Xi calls for solidarity among BRICS countries

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called on BRICS countries to uphold multilateralism and work in solidarity to overcome global challenges.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called on BRICS countries to uphold multilateralism and work in solidarity to overcome global challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic and a virus-hit world economy.

Addressing the 12th BRICS summit via video link in Beijing, Xi took swipes at the rising protectionism, unilateralism and acts of bullying, as well as stigmatization and scapegoating amid the pandemic.

Proposing solutions for reviving the economy, including low-carbon development, Xi said the world can count on China to keep its promise of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

The virtual summit of the emerging-market bloc that groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa was convened as COVID-19 continues to rage across the globe, sickening 55 million people worldwide, killing 1.3 million and battering the world economy.

The BRICS countries are home to over 40 percent of the world population and about one-fourth of the world economy.

“We remain convinced that the theme of our times — peace and development — has not changed, and that the trend toward multipolarity and economic globalization cannot be turned around,” Xi said.

“History teaches us that multilateralism, equity and justice can keep war and conflict at bay, while unilateralism and power politics will inflate dispute and confrontation,” he said.

“Flouting rules and laws, treading the path of unilateralism and bullying, and withdrawing from international organizations and agreements run counter to the will of the general public and trample on the legitimate rights and dignity of all nations,” he said.

Xi called on the BRICS countries to hold high the banner of multilateralism, endeavour to safeguard the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law.

The BRICS countries need to champion the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, Xi said, urging the bloc to oppose interference in others’ internal affairs, as well as unilateral sanctions and “long-arm jurisdiction.”

Noting that the coronavirus is still causing havoc in many countries, Xi warned that securing a worldwide victory against the pandemic remains an “uphill journey.”

He stressed the imperative to step up international coordination and response and support the World Health Organization’s crucial leadership role in this endeavor.

Chinese companies are working with their Russian and Brazilian partners on phase-three clinical trials of vaccines, and China is prepared to cooperate with South Africa and India as well.

China has joined the COVAX facility and will actively consider providing vaccines to BRICS countries where there is a need, Xi said.

Xi also proposed convening a BRICS symposium on traditional medicine to explore its role in coronavirus prevention and treatment.

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