China, which is all set to host the upcoming Brics summit, hopes to make the association of nations the “most influential platform” for emerging economies, reported the state-run Xinhua news agency. Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday said that the meet, which will be held in September in the southeastern Xiamen city, will initiate breakthrough co-operations in political and security matters.

The members of Brics include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. However, Wang Yi hinted at a possible expansion the group. “We will widen the circle of friends and turn Brics into the most-influential platform for south-south cooperation in the world,” he said. Wang Yi further said that the member-nations may come up with a new banner, Brics-plus, by inviting other “developing countries”. “China will explore modalities for BRICS-plus, to hold outreach dialogues with other major developing countries,” he said, according to The Times of India.

Speaking during his annual news meet, Wang Yi went on to add that this year’s summit will focus on a plan that will usher in world peace and development. The September summit will be the ninth BRICS leaders’ meet. The nations will review their two-decade-long experience and chalk out future plans.

However, experts are sceptical of this expansion initiative. According to them, it’s a move that will bolster China’s influence and diminish the role played by India and other countries in Brics. “India would be the worst affected among BRICS partners. After expansion, the organisation would lose its focus and coherence on development issues and become more like a political platform for China,” Mohan Malik, professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu, told The Times of India.