Looks like I need to eat my words. I had argued that an enlargement of Brics at the Johannesburg summit would diminish the influence of SA, the bloc’s smallest member. Yet the inclusion of six new members — Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE — seems to have enhanced Pretoria’s profile in Brics. It is bathing in the limelight as the leading champion of the Global South.  

The most important victory, though, was that SA seems to have gained China’s trust. Beijing and Pretoria’s view on agitating for a multipolar world order are aligned, and Pretoria has proved to Beijing that it is an able lieutenant in pulling off the mammoth diplomatic task of achieving consensus on the Brics expansion.  ..

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