Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted the 14th BRICS Summit, which kicked off on Thursday in virtual format under the theme of "Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development." The BRICS mechanism began with the Meeting of the BRIC Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in 2006. In 2009, it was upgraded to summit level which was hosted once a year. In 2011, with South Africa officially becoming a member, BRIC was enlarged to BRICS. By the end of 2021, the BRICS leaders have convened 13 formal meetings. This year is indeed the BRICS China Year. Thanks to the active support of all sides, China has successfully held over 70 meetings and events so far this year, covering political, security, economic, trade, financial, people-to-people and cultural fields as well as sustainable development and public health. In 1972, when the United States President Richard Nixon visited China, Chairman Mao Zedong presented him with 200 grams of dahongpao tea. Dahongpao tea is the most famous oolong tea in China. Sensing Nixon's doubt, Premier Zhou Enlai explained to him that the annual yield of six dahongpao mother trees, which have survived hundreds of years, was a mere 500 grams. Zhou joked that the chairman had given Nixon "half of the country". Chinese tea culture started to enjoy popularity during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and flourished throughout the Song Dynasty (960-1279), when tea had become a necessity for almost everyone, from nobles and scholars to common people, just like other indispensable items, such as rice, oil and salt, as suggested by Song politician and thinker Wang Anshi.
Tea is one of the three major drinks in the world, produced in more than 60 countries and regions worldwide and enjoyed by over two billion people. In November 2019, the United Nations declared May 21 as International Tea Day.