We live in an era of great change and adjustment, when both opportunities and challenges abound. Peace, development and mutually beneficial cooperation remain an aspiration widely shared by the international community. The world economy has resumed growth, a new round of technological revolution and industrial evolution are in the making and the trend of innovation and reform is gaining momentum. According to the IMF, BRICS countries and other emerging markets and developing countries contributed 80% of global growth in 2016.
On the other hand, the global recovery is not solidly based and growth remains weak. Quite a few emerging markets and developing countries have encountered headwind in their economic development, and to close the gap between the South and the North and that between the poor and the rich remains an arduous task. Economic globalization is suffering setbacks. Protectionism is coming back. Geopolitical conflicts keep emerging, terrorist forces are wreaking havoc, and traditional and non-traditional security risks get intertwined. There is a significant rise of uncertainties in the world’s political and economic situation.
In such a complex and fluid environment, we need to stay confident and jointly tackle challenges and seize opportunities for common development. Our journey over the past decade is the very source of our conviction that our endowment as well as our advantage as a latecomer remain unchanged and that our development is gaining momentum, not losing steam. The internal impetus and huge potential for BRICS cooperation remain unchanged and the space for such cooperation is expanding, not shrinking. The historical trend of BRICS playing a bigger role in international affairs remains unchanged and the international expectation on BRICS is growing, not declining. From this new starting point, we should and can usher in a still more brilliant decade of BRICS cooperation.
To be specific, China hopes that the following areas will be priorities in preparations for the Xiamen Summit.
– Enhance unity and coordination in improving global governance. With our role shifting from participants to pace-setters of global governance, we BRICS countries should and can contribute more BRICS wisdom in addressing global challenges. That, however, does not mean we will impose our will on others. Rather, we will run our own affairs well while trying to provide more public goods and working with other countries to build a community of shared future for mankind and find a new path of global governance featuring wide consultation, joint contribution, win-win cooperation and shared benefits.
We need to step up communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, champion multilateralism centered around the United Nations and promote political dialogue and negotiation as the means to settle disagreements in order to safeguard peace and stability in the world. We need to make full use of such platforms as the G20 and work with other major economies to find new sources of global recovery and deliver strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. It is important that we uphold and develop an open world economy, jointly oppose trade protectionism, facilitate healthy development of economic globalization, and foster an enabling external environment for the development of all countries. We need to advance the reform of global economic governance and increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries.
– Deepen practical cooperation for win-win results. Practical cooperation has featured prominently in BRICS cooperation. Thanks to ten years of unremitting efforts, BRICS cooperation in economic, financial, trade and some other areas has yielded rich fruits, including such pioneering and landmark achievements as the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement. That said, resource complementarities of our five countries are yet to be fully tapped and cooperation channels in many fields fully explored. There is vast space for BRICS practical cooperation.
We need to facilitate inter-market linkages through trade and investment, strengthen financial integration and enhance infrastructure connectivity. It is important that we step up coordination on macroeconomic policies, advance structural reform and increase synergy of our development strategies. We must ensure the success of the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement to bring real benefits to the people of not only our five countries but also other emerging markets and developing countries. We should further tap our cooperation potential, identify more converging interests in areas such as trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, e-commerce, financial market connectivity and innovation-driven development, and carry out more result-oriented cooperation programs that can deliver economic and social benefits, so that BRICS cooperation will be constantly renewed and reinvigorated to serve inter-connected growth.
– Increase people-to-people exchanges to win greater popular support for BRICS cooperation. We BRICS countries come from four continents, and each has its unique and profound cultural heritage. The vibrant and colorful people-to-people and cultural exchanges that we have had in recent years have significantly boosted the traditional friendship and mutual understanding among our people.
Amity among our people is crucial for the future of BRICS cooperation. It is important that we act upon the agreement of our leaders to support our business and academic communities, media, think tanks, cultural groups and people from all walks of life in carrying out multi-dimensional, friendly people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Events such as the BRICS Culture Festival, Film Festival, Sports Games and High-Level Meeting on Traditional Medicine are excellent opportunities for our people to learn more about each other and lend their support to BRICS cooperation. We should also introduce more enabling policies to encourage more substantive people-to-people and cultural cooperation, which will in turn help sustain BRICS overall cooperation.
– Strengthen institution building and improve cooperation platforms. Our cooperation system has been steadily enriched and improved in tandem with the progressive development of the BRICS mechanism. As our cooperation continues to grow in breadth and depth, the cooperation mechanisms should keep up with the developments and provide stronger support for our cooperation in the political, economic, cultural and other fields.
We need to harmonize the various cooperation mechanisms and make sure that our cooperation is well-coordinated and coherent and that the consensus of successive summits is truly followed through. The role of the Meeting of National Security Advisers, the Meeting of Foreign Ministers and the Sherpa Meetings should be better leveraged. While making good use of the existing mechanisms such as the Business Council and Think Tanks Council, we may also explore new mechanisms and platform in areas such as innovation and culture. We should carry out more outreach dialogue to benefit more parties with our cooperation, foster a “BRICS+” model of open cooperation, and set up a more broad-based South-South cooperation platform for the common development of emerging market economies and developing countries.
China hopes and believes that following the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, we BRICS countries can further enhance our cooperation and ensure a brighter future for the common development of our five countries. We will build a South-South cooperation platform of greater global influence and work for a brighter future for the economic and social development of emerging markets and developing countries. And we will promote a fairer and more equitable international order and usher in a brighter future for global peace and development.