Venezuela's Maduro seeks China's help to join Brics

Beijing has advocated for the bloc's expansion to counter western dominance

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro shaking hands with Secretary of the Nanshan District Committee of Shenzhen City Huang Xiangyue during a welcoming ceremony in Shenzhen, China on September 9. Miraflores Palace Press Office/AFP
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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said he is seeking Beijing's support to join the recently expanded Brics group of emerging economies.

The Brics bloc - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - agreed at their annual summit last month to admit six new full members, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

In an interview with Chinese state news agency Xinhua on Saturday, Mr Maduro said he aimed to secure Venezuela's entry into Brics "with the support of China, with the support of all countries."

During his state visit Maduro said that Beijing could help achieve the accession of "a country with the largest oil reserves in the world."

"The enlarged Brics could be defined as the great engine for the acceleration of the birth of a new world, a world of cooperation where the global south has the leading voice," he told Xinhua.

"The Brics nations accelerate the de-dollarisation of the world, the emergence of a new international financial system, of a new just economic order," he added.

The Venezuelan president arrived in China on Friday and is expected to stay until Thursday, for his first state visit to the country since 2018.

Beijing is Venezuela's main creditor and has close ties with the diplomatically isolated, inflation-ravaged socialist nation.

The Brics group will welcome its new members from January 1.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Argentina have also been invited to join.

China views Brics as a counterweight to multinational organisations it deems as dominated by the United States and other western rivals, and has pushed for the expansion of the bloc.

Maduro's visit comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping skips a meeting of the G20 major economies in India.

He had praised the "unanimous" decision to expand Brics last month.

“Brics countries are all countries with important influence and shoulder important responsibilities for world peace and development,” he said at the time.

“This membership expansion is historic. It shows the determination of Brics countries for unity and co-operation with the broader developing countries.”

Updated: September 10, 2023, 1:05 PM