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China’s Xiamen city awaits BRICS summit in September

By Kimeng Hilton Ndukong (People's Daily Online)    17:28, July 31, 2017

Xiamen international conference and exhibition centre will host the 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen

People arriving these days at Xiamen Gaoqi international airport, southeast China’s coastal Fujian province, are quick to notice that there is an important event in the offing. Banners of the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, BRICS economic bloc summit to hold in Xiamen city from September 3-5 are already fluttering in the hallways of the busy airport. Sponsored by a local bank, the red banners carry the message, “Welcome to BRICS summit” in English and Chinese.

Summit theme

With theme, “BRICS: Stronger partnership for a brighter future,” the summit’s main venue will be the Xiamen international conference and exhibition centre. Elsewhere on the 13.7-km-long island with a population of almost 4 million inhabitants, discussions tend to centre on the forthcoming BRICS leaders’ summit – the second time China will host the event after 2011.

All hands on deck for BRICS summit

Preparations for a successful event are already in full gear. Xiamen city officials on May 22 launched a 100-day countdown to the 9th BRICS summit. “BRICS Xiamen summit is fast approaching. We have drawn up schedules and kept everything in progress,” Pei Jinjia, Secretary of the Communist Party of China Xiamen municipal committee told a press conference at the C&D Hotel, Xiamen last May.

The 2017 BRICS summit is the second time China is hosting leaders of the economic bloc

The Philippines News Agency cited Pei as saying then that preparations for the biggest international event to be hosted by Xiamen were based on five guidelines. These are avoiding extravagance, ensuring that the event benefits the city and its citizens, assuring security and safety, providing quality logistic services and encouraging massive public participation.

Renovation of convention centre

Pei told the media that five metro railway lines were under construction, in addition to other typhoon-related recovery projects in different parts of the city. The city was hit last September by the strongest-ever typhoon in 10 years. “In order to avoid extravagance, we will use Xiamen’s existing international conference centre facilities. We will make some renovations in line with BRICS summit requirements,” Pei said.


Meanwhile, classes and factory work will not be interrupted during the summit, but there will be minimal changes to traffic flow. Pei Jingia added that Xiamen residents and Fujian province in general were excited to host the event, which is expected to attract over 30,000 applications for 2,000 volunteer slots. “Preparations such as event arrangements, venue renovation, environmental improvements, conference logistics, security and public engagements, have been advancing in an orderly and coordinated manner,” he assured.

Media booths

The Xiamen CPC official said a 15,000-square-metre working area will be allocated to the media at the Xiamen international conference and exhibition centre. It has 15 functional areas, including public signals, satellite transmission and a special cafeteria to remain open round the clock.

A 15,000-square-metre working area will be allocated to journalists at the Xiamen international conference and exhibition centre

Possible issues for discussion

According to “The BRICS Post” online publication, focus at the summit will be on strengthening global governance and dealing with international terrorism and third-party intervention in regional crises. The key issues to be discussed will be furthering studies on establishing an independent ratings agency that appeals more to developing nations by making use of fairer criteria and assessments.

Leaders will also consider strengthening the international architecture of BRICS development bank. Experts have suggested that China’s chair of this year’s BRICS summit could see member states also discuss globalization and how to counter protectionist policies such as US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from international organizations and treaties. China is likely to impress on fellow members the importance of the Paris Climate Control Accords as a means to combat global warming, “The BRICS Post” said.

BRICS 2017 logo

Meanwhile, the 2017 BRICS summit logo is already available. It resembles two full sails and a rotating earth, and is painted in five colours representing the five BRICS countries. The symbolism is that BRICS countries are breaking waves in the same boat towards a brighter future as the organization plays an important role in global political and economic affairs.

The 2017 BRICS logo has a traditional Chinese cultural touch

The logo brings out the theme of the summit; “BRICS: Stronger partnership for a brighter future,” and brims with the distinct marine culture of the host city, Xiamen. At the bottom are the words in English; “BRICS 2017 CHINA” and a red seal highlighting China’s BRICS chair for 2017. The seal is engraved in Dazhuan, an ancient Chinese calligraphic style, giving the logo a traditional Chinese cultural touch.

Host city’s rising economic profile

Xiamen’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016 reached 378.425 billion RMB, an increase of 7.9 percent year-on-year, with per capita GDP of 96,536 RMB. New contractual foreign investments were worth 7.568 billion U.S. dollars. The service sector accounted for 69.1 percent of Xiamen’s economic growth. The city received 67.7 million domestic and overseas visitors, reaping in 96.826 billion RMB in tourism revenue.

In 2016 Xiamen’s GDP reached 378.425 billion RMB, an increase of 7.9 percent year-on-year

Belt and Road connectivity

According to China’s Belt and Road Initiative blueprint, Xiamen is set to become the strategic pivot city of the 21st century Maritime Silk Road. With China (Xiamen)-Europe freight trains running along the Silk Road Economic Belt across Eurasia, Xiamen is conveniently connected to the Polish city of Lodz, the gateway to Eastern Europe, thus linking the Maritime Silk Road with the On-land Silk Route.

Kimeng Hilton Ndukong is Sub-Editor for World News with Cameroon Tribune bilingual daily newspaper in Cameroon. He is currently on media attachment with People’s Daily Online in English. 

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(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

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