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BRICS cooperation once again reaches a “moment of glory”

Published Jun 28, 2022

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Chen Xiaodong

FROM June 22 to 24, BRICS cooperation once again reached a “moment of glory”.

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The BRICS Business Forum, the 14th BRICS Summit and the High-level Dialogue on Global Development were held in succession.

President Xi Jinping and President Cyril Ramaphosa attended and addressed the events together with leaders of other countries.

Bearing in mind the well-being of mankind, President Xi Jinping has focused on BRICS and gone beyond it. He has answered the question of history and the question of the times as to where the world is heading. His remarks have opened a new stage for BRICS cooperation and injected new strength into the development and progress of mankind.

First, we should safeguard fairness and justice and make concerted efforts for peace.

Peace, like air and sunshine, is hardly noticed when people are benefiting from it. But none of us can live without it. Our world today is overshadowed by the dark clouds of Cold War mentality and power politics, and beset by constantly emerging traditional and non-traditional security threats.

Some countries attempt to expand military alliances to seek absolute security, stoke bloc-based confrontation by coercing other countries into picking sides, and pursue unilateral dominance at the expense of others’ rights and interests.

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Instability, uncertainty and insecurity are on the rise in the international situation, and the world faces the real risk of division and confrontation. At this year's Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference, President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Security Initiative for the first time, which was widely acclaimed by the international community.

During the BRICS Summit, President Xi Jinping further expounded on the rich meaning and practical significance of the Initiative, which advocates a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, follows the philosophy that humanity is an indivisible security community, and aims to create a new path to security that features dialogue over confrontation, partnership over alliance and win-win over zero-sum.

He emphasised that BRICS countries, as important emerging market countries and large developing countries, should take on responsibility and make a difference, so as to inject more positive, stable and constructive energy into the world.

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The Global Security Initiative is not only a firm support for the cause of world peace, but also points the way to effectively respond to the current chaotic changes in the world.

Second, we need to focus on win-win cooperation to boost the driving force for development. Development is the eternal theme of human society. It is also the key to solving various problems and realising happiness. In recent years, the world economy has been struggling for recovery; international development cooperation lacks driving forces; and the issue of development has become increasingly marginalised on the international agenda.

All these factors make it difficult to materialise the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Global Development Initiative, which President Xi Jinping put forward at the UN General Assembly, contributes China's solutions and wisdom to solving development challenges and serves as important public goods.

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So far, the Initiative has received positive response from more than 100 countries and international organisations, and over 50 countries have joined the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative.

At the High-level Dialogue on Global Development, President Xi Jinping further proposed to create a development paradigm that is inclusive and balanced, coordinated and inclusive, with win-win cooperation and common prosperity.

He put forward four propositions, including jointly building an international consensus for development, creating an international environment conducive to development, fostering new dynamics for global development, and building a global partnership for development. He also announced an array of important measures, including creating the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, increasing input to the UN Peace and Development Trust Fund, and establishing a global development promotion centre.

A total of 32 announceables and deliverables were released. The High-level Dialogue on Global Development, with its broad representation and international influence, marks the beginning of implementation of the Global Development Initiative that echoes the overriding trend of the times to pursue common development and prosperity.

Third, we need to advocate pioneering spirit and tap the potential for innovation.

Scientific and technological innovation constitutes the foundation of a nation’s prosperity and progress. President Xi Jinping pointed out that those who seize the opportunities of the new economy, such as big data and artificial intelligence, are in sync with the pulse of the times.

Those who seek to create monopoly, blockade and barriers in science and technology in order to disrupt other countries’ innovation and development and hold on to their dominant position are doomed to fail. We need to improve global science and technology governance and allow more people to access and benefit from the fruits of scientific and technological advances.

At the High-Level Dialogue on Global Development, President Xi Jinping called for efforts to promote scientific, technological and institutional innovation, speed up technology transfer and knowledge sharing, boost the development of modern industries, close the digital divide and accelerate low-carbon transition, with a view to achieving stronger, greener and healthier global development.

The BRICS countries have actively pioneered innovation. By establishing the BRICS Technology Transfer Centre Network, the BRICS Aerospace Cooperation Mechanism, holding the Big Data Forum for Sustainable Development, putting into place the BRICS Digital Economy Partnership Framework, and launching the BRICS Digital Transformation Cooperation Initiative, BRICS countries have expanded the frontier of cooperation in science and technology, and seized the opportunities of the digital economy, which will contribute to the economic transformation and high-quality development of the five countries.

Fourth, we need to uphold openness and inclusiveness, and invigorate cooperation. The choice of openness and inclusiveness over isolation and exclusivity, of integrated development over blocs confrontation, bears on the future of all mankind. A small clique cannot solve the daunting challenges facing the world, or adapt to the unprecedented changes in today's world.

At the BRICS Xiamen Summit in 2017, President Xi Jinping put forward the “BRICS Plus” cooperation approach. Five years on, the “BRICS Plus” model has continued to deepen and expand, setting a good example for emerging markets and developing countries to pursue South-South cooperation and seek strength through unity.

President Xi Jinping pointed out that BRICS countries gather not in a closed club or an exclusive circle, but a big family of mutual support and a partnership for win-win cooperation.

This year China, for the first time, invited guest countries to attend the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

More than 50 non-BRICS countries participated in various "BRICS Plus" events. As the influence of the BRICS continues to grow, many countries have expressed desire to join the BRICS cooperation mechanism.

Under the new circumstances, China will continue to open wider to the outside world and promote high-quality development. All countries are welcome to board the express train of China's development.

The BRICS should also advance its membership enlargement process so that like-minded partners can join the BRICS family at an early date.

We are glad to see that President Ramaphosa attended three important events from June 22 to 24, and delivered important speeches.

President Ramaphosa said that South Africa has benefited greatly from the BRICS cooperation mechanism and its relations with other member countries. He believed that the BRICS Summit had opened a new era of more inclusive, sustainable and equitable global development.

He said the BRICS will encourage the international community to refocus on the sustainable development agenda, support multilateralism and global recovery, and join hands to build a better world.

President Ramaphosa's remarks echoed those of President Xi Jinping and played an important guiding role in the success of these events.

Next year will witness South Africa taking over the BRICS chair, and China and South Africa celebrating the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

It is believed that China and South Africa will work closely together to achieve more outcomes in BRICS cooperation, and make greater contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind and creating a better tomorrow for humanity.

Chen is the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to South Africa

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