China invites South Africa to join BRIC group

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi telephoned his South African counterpart, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to relay the news that the BRIC group had agreed to include South Africa in future meetings, the ministry said on its website.

The ministry statement said President Hu Jintao had sent a formal invitation letter to South African President Jacob Zuma via the South African ambassador to Beijing.

Yang was quoted as saying that China believed South Africa's participation would "promote the development of BRIC and enhance the cooperation of emerging market economies".

China now holds the rotating chairmanship of the group, which held its first leaders summit in the Russian city of Yakaterinburg in June 2009. Zuma visited all four BRIC nations this summer.

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