On the evening of June 22, President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum in virtual format and delivered a keynote speech titled “Keep Abreast of the Trend of the Times to Shape a Bright Future”.
President Xi noted that right now our world is facing drastic changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century. Various security challenges keep emerging. The world economy still faces strong headwinds on its path toward recovery, and global development has suffered major setbacks. Where is the world headed: Peace or war? Progress or regression? Openness or isolation? Cooperation or confrontation? These are choices of the times that we are confronted with.
President Xi stressed that human history, like a river, keeps surging forward, with moments of both calm waters and huge waves. Despite changes in an evolving global environment, the historical trend of openness and development will not reverse course, and our shared desire to meet challenges together through cooperation will remain as strong as ever. We should stand high and not allow ourselves to be distracted by fleeting clouds, and we should have a keen appreciation of the law governing the advance of history. We should refuse to be led astray by any turn of events or intimidated by any risk. We should rise to challenge and forge ahead with resolve toward the goal of building a community with a shared future for mankind.
First, we should embrace solidarity and coordination and jointly maintain world peace and stability. The tragedies of the past tell us that hegemony, group politics and bloc confrontation bring no peace or security; they only lead to wars and conflicts. Blind faith in the so-called “position of strength” and attempts to expand military alliances and seek one’s own security at the expense of others will only land oneself in a security dilemma. Only when we all cherish and uphold peace and never forget the painful lessons of war can there be hope of peace. We should stay true to the pledge of the UN Charter and fulfill the mission of maintaining peace. Not long ago, I put forward the Global Security Initiative, calling on all countries to stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security; stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries; stay committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter; stay committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously; stay committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation; and stay committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains. We in the international community should reject zero-sum games and jointly oppose hegemonism and power politics. We should build a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. We should be clear that we are a community in which all countries share a common stake, and we should see that the light of peace will reach all corners of the world.
Second, we should reach out to each other and jointly promote sustainable global development. Today, the global development process has hit major roadblocks. Almost 1.2 billion people in nearly 70 countries are confronted with COVID-19, food, energy and debt crises. What has been achieved in decades of global poverty reduction efforts could be lost. Last year, I put forward the Global Development Initiative, and I called on all countries to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, forge united, equal, balanced and inclusive global development partnership, and promote cooperation in a wide range of areas such as poverty reduction, public health, education, digital connectivity and industrialization. We should deepen cooperation to better safeguard food and energy security. We should seize opportunities presented by the new scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, and promote the flow of factors of production that enable innovation globally. We should help developing countries speed up development of the digital economy and green transformation. We should also engage in cooperation on COVID-19 response and provide more anti-COVID medicines to developing countries so as to beat the virus at an early date. We should respond to people’s concerns, pursue the larger interests of all countries, and steer global development to a new era to deliver benefit to all.
Third, we should tide over difficulties together and jointly pursue win-win cooperation. At present, some important industrial and supply chains are suffering from deliberate disruptions, commodity prices remain high and are fluctuating, global inflation keeps rising, the international financial market is in turmoil, and global economic recovery is losing steam. People have reason to be concerned that the world economy might slip into a crisis. At this critical juncture, tiding over difficulties together and pursuing cooperation is the only way for us to forestall an economic crisis. We should come together with a united purpose and strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination. Major developed countries should adopt responsible economic policies and avoid negative policy spillovers that may take a heavy toll on developing countries. It has been proved time and again that sanctions are a boomerang and a double-edged sword. To politicize the global economy and turn it into one’s tool or weapon, and willfully impose sanctions by using one’s primary position in the international financial and monetary systems will only end up hurting one’s own interests as well as those of others, and inflict suffering on everyone.
Fourth, we should be inclusive and jointly expand openness and integration. For some time, however, economic globalization has faced headwinds and countercurrents. There is widespread concern in the international community that should such a tendency continue, the global economy will become compartmentalized and mutually exclusive. Economic globalization is a response to development of productivity and, as such, represents an unstoppable historical trend. Anyone who attempts to turn back the wheel of history and block others’ way will only have his own path blocked. We should stay committed to openness and inclusiveness, eliminate all barriers to the development of productivity, and steer globalization in the right direction. This will boost the free flow of capital and technology, unleash the full potential of innovation and creativity, and foster synergy in boosting global economic growth. We should uphold the WTO-centered multilateral trading system, remove barriers to trade, investment and technology, and keep the global economy open. We should promote extensive consultation and joint contribution to deliver shared benefits, enhance global economic governance, and increase the representation and say of emerging markets and developing countries. This will ensure that all countries enjoy equal rights, follow the rules as equals, and share equal opportunities.
President Xi stressed that this year, facing a complicated and challenging domestic and international environment for development, China has risen to various challenges and taken well-coordinated steps to respond to COVID-19 and pursue economic and social development. Putting the people and their lives first, we have protected people’s lives and health and ensured overall stable performance in economic and social development to the maximum extent possible. We will step up macroeconomic policy adjustment, and adopt more forceful measures to deliver the economic and social development goals for the whole year. In the second half of this year, the Communist Party of China will convene its 20th National Congress, which will chart the course for the next phase of China’s development. We will ground our efforts in the new development stage, follow the new development philosophy, foster a new development paradigm and strive to achieve high-quality development. China will continue to pursue opening-up against higher standards, develop new systems for a higher-standard open economy, and continue to foster a market- and law-based and internationalized business environment. I warmly welcome you to invest and do business in China, strengthen business cooperation with China, and share in China’s development opportunities.
President Xi pointed out that the BRICS mechanism is an important cooperation platform for emerging markets and developing countries. BRICS cooperation has now entered a new stage of high-quality development. He expressed hope that business leaders will continue to act with tenacity and in a pioneering spirit, and champion open, innovative and shared development so as to add new impetus to BRICS cooperation. and deliver more benefits of development to everyone in a more equitable way. As long as we hoist high the sail of mutual benefit and win-win and keep a steady hand on the tiller of solidarity and cooperation, we will break waves and steer the giant ship of BRICS countries toward a brighter future!
The 2022 BRICS Business Forum was held in an online plus offline format in Beijing on June 22. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended and addressed the opening ceremony. About 1,000 economic and trade ministers, envoys to China and representatives from the business community were present at the ceremony.
The opening ceremony was hosted by Hu Chunhua.