Chinese President Xi Jinping has welcomed his BRICS colleagues and observer states to the opening of the 9th annual BRICS summit in Xiamen.
During his speech President Xi called for a more inclusive BRICS that would see Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa cooperating more intensely with other nations in order to open up mutually beneficial economic opportunities for all parties.
“We five countries should open more to each other, expand converging interests in this process, take an inclusive approach and share opportunities, so as to create even brighter prospects for growing the economies of the five countries”.
“Only openness delivers progress, and only inclusiveness sustains such progress”.
In a call for wider cooperation he encouraged members to seize the opportunity of participating in building important foundations for large future endeavours, Xi said,
“We should get more emerging market and developing countries involved in our concerted endeavours for cooperation and mutual benefits”.
Xi also discussed how the BRICS nations could work to enhance cooperation in the One Belt–One Road initiative. After called One Belt–One Road a win-win platform XI said,
“The Belt and Road Initiative is not a tool to advance any geopolitical agenda but a platform for practical cooperation. It is not a foreign aid scheme, but an initiative for interconnected development which calls for extensive consultation, cooperation and shared benefits”.
China’s approach to this year’s BRICS summit is related to its overall outlook on global cooperation as encapsulated by One Belt–One Road. Whereas some seek greater integration of day to day administration issues within and between BRICS countries, China’s approach leans increasingly on creating expansive and inclusive opportunities that will encourage greater participation in investment and trading initiatives between the BRICS and friendly non-member states.
Some of these years’s goals include promoting e-commerce as well as what China calls the ‘Blue economy’. Blue economy initiatives seek to promote investment in energy, shipping and tourism across the world’s seas, with a focus on Asia.
By promoting a broader, internationalised version of the BRICS, China hopes to both draw existing members into wide reaching initiatives that do not require any particular changes in domestic policies, while sending a clear message to any would-be hold-outs, particularly India, that the aims of BRICS as well as One Belt–One Road are broader in scope than the agenda of any one member state.
Xi continued along the theme of not imposing on other states while not being held hostage to the particular agenda of any one state in saying,
“In terms of BRICS cooperation, decisions are made through consultation (and) not by one country. We respect each other’s model of development, accommodate each other’s concern and work to enhance strategic communication and mutual trust.
“Given difference in national conditions, history and cultures, it is only natural we may have some differences in pursuing our cooperation. However with strong faith in cooperation and enhancing collaboration the BRICS countries can achieve steady progress in our cooperation”.
The BRICS summit is in session through the 5th of September.
Now watch Xi Jinping’s full speech at the opening of the BRICS summit
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.