Climate change, trade, and terrorism were high on the agenda Monday at a Beijing meeting of foreign affairs officials from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, known collectively as the BRICS nations. The five countries are seeking to further align their views on key issues at a time when President Donald Trump is withdrawing the U.S. from multilateral arrangements such as the Paris climate accords and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China in the coming year would look to "expand with more broad and wide-ranging cooperation in areas such as trade and commerce and investment." Together the BRICS countries account for roughly 40 percent of the world's population and 20 percent of the global economy. All five countries are members of the Group of 20 industrial and emerging-market nations, although their economic prospects have declined somewhat amid crises in Brazil and South Africa and the impact of sanctions lodged against Russia by the West.