The 15th BRICS summit will kick off later Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa, amid expectations that it will be expanded by accepting new members and drawing up an economic, trade and financial roadmap for the bloc.

The Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Johannesburg on Monday in a state visit to South Africa, and he will attend the BRICS summit, which will be held from August 22-24.

The Chinese President expressed his confidence that the upcoming summit will become an important milestone in the development of the BRICS mechanism, and will help push the unity and cooperation of developing countries to a higher level.

The Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, Russian Prime Minister Sergey Lavrov and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also arrived in South Africa.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will also deliver a speech to the summit via video.

South Africa, chair of this year’s summit, said that 20 countries have applied to join the group, such as Algeria, Saudi Arabia and other emerging countries, as the founding members expected to consider the membership of these countries.

The presidents and leaders of Brazil, China, India and South Africa, as well as the Russian foreign minister, will meet under the slogan “BRICS and Africa,” South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor announced.

BRICS, a bloc that came out into the open in 2006, and held its first meeting in 2009 and includes the countries of China, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa.

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