The 9th Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) economic bloc leaders’ summit be held from September 3-5, in Xiamen, Fujian province on China’s southeastern coast. As part of preparations for the important gathering, the Fujian Foreign Affairs Office is organising a press tour of the province for 15 international journalists from July 24-28.
10 of the journalists from Africa are currently participating in the 2017 media exchange programme with the China-Africa Press Centre, CAPC, Beijing; while the remaining five are Beijing-based correspondents for Russian, German and Polish media. The aim of the trip is to present the rich coastal province to the world, especially BRICS summit participants, prospective investors and tourists.
“BRICS concerns Africa because South Africa is a member. As Africans, we expect the BRICS Bank to save as alternative to the IMF by granting loans at lower interests. We hope to see this bank help Africa develop its infrastructure,” said Aly Diouf, reporter with Le Soleil, a Senegalese state-owned daily.
“I know the forthcoming BRICS summit is part of the Belt and Road Initiative. The trip to Fujian province will enable me to learn about preparations for next September’s BRICS summit. Africa’s major challenges now are development of infrastructure and alleviating poverty. I will like to see these issues discussed at the summit,” Diouf added.
“I would like to know more about Fujian province, especially about the city of Xiamen that will host the BRICS summit in September. I will also like to see developments in the region because BRICS is so important. Concerning the summit, I will like to see how China and India handle their border disagreement and move forward as allies,” said Rafal Tomanski, Beijing correspondent of the Polish Press Agency.
“This is more so because China and India are two very big and important countries. Working on the basis of mutual understanding, trust and win-win cooperation is therefore very important. Fujian province is renowned for its history – the Chinese who left there in earlier centuries created China towns in foreign lands. I would like to see the province’s cultural and tourist sites,” Tomanski noted.
“They are going to show us developments in preparation for the BRICS summit. The summit ties in with the Belt and Road Initiative. I was in Fujian province last month for the BRICS forum for politicians, academics, civil society and business people in preparation for the summit. I saw the high level of preparations for September’s summit. I look forward to the trip, especially the businesses and tourist attractions we will visit,” commented Melanie Peters, Online editor of South Africa’s Weekend Argus.
According to the programme, the journalists arrived at the Fuzhou Changle international airport, Fujian province, from Beijing in the afternoon of July 24. They will visit the China-ASEAN marine product exchange and Three Lanes and Seven Alleys historical street in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian. They will also meet Fujian Foreign Office officials. Other highlights of the tour include visits to cultural and industrial sites in Quanzhou, Zhangzhou and Xiamen cities, with the final lap being a visit to the cozy Gulangyu island.
As chair of the BRICS 2017 presidency, China looks forward to working with other member countries to reach consensus and chart the blueprint for enhanced cooperation. This year’s summit theme is, “BRICS: Stronger partnership for a brighter future.” Chinese
President, Xi Jinping, last January 1 wrote to his Brazilian, Russian, Indian and South African counterparts, proposing four ideas for discussion at September’s gathering. To this end, the Xiamen summit is expected to deepen cooperation in promoting common development, strengthen global governance by jointly addressing challenges, carry out people-to-people and cultural exchanges to consolidate public opinion, and promote mechanisms for forging broader partnerships.
Source: People's Daily Online