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China to host 14th BRICS Summit with focus on 'new era of global development'

China is poised to host the 14th annual summit of the BRICS group of emerging economies comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa later this year with an emphasis on fostering high-quality partnership among the group members with a vision of ushering in a new era of global development, Beijing announced Wednesday.

The last two BRICS Summits were hosted online through video conference by Russia and India respectively due to the pandemic. It is not yet confirmed if the summit this year will follow the same format or will be held in person.

Announcing the theme for the summit as 'Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development,' the Chinese Foreign Ministry said public health and vaccine cooperation have been identified as among the key areas of BRICS cooperation this year, as the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a first step, the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development (R&D) Center was officially launched in an online ceremony on Tuesday, marking the five countries' step closer to vaccine joint research, plant co-construction, authorized local production, and mutual recognition of standards.

Initially, the national centers of all the BRICS countries will build Internet-based virtual centers to form a network of BRICS vaccine R&D centers. Later, when conditions are ready, the establishment of physical centers will be started after comprehensive feasibility assessments. 

"At present, the pandemic is still dragging on across the world. The establishment of the BRICS Vaccine R&D Center demonstrates the determination of BRICS countries to focus on vaccine cooperation, deepen public health cooperation and build a 'BRICS line of defense' against COVID-19," Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily media briefing Wednesday.

"We hope that the Vaccine R&D Center will pool the strengths of BRICS countries, further promote scientific and technological cooperation among BRICS countries, enhance the five countries' capability of preventing and controlling infectious diseases, contribute to the global fight against COVID-19 and make new contributions to international public health cooperation," he added.


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