Xi Jin­ping Calls on BRICS to Safe­guard Mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism

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Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping at­tended the 10th BRICS (Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia, China and South Africa) sum­mit held in Jo­han­nes­burg, South Africa on July 26, where he called on the BRICS mem­bers to jointly safe­guard “mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism” and strengthen co­op­er­a­tion within and out­side the bloc, draw­ing on a con­cept he first pro­posed last year called “BRICS+.”

In his speech, Xi said the world was un­der­go­ing a deeper and more vi­o­lent tech­ni­cal and in­dus­trial re­form that re­quired se­cu­rity and co­op­er­a­tion. As trade pro­tec­tion­ism and uni­lat­er­al­ism are di­rectly im­pact­ing emerg­ing mar­kets and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, he said, it is of great im­por­tance to ex­pand space for mu­tual de­vel­op­ment through deeper and more ex­ten­sive co­op­er­a­tion be­tween na­tions.

Xi pro­posed BRICS+ at last year's BRICS sum­mit in Xi­a­men, Fu­jian Prov­ince, in Septem­ber 2017. Ac­cord­ing to Xi, the “+” not only de­notes the inclusion of more de­vel­op­ing coun­tries – dur­ing last year's sum­mit Xi in­vited sev­eral na­tions from Latin Amer­ica, Africa and Asia to join the talks – but deep­en­ing and im­prov­ing ties to achieve an “in­no­va­tive, safe, green, and open” en­vi­ron­ment for sus­tain­able co-de­vel­op­ment.

Xi fleshed out the de­tail of what he called the sec­ond “10-year golden era” of BRICS at the 2018 BRICS Busi­ness Fo­rum on July 25, where he claimed the next 10 years would be a key pe­riod for global gov­er­nance and eco­nom­ics to be re­shaped, chal­lenged by myr­iad tech­ni­cal in­no­va­tions and the resur­gence of pro­tec­tion­ism and uni­lat­er­al­ism, and that only open­ness and “win-win co­op­er­a­tion” could en­able de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, es­pe­cially those least de­vel­oped, to join the in­ter­na­tional di­vi­sion of la­bor and share the ben­e­fits of a shar­ing econ­omy brought by glob­al­iza­tion.

On July 27, Xi at­tended the BRICS+ talk with lead­ers from more than 20 BRICS+ na­tions, where he em­pha­sized “South-south Co­op­er­a­tion” – a form of eco­nomic and tech­ni­cal co­op­er­a­tion be­tween de­vel­op­ing coun­tries ini­ti­ated in 2003.

“We have to seize the chance to ex­ploit more po­ten­tial for mu­tual co­op­er­a­tion and gain su­pe­ri­or­ity for de­vel­op­ment... We have to jointly safe­guard trade mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism, es­tab­lish an open world econ­omy and in­crease speak­ing rights for de­vel­op­ing coun­tries and emerg­ing mar­kets,” he told those present.

“No mat­ter how China de­vel­ops in the fu­ture, it will al­ways be a de­vel­op­ing coun­try that strongly sup­ports the de­vel­op­ment of all other de­vel­op­ing coun­tries and con­cen­trates on build­ing closer part­ner­ships with them,” he added.

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