Remarks by H.E. Wang Yi
At the BRICS Dialogue with Developing Countries
2024-06-11 23:00

Nizhny Novgorod, June 11, 2024

Fellow Foreign Ministers,
Colleagues,

It gives me great pleasure to join old and new friends for the first BRICS Plus foreign ministers’ meeting after the expansion of BRICS. BRICS Plus is an important platform for BRICS countries to hold dialogue with emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs). It has long been a source of vitality and impetus for BRICS development, and has grown to be a banner in South-South cooperation. Today, we are gathered here to enhance solidarity and cooperation of the Global South, and also to provide answers of the South to a world experiencing changes unseen in a century.

We are now in a volatile and unstable era where changes and turbulence are intertwined. The Ukraine crisis and the conflicts in Gaza are dragging on. Challenges keep coming at us in areas such as cybersecurity and climate change. The United States tries to maintain its unipolar hegemony, by roping in allies to impose unilateral sanctions, erect protectionist barriers and turn economic and financial measures into tools and weapons. Global economic recovery faces setback. The North-South gap is widening. More than 100 million people are displaced and nearly 800 million suffer from hunger. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development remains a distant goal.

But this is also an era where the South is rising and great changes are taking place. The collective rise of EMDCs has greatly advanced multipolarity in the world. Many countries have entered a fast track of development, and the Global South now accounts for over 40 percent of the world economy. The latest round of technological revolution and industrial transformation is demonstrating a strong momentum, and EMDCs are embracing unprecedented opportunities for achieving leapfrog development. The Global South is no longer the “silent majority,” but an awakening new force.

In this complex world, how can we break new ground amid changes and create new opportunities out of crises? China wishes to share three observations.

First, we should uphold universal security and jointly meet challenges. Global challenges need to be jointly tackled by the international community. Solidarity is the only right way forward, while disunity leads nowhere. With humanity’s security and well-being in mind, President Xi Jinping solemnly put forward the Global Security Initiative (GSI). The GSI essentially advocates the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, providing important guidance for solving security challenges and pooling efforts for peace.

We should follow the principle of indivisible security, respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, accommodate each other’s legitimate and reasonable concerns, and find more effective ways to advance side by side one’s own security and the security of all. We should stay committed to political settlement of hotspot issues, make efforts to resolve disputes through dialogue, address differences through consultation, promote security through cooperation, jointly tackle all kinds of security challenges, and bring more stability to international affairs.

On the Ukraine issue, China stands on the side of justice and objectivity and works consistently to facilitate peace talks. China supports the convening, in due course, of a true international peace conference that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine and ensures the equal participation of all parties and fair discussions on all peace plans. On the question of Palestine, China firmly stands with Arab states. China is making every effort for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza, the release of all those held captive, the access to basic necessities for the people in Gaza, the early relaunch of the two-State solution, and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine, so as to redress once and for all the historical injustice that has dragged on for over half a century.

Second, we should prioritize development and build synergy for progress. The problems of economic globalization can only be solved through further development of globalization. Unilateral acts and protectionism harm not only the victims but also the perpetrators. We should jointly reject politicizing economic issues, and make globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all. It is important to step up synergy between development strategies and coordination between macro economic policies, build a global financial safety net, and keep the global industrial and supply chains stable and unimpeded, so as to foster a favorable external environment for the development of all countries.

As the largest developing country, China has stayed committed to its original aspiration of forging ahead hand in hand with fellow developing countries. The Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping has been warmly received by more than 100 countries and international organizations. The Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund has supported over 200 projects. We should sound the clarion call to galvanize development through concerted efforts, and take the opportunity of the U.N. Summit of the Future to truly bring development to the top of the international agenda. It is important to follow the people-centered development philosophy, stay focused on meeting the pressing needs of developing countries in poverty reduction, food, energy, etc., and make sure that development benefits all nations, all social groups and all communities. It is essential to pursue innovation-driven development, strengthen cooperation in seeking a new type of industrialization and in the area of artificial intelligence, and speed up the development of new quality productive forces, so that people in all countries can enjoy a future full of opportunities.

Third, we should uphold fairness and justice and improve global governance. Seventy years ago, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence were proposed amid the historic rise of emerging forces. The principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence have become norms governing international relations observed by the international community, especially by developing countries. What we learn from history is that only by following the trend of the times can we get the people’s support and bring benefits to all, and only by following the basic norms governing international relations can we make steady and sustained progress.

Today, we are once again standing at a crossroads where we must choose between unilateralism and multilateralism, and between lose-lose and win-win. We should learn from history, and follow the vision of global governance featuring extensive consultation and joint contribution for shared benefit in international affairs. Global affairs should be discussed by all, international rules should be formulated and observed by all countries, and the benefits of governance should be shared by all. It is essential to uphold and defend true multilateralism, preserve the U.N.’s central role in the international system, and safeguard international law and the basic norms governing international relations. We need to advocate mutual learning and harmony between civilizations, and encourage and support all countries in following development paths suited to their national conditions. We must debunk the myth that multipolarity is about a few big countries, champion an equal and orderly multipolar world, speak with a louder collective voice, and play a greater collective role in improving global governance.

Colleagues,

BRICS countries have all along stood with fellow EMDCs through thick and thin. China supports BRICS in pursuing development and cooperation with an open mind, and welcomes more like-minded partners to join the BRICS family.

As we know, Nizhny Novgorod is the hometown of the great Russian writer Maxim Gorky. Amidst the ever-changing international landscape, we should act like Gorky’s stormy petrel who’s certain that the clouds will not hide the sun, and fly together toward a brighter future of peace, development and win-win cooperation.

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