Johannesburg – Chinese President Xi Jinping has committed China to doing more in a bid to strengthen his ties with South Africa as well as all the BRICS countries.
Xi, who delivered his message of solidarity, was speaking during the gathering of BRICS heads of state on the second day of the 15th BRICS Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Xi unexpectedly skipped a scheduled speech at a key multilateral business forum, choosing instead to have his representative deliver his speech to business leaders gathered at the convention centre.
However, on Wednesday, during a session chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Xi said now more than ever, creating exclusive groups was unacceptable and urged BRICS to leverage its growing support from other countries that have shown an interest in joining BRICS as an economic and development-centred bloc.
"Ganging up to form exclusive groups is more unacceptable now than ever. We need to support our trading system, reject exclusive blocs, leverage the new development of BRICS, and ensure that we increase the voice of developing countries," the Chinese leader said.
On the issue of the expansion of BRICS, following recent calls by more than 40 countries showing their interest in the bloc, Xi said he was happy that more and more countries want to form part of BRICS.
The grouping, he said, should “bring more countries into the BRICS family so as to pool our strength and pool our wisdom to make global governance more just and equitable”.
"I am glad about the countries that have applied to join BRICS. We must accelerate the expansion process in order to pull our resources and our wisdom together to make the global arena far more equitable. This expansion will help strengthen the economic and political stature of BRICS," he added.
Xi was speaking during the second day of the BRICS Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre on Wednesday.
Jinping, who arrived in the country on Monday, also pledged greater co-operation with South Africa to enhance the voice of poor nations. He commended developing countries for “shaking off the yoke of colonialism”, adding that the Cold War mentality must be stopped.
He said no country in the bloc should dictate the terms of another country’s development and civilisational path.
“The Cold War mentality is still haunting our world, and the geopolitical tension is getting tense ... BRICS countries must champion their own paths, and each country must respect the modernisation and civilisation paths of another. China proposes expansion in education and skills development in vocational training as well as people-to-people exchanges in order to promote culture, fairness, and justice,“ he said.
Xi made various proposals that he said would help South Africa and other BRICS countries shape up a better future for their citizens.