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As much of the world focuses on Greece's travails, the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have been working to advance their own economic agenda, most recently at their seventh annual summit in the Siberian city of Ufa.But, though Russia hosted the meeting, it is China that was viewed as dominating the grouping. Indeed, the BRICS have already proved to be a force multiplier for Chinese diplomacy, and can remain so if China is careful not to push its national interests too hard.China's GDP grew by only 7.4 percent last year, the lowest rate in 24 years.In fact, the BRICS countries remain an economic force to be reckoned with, accounting for 25.7 percent of world GDP, 42 percent of the global population, and 17 percent of total trade.China contends that a stronger BRICS grouping would help to safeguard the interests of all developing countries.China's BRICS partners face keen competition from cheap Chinese-manufactured goods (intensified by what many view as China's undervalued currency).
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