An upcoming meeting of the leaders of the world's leading emerging economies should boost consensus and cooperation among them, although members of the group have yet to decide on whether to establish a permanent secretariat, a Chinese diplomat said Saturday.
The April 14 meeting in the southern Chinese resort of Sanya will include the heads of Brazil, Russia, India, China and _ for the first time _ South Africa. The five make up the grouping known as the BRIC countries, whose members account for 40 percent of the world's population and 15 percent of global trade.
Discussions in Sanya will cover trade and finance, as well as major political issues, with areas of agreement to be laid out in a final statement, Assistant Chinese Foreign Minister Wu Hailong told reporters at a briefing.
"We hope through the concerted efforts of all parties that this meeting will be an important milestone in the cooperation process among the BRIC countries," Wu said.
Wu said the question of whether to establish a formal BRIC secretariat would be discussed, with a decision based on the group's future evolution.
Wu said the group acknowledged the existence of rivalries and divergent views among its members, but would act to prevent them impeding cooperation.
"On those other issues, we can put them aside for a while and take them up again when conditions are ripe. We will not let those issues on which we hold divergent views divide us," Wu said.
Chinese President Hu Jintao planned to hold bilateral meetings with his formal counterparts on issues including the ongoing crisis in Libya, Wu said.