreign trip of the year. It shows that this visit is high on his agenda.
The BRICS currently consists of five countries (Brazil, Russia, China, India, and South Africa). However, China would like more countries to join. Xi hopes that this way the power base of the BRICS will become larger. He sees it as a counterpart to the Western-dominated G7.
But the other members aren’t necessarily eager for that. India and Brazil are a bit more reserved. They fear that their status within the BRICS might diminish. They will certainly have discussions about this in the coming days.
The relationship with South Africa is also important. The country is part of the New Silk Road. In 2022, 10 percent of South African exports went to China. And even 20 percent of South African imports came from China.
US President Joe Biden has not yet visited the country as president. Xi is doing that now. He hopes he can nudge countries like South Africa towards Beijing.