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Xi Jinping Attends the 15th BRICS Summit and Delivers Important Remarks
2023-08-24 03:40

On the morning of August 23, 2023 local time, the 15th BRICS Summit was held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The summit was chaired by South African President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa and attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin (online). Under the theme of "BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism", leaders of the five countries had an in-depth exchange of views and reached extensive common understandings on BRICS cooperation and major international issues of mutual interest and concern.

Xi Jinping delivered important remarks titled "Seeking Development Through Solidarity and Cooperation and Shouldering Our Responsibility for Peace".

Xi Jinping pointed out that currently the world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation. It is undergoing major shifts, division and regrouping. BRICS is an important force in shaping the international landscape. He said "We choose our development paths independently, jointly defend our right to development, and march in tandem toward modernization. This represents the direction of the advancement of human society, and will profoundly impact the development process of the world. Our track record shows that we have consistently acted on the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, and taken BRICS cooperation to new heights in support of our five countries' development. We have upheld fairness and justice in international affairs, stood up for what is right on major international and regional issues, and enhanced the voice and influence of emerging markets and developing countries. BRICS countries invariably advocate and practice independent foreign policies. We always address major international issues based on their merits, making fair remarks and taking fair actions. We do not barter away principles, succumb to external pressure, or act as vassals of others. We BRICS countries share extensive consensus and common goals. No matter how the international situation changes, our commitment to cooperation since the very beginning and our common aspiration will not change."

Xi Jinping stressed "We gather at a crucial time to build on our past achievements and open up a new future for BRICS cooperation. We should navigate the trend of our times and stay in the forefront. We should always bear in mind our founding purpose of strengthening ourselves through unity, enhance cooperation across the board, and build a high-quality partnership. We should help reform global governance to make it more just and equitable, and bring to the world more certainty, stability and positive energy."

Xi said "We should deepen business and financial cooperation to boost economic growth. Development is an inalienable right of all countries, not a privilege reserved for a few. We BRICS countries should be fellow companions on the journey of development and revitalization, and oppose decoupling and supply chain disruption as well as economic coercion. We should focus on practical cooperation, particularly in such fields as digital economy, green development, and supply chain. China will set up a China-BRICS Science and Innovation Incubation Park for the New Era and explore the establishment of a BRICS Global Remote Sensing Satellite Data and Application Cooperation Platform to provide data support for agriculture, ecological conservation and disaster reduction in various countries. China will also work with all parties to jointly establish a BRICS Framework on Industrial Cooperation for Sustainable Development as a platform of industrial coordination and project cooperation in implementing the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."

"We should expand political and security cooperation to uphold peace and tranquility. All nations long for a sound security environment. International security is indivisible. Attempts to seek absolute security at the expense of others will eventually backfire. BRICS countries should keep to the direction of peaceful development, support each other on issues concerning our respective core interests, and enhance coordination on major international and regional issues. We need to tender good offices on hotspot issues, pushing for political settlement and lowering the temperature. We need to further expand cooperation on artificial intelligence (AI), step up information exchange and technological cooperation, jointly fend off risks, help establish an international mechanism with wide participation, and develop governance frameworks and standards with broad-based consensus, so as to make AI technologies more secure, reliable, controllable and equitable."

"We should increase people-to-people exchanges and promote mutual learning between civilizations. There are many civilizations and development paths in the world, and this is how the world should be. Human history will not end with a particular civilization or system. BRICS countries need to champion the spirit of inclusiveness, advocate peaceful coexistence and harmony between civilizations, promote respect of all countries in independently choosing their modernization paths, and oppose ideological antagonism, system confrontation and the notion of 'clash of civilizations'. China would like to propose that BRICS countries expand cooperation on education, enhance the role of the BRICS alliance for vocational education, and explore and set up a cooperation mechanism on digital education. In addition, we also need to strengthen exchanges on traditional cultures and promote the renewal of fine traditional cultures."

"We should uphold fairness and justice and improve global governance. Strengthening global governance is the right choice if the international community intends to share development opportunities and tackle global challenges. International rules must be written and upheld jointly by all countries based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, rather than dictated by those with the strongest muscles or the loudest voice. Ganging up to form exclusive groups and packaging their own rules as international norms are even more unacceptable. BRICS countries should practice true multilateralism, uphold the UN-centered international system, support and strengthen the WTO-centered multilateral trading system, and reject the attempt to create small circles or exclusive blocs. We need to fully leverage the role of the New Development Bank, push forward reform of the international financial and monetary systems, and increase the representation and voice of developing countries. We need to act on the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, make good use of 'BRICS plus' cooperation, and accelerate the membership expansion process to bring more countries into the BRICS family, so as to pool our wisdom and strength to make global governance more just and equitable."

Xi Jinping finally stressed that upholding international justice and benefiting the people of the five countries, the BRICS cause will embrace steady and sustained growth and make greater contributions to promoting world peace and development. China is ready to work with BRICS partners to pursue the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, enhance the strategic partnership, and deepen cooperation across the board. "As fellow BRICS members, we should meet our common challenges with a shared sense of mission, shape a brighter future with a common purpose, and march together on the journey toward modernization."

Ramaphosa, Lula, Putin, and Modi spoke highly of the positive progress made by the BRICS cooperation mechanism. All parties believed that affected by geopolitical conflicts and global economic difficulties, emerging markets and developing countries are facing increasingly serious challenges of poverty, inequality and inequity, and there is a long way to go to achieve sustainable development goals. BRICS countries are committed to deepening their strategic partnership and promoting global peace, stability, equity and development. The applications from over 20 countries to join the BRICS fully demonstrate the vitality, appeal, and strategic value of the BRICS cooperation mechanism in international affairs. BRICS countries should strengthen solidarity, continue to uphold the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, accelerate the BRICS membership expansion process, help reform the global governance system to make it more inclusive, just and equitable, revitalize and reform the multilateral system, and advance the process of a multipolar world, so as to better serve the interests of developing countries that represent the majority of the world's people. BRICS countries should support each other on issues concerning each other's core interests and respect each other's independent choice of modernization path suited to their national conditions. The international financial system should not become a tool for geopolitical competition. BRICS countries should accelerate the reform of the international financial and monetary systems, increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries, and work to achieve sustainable development and inclusive growth to the benefit of the people of the five countries and fellow developing countries.

During the summit, leaders of the five countries also heard the work reports from responsible officials of relevant BRICS mechanisms and took a group photo.

Cai Qi and Wang Yi, among others, were present at the above events.

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