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Pooling Strengths and Working Together For a Brighter Future of BRICS

Date : Jun.20, 2024

Pooling Strengths and Working Together

For a Brighter Future of BRICS


Remarks by H.E. Wang Yi

At the BRICS Ministers

Of Foreign Affairs / International Relations Meeting

Nizhny Novgorod, June 10, 2024

Dear Colleagues,

Good morning. It is a great pleasure to join you at Nizhny Novgorod for the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs / International Relations Meeting. I thank Minister Lavrov and the Russian government for the thoughtful arrangements.

Over the past year, BRICS cooperation has moved forward with highlights, with speed and with strength. We made pioneering efforts and expanded the BRICS mechanism, opening up a new chapter of the Global South seeking strength through unity. With growing appeal and inspiration, BRICS has further burnished its credentials. We enabled each other’s success. Upon expansion, BRICS countries account for nearly half of the global population and one-fifth of global trade, and their total economic output has overtaken that of G7 in PPP terms. In the first quarter of this year, China’s import and export with its BRICS partners increased by over 11 percent year on year. Despite global headwinds, BRICS cooperation is picking up speed. Standing in solidarity, we convened the Extraordinary Joint Meeting of BRICS Leaders and Leaders of Invited BRICS Members on the Situation in the Middle East with Particular Reference to Gaza, and jointly defended the common interests of the developing world in such multilateral mechanisms as the G20. We BRICS countries are now speaking with a stronger voice.

At this moment, amid the once-in-a-century transformation, BRICS should stand on higher ground and see further ahead. Some major country, still harboring Cold War mentality, is cobbling up geopolitical blocs and even publicly challenging UNSC resolutions, which erodes the authority of multilateral mechanisms. Economic issues are politicized; the notion of national security is overstretched; and unilateral sanctions and technology barriers are growing. In the face of a contest between forces promoting world multipolarity and forces holding onto unipolar hegemony, between globalization and anti-globalization, we must follow the trend of history, stand on the side of fairness and justice, and make the right choice.

Looking ahead, BRICS should shoulder greater responsibilities and make greater contributions. We should bring out the strategic significance and political impact of the expanded BRICS, and make it a new type of multilateral cooperation mechanism with emerging markets and developing countries as the mainstay, and with an open, inclusive and globally-oriented outlook.

First, we need to firm up confidence in multilateralism and draw a new blueprint for future global development. We should continue to hold high the banner of multilateralism, take the lead in defending the U.N.-centered international system and firmly reject attempts to disrupt international order or trample on international rules. We should advance an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization.

This year and next, there will be important events on the international agenda, including the United Nations Summit of the Future and the U.N.’s 80th anniversary. BRICS country will play host to the G20 summit and the U.N. Climate Change Conference COP30. It is important that we strengthen coordination and collaboration and create highlights of the Global South. We should put development at the center of the global agenda, and urge developed countries to live up to their commitments on development assistance and climate financing. We also need to play an active part in global governance on new frontiers, build up developing countries’ capacity in digital economy and artificial intelligence (AI), and ensure equal participation and fair benefit-sharing.

Second, we need to firm up determination to safeguard peace and security and make new contributions to the political settlement of international hotspot issues. History shows that Cold War mentality, bloc confrontation or external interference cannot solve problems. Instead, they will create bigger problems or even crises. No matter how complex the situation is, parties must not give up dialogue and consultation. No matter how acute the conflict is, political settlement must be pursued.

The fighting in Gaza is testing human conscience and sense of justice. We must push for an immediate ceasefire that is comprehensive and lasting, ease humanitarian crisis and prevent further spillover of the conflict. We should support Palestine’s bid for full U.N. membership, support Palestine’s efforts to restore legitimate national rights, restart the two-State solution, and bring about lasting peace in the Middle East.

The Ukraine crisis is still lingering on. China supports the convening, in due course, of a true international peace conference that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine, participated by all sides on an equal footing, and where all peace plans are discussed fairly. BRICS countries should take an independent, objective and just stance, help build international consensus for peace, and oppose attempts to instigate a new Cold War.

Third, we need to stay committed to our founding principles of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation in order to take BRICS cooperation to a new level. We should fully unleash the strengths of an expanded BRICS, such as its resources and markets, to enhance and upgrade BRICS cooperation and ensure productive outcomes from the Kazan Summit in October.

The underpinning role of finance and trade cooperation should be harnessed. We need to create a large market and facilitate trade and investment. We should work for early breakthroughs on local currency settlement and cross-border payment cooperation through the financial track. We should promote the use of more diverse currencies at the New Development Bank for financing, and increase the share of local currencies in investment and financing activities. We will release a report on improving the international monetary and financial system, with a view to preserving international economic and financial stability.

The crucial role of energy and food security cooperation should be harnessed. BRICS countries consist of major importers and exporters of commodities such as oil, wheat and soybean. We must oppose politicization and weaponization of energy and food security issues. We should explore the establishment of a more stable supply and demand system among BRICS countries and ensure secure and smooth functioning of global supply and industrial chains. We need to make the global energy system cleaner and more sustainable.

The driving force of innovation-driven cooperation should be harnessed. We need to work together for new bright spots of cooperation in AI, a new type of industrialization, deep sea resources, digital education and connectivity, among others. China has set up a China-BRICS countries AI development and cooperation center, with the aim of strengthening industrial synergy and capacity building. BRICS members are most welcome to take an active part in it.

The role of people-to-people exchanges as a bond connecting BRICS countries should be harnessed. The accession of new members has increased the diversity and representation of BRICS and breathed new life into millennia-old civilizational exchanges. China supports the rotating president in hosting such events as BRICS sports festival and cultural festival, and in carrying out all kinds of cooperation in such areas as sister cities, media organizations, youth, women and state governance. Under the proposal of China, the U.N. has designated June 10 as the International Day for Dialogue among Civilizations. Today marks the first International Day for Dialogue among Civilizations. On this occasion, guided by the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping, China stands ready to work with BRICS partners to respect the diversity of civilizations, carry forward the common values of humanity, and realize mutual learning and common progress among civilizations.

Thank you all.