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Vol 64 No 18

Published 7th September 2023

South Africa

Beijing asserts global south leadership role

Bringing in new members and opening up more local currency trade point to a longer-term power shift

It was the biggest international gathering in South Africa since the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as the country's first democratically elected leader in 1994, but the 22-24 August summit of the BRICS grouping marked a critical change – western countries were entirely absent from the feast. In this new geometry, the biggest beneficiary was China, confirmed as the economic and diplomatic leader of the global south.

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