Chinese President Xi Jinping (left), who is in South Africa on a state visit and for the 15th BRICS Summit, shakes hands with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Aug 22, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
JOHANNESBURG - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday expressed China's willingness to deepen solidarity and cooperation with other emerging markets and developing countries to push for a more just and equitable world order.
As a developing country and a member of the Global South, China breathes the same breath as other developing countries and pursues a shared future with them, and has resolutely upheld the common interests of developing countries and worked to increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries in global affairs, said Xi in a speech read out by Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao at the BRICS Business Forum 2023.
"Right now, changes in the world, in our times and in history are unfolding in ways like never before, bringing human society to a critical juncture," Xi warned in the speech titled "Enhance Solidarity and Cooperation to Overcome Risks and Challenges and Jointly Build a Better World."
Our world today has become a community with a shared future in which we all share a huge stake of survival, Xi said, noting that what people in various countries long for is "definitely not a new Cold War or a small exclusive bloc; what they want is an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys enduring peace, universal security and common prosperity"
"Should we pursue cooperation and integration, or just succumb to division and confrontation? Should we work together to maintain peace and stability, or just sleepwalk into the abyss of a new Cold War? Should we embrace prosperity, openness and inclusiveness, or allow hegemonic and bullying acts to throw us into depression? Should we deepen mutual trust through exchanges and mutual learning, or allow hubris and prejudice to blind conscience?" Xi asked. "The course of history will be shaped by the choices we make.
Our world today has become a community with a shared future in which we all share a huge stake of survival, Xi said, noting that what people in various countries long for is "definitely not a new Cold War or a small exclusive bloc; what they want is an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys enduring peace, universal security and common prosperity."
Such is the logic of historical advance and the trend of our times, Xi stressed, urging all countries to uphold the correct views of the world, of history and of our overall interests.
Noting that the global context is extremely complex nowadays, particularly in the economic and political fields, Eduardo Regalado, a researcher at the International Policy Research Center of Cuba, said the BRICS summit takes place at a time when more cooperation among countries is needed to bring prosperity and well-being to people worldwide.
The 15 BRICS summit is slated for Aug 22-24 in Johannesburg, and leaders attending the event are to discuss issues including deepening BRICS cooperation, giving more voice to the Global South, and the BRICS group's expansion.
"Emerging countries are becoming more and more relevant in the international arena. This summit will very much contribute to the shaping of a new global economic and political order. It will help change the current situation when it comes to international relations," he said.
In the speech, Xi underscores the importance of inclusive development, universal security, cultural exchange, and the collective rise of emerging economies and developing countries for a better world, expressing China's willingness to deepen solidarity and cooperation with other emerging markets and developing countries to make the international order more just and equitable.
"We need to promote development and prosperity for all," Xi said, adding that with perseverance, hard work and huge sacrifices, many emerging markets and developing countries succeeded in gaining independence, and "everything we do is to deliver better lives to our people."
A man takes photos at the media center of the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, Aug 21, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
"Every country has the right to development, and the people in every country have the freedom to pursue a happy life," Xi said, noting that China will work with all other countries to speed up cooperation under the Global Development Initiative, meet common challenges together and make life better for people across the world.
"We need to achieve universal security," Xi said, adding that only a commitment to a new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security can lead to universal security.
China stands ready to jointly pursue the Global Security Initiative with all others, have dialogue and oppose confrontation, forge partnership but not alliance, and pursue win-win outcome and oppose zero-sum game, and work together to build a community of security, Xi added.
"We need to stay committed to exchanges among civilizations and mutual learning," Xi said, stressing that human civilization is colorful by nature, and deliberately creating division with the assertion of "democracy versus authoritarianism" and "liberalism versus autocracy" can only split the world and lead to clash of civilizations.
China, Xi said, welcomes all other countries to get involved in cooperation under the Global Civilization Initiative, promote the common values of humanity, encourage different civilizations to bring out their best and flourish together, and renew human civilization.
The collective rise of emerging markets and developing countries represented by BRICS is fundamentally changing the global landscape, Xi stressed, noting that whatever resistance there may be, BRICS, a positive and stable force for good, will continue to grow.
"We will forge stronger BRICS strategic partnership, expand the 'BRICS Plus' model, actively advance membership expansion, deepen solidarity and cooperation with other emerging markets and developing countries, promote global multipolarity and greater democracy in international relations, and help make the international order more just and equitable," Xi said.
China will remain an important opportunity for the world's development, Xi said in the speech, stressing China's firm resolution in advancing high-standard opening-up, fostering a world-class, market-oriented business environment governed by a sound legal framework, and building a globally-oriented network of high-standard free trade areas.
China enjoys several distinct advantages: a socialist market economy in systemic terms, a supersize market in terms of demand, a full-fledged industrial system in terms of supply, and abundant, high-caliber labor force and entrepreneurs in terms of human resources, the Chinese president said, emphasizing that the Chinese economy has strong resilience, tremendous potential and great vitality, and the fundamentals sustaining China's long-term growth will remain unchanged.
As it endeavors to achieve modernization for its more than 1.4 billion people, China will surely contribute even more to the global economy and provide even more opportunities for the global business community, Xi said.
A worker arranges a signboard of the 15th BRICS Summit outside the Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, Aug 17, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
China's GDP expanded 6.3 percent year on year in the second quarter of 2023 with total goods imports and exports expanding 2.1 percent year-on- year to 20.1 trillion yuan ($2.81 trillion), according to official data.
The Chinese economy is projected to grow 5.6 percent in 2023, led by a rebound in consumer demand. Capital spending in infrastructure and manufacturing is expected to remain resilient, according to a World Bank press release in June.
China's share of the global economy is crucial. By pursuing internal reforms and speeding up the opening up of its domestic market to foreign companies, China is offering opportunities to the rest of the world, said Lyazid Benhami, vice president of the Paris Association of French-Chinese Friendship.
"By investing in emerging countries, it is increasing the attractiveness and economic stability of countries that want to develop sustainably," said Benhami.
HONG KONG NEWS