Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called on the BRICS countries to undertake their due obligations in championing and practicing multilateralism.
Xi made the appeal in a speech entitled "Together for a New Chapter in BRICS Cooperation" at the 11th summit of BRICS, an emerging-market bloc that groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, reports Xinhua.
Noting that the summit was held at a time when crucial developments are taking place in the world economy and international landscape, Xi pointed out that a new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation is in the ascendant, and the unstoppable rise of emerging markets and developing countries has injected strong impetus to the reform of the global economic governance system.
Nevertheless, there are also causes for concern, Xi said, referring to rising protectionism and unilateralism; greater deficit of governance, development and trust; and growing uncertainties and destabilising factors in the world economy.
Faced with profound changes rarely seen in a century, Xi said, the BRICS countries should grasp the trend of the times, respond to the call of the people, and shoulder their responsibilities.
"We must remain true to our unwavering commitment to development and strengthen solidarity and cooperation for the well-being of our people and for the development of our world," he said, before laying out a three-pronged proposal.
First, the BRICS countries should work to foster a security environment of peace and stability, he said, urging the five members to safeguard peace and development for all, uphold fairness and justice, and promote win-win results.
"It is important that we uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the UN-centred international system, oppose hegemonism and power politics, and take a constructive part in settling geopolitical flash points," he said.
The BRICS countries should also maintain close strategic communication and coordination and speak in one voice for a more just and equitable international order, he added.
Second, the BRICS countries should pursue greater development prospects through openness and innovation, said the Chinese president.
The five-member bloc should deepen the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution, and strive for more productive cooperation in such fields as trade and investment, digital economy and connectivity, so as to achieve high-quality development, Xi said.
He called for the five countries to advocate extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits in global governance, and push for reform of the global economic governance system.
The BRICS countries should stand firm against protectionism, uphold the WTO-centred multilateral trading system, and increase the voice and influence of emerging markets and developing countries in international affairs, Xi said.
The Chinese president also urged the BRICS member states to prioritise development in the global macro policy framework, follow through the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change, and promote coordinated progress in the economic, social and environmental spheres.
Third, the BRICS countries should promote mutual learning through people-to-people exchanges and take their people-to-people exchanges to greater breadth and depth, said Xi.
Xi proposed to leverage "BRICS Plus" cooperation as a platform to increase dialogue with other countries and civilizations to win BRICS more friends and partners.
In his speech, the president also stressed that China will open up still wider. "We will import more goods and services, ease market access for foreign investments, and step up intellectual property protection. With these efforts, we will break new ground in pursuing all-dimensional, multi-tiered and all-sectoral opening-up in China," he said.
China will continue to act in the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and pursue open, green and clean cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi said.
"We will continue to follow a high-standard, people-centred, and sustainable approach to promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with partner countries," he said.
China, added the president, will stay committed to an independent foreign policy of peace and to the path of peaceful development, and continue to enhance friendship and cooperation with all other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.
China is committed to working with Africa for an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future, Xi said, adding that China will pursue closer cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in various areas and build a China-LAC community with a shared future and common progress.
Meanwhile, China strives for an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future that features openness and inclusiveness, innovation-driven growth, greater connectivity, and mutually beneficial cooperation, Xi said.
"All in all, China will work with the rest of the international community toward the goal of building a new type of international relationship and of building a community with a shared future for mankind," he said.
At a closed-door session also on Thursday, Xi pointed out that BRICS solidarity and cooperation appears to be accidental, but in fact represents a historical necessity, as it conforms to the trend of the development of human society and the evolution of the international situation.
The growth of the BRICS countries is influencing the speed, scope and depth of the adjustment of the international structure and fundamentally changing the political and economic landscape of the world, Xi said.
No country is born to be dominant, and no model is destined to be superior, said Xi, adding that in the era of globalisation it should not be some people fighting against other people, but should instead be all bringing benefits for all.
Reiterating the need to uphold multilateralism, Xi said the essence of multilateralism is that international affairs should be addressed through extensive consultation rather than decided by one country or a few.
China, he added, backs necessary reforms of the WTO, and adheres to its core values and fundamental principles, including the "special and differential treatment" for developing countries.
Maintaining stability is a prerequisite for achieving development and prosperity, Xi stressed, saying that external intervention has intensified the unrest in many developing countries and regions.
Xi urged the BRICS countries to be more alert on this regard, enhance strategic communication, cooperate to deal with risks and challenges, and firmly safeguard their national sovereignty, security and development interests.
The BRICS countries, he added, should heighten the sense of mission and urgency, and push forward cooperation in various areas, so as to open up a brighter future for their people, for the emerging markets and developing countries in general, and for world peace and development.
The 11th BRICS summit was chaired by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also attended the summit.
Focusing on the theme of "BRICS: economic growth for an innovative future," the leaders had in-depth exchanges of views and reached broad consensus on BRICS cooperation and major global issues of shared interest.
Leaders of the other four BRICS countries agreed that the rise of protectionism and unilateralism constitutes a threat to the sovereignty and security of all countries.
The BRICS nations, they said, should enhance communication and coordination to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, preserve the international order based on international law, safeguard the fair, transparent and open multilateral trading system, and defend the common interests of emerging markets and developing countries.
They also called for respect for every country's independently chosen development path, opposition to external intervention, commitment to solving disputes through dialogue, more trade and investment facilitation measures, and closer cooperation in such fields as technological innovation and biodiversity protection.
A declaration of the summit was issued on Thursday.
The 12th BRICS summit will be held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 2020, according to the declaration.