Ramaphosa and Xi condemn unilateral trade measures, protectionism

No winner’ in trade war – China’s Xi

Mr Xi held talks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on the eve of the gathering, saying that "the Johannesburg summit has special significance for Brics cooperation in the new circumstances".

"We are concerned by the rise in unilateral measures that are incompatible with World Trade Organisation rules, and we are anxious about the impact of these measures, especially as they impact on developing countries and economies", said Ramaphosa.

Leaders of the BRICS emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - are holding an annual three-day summit, with attention focused on the threat of a US-led global trade war.

"The worldwide community has reached a new crossroads; and we are facing a choice between cooperation and confrontation, between opening-up and a close-door policy, and between mutual benefit and a beggar-thy-neighbor approach", Xi said.

Modi will attend the 10th edition of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, during which the grouping's leaders are expected to deliberate on global hot-spot issues, worldwide peace and security, global governance and trade issues among others.

Last week, President Trump said he was ready to impose tariffs on all goods imported from China - worth $500bn (£380bn).

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Analysts say its members have struggled to find a unified voice, but their common opposition to U.S. trade policy could help to galvanise them.

The leaders of the Brics nations will address their peers today.

"They come with the national interests of their countries".

China is now the single greatest investing country to the continent and with its trade war with the United States having taken effect it was expected that most of the Asian country's investment may be for South Africa's earth metals or other products that were hit by hefty tariffs by the US.

Earlier, Modi had visited Rwanda for two days on the first leg of his visit.

South Africa is China's biggest trade partner in Africa. Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has also been invited.

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