China says it will fully support Russia to put forward its initiatives about the future of the association of the worldís five major emerging economies (BRICS), as it took assumed the one-year chairmanship of the trade bloc.
Russia took over this yearís rotating presidency of BRICS on Monday. It is planning to hold the 12th BRICS summit in Saint Petersburg in July.
"China will fully support the preparation work of Russia as the president, keep close cooperation with Russia and other BRICS countries and promote the full success of the Saint Petersburg meeting." said Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.
He said Beijing "is looking forward to new progress and fruits under the BRICS cooperation in íthe Year of Russia.í"
"China also expects the BRICS countries to play a greater role in jointly safeguarding world peace and development."
Moscow is planning to carry out about 150 activities at various levels during its chairmanship.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the bloc will remain central for the member countries and will continue to protect the values of multilateralism.
The group, which also includes Brazil, India, and South Africa, collectively represent more than 40 percent of the world by population.
During the annual BRICS summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin criticized politically motivated protectionism at a time of a global slowdown.
They urged the world to keep markets open with fair and non-discriminatory trade rules and vowed to stand up to the United States "bullying" protectionism and unilateralism in the trade policies.
The US launched a trade war against China just over two years ago which has hit the global economy severely.