On 9 September 2021, President Xi Jinping addressed the 13th BRICS summit via video link in Beijing. His speech provides a concise overview of China’s approach to international relations, focused on multilateralism, common development, and solidarity. He also used the speech to announce that China would be donating a further 100 million Covid vaccine doses to developing countries.
At present, the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc around the world. The road to global recovery remains bumpy and tortuous. And the international order is going through profound and complex changes. Facing these challenges, we the BRICS countries must step forward to make an active contribution to world peace and development and advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
We need to promote the practice of true multilateralism, adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and safeguard the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law.
We need to promote global solidarity against COVID-19, join forces to tackle the pandemic, uphold a science-based approach to tracing its origins, and oppose politicization and stigmatization. We need to enhance coordination in COVID prevention and control, and boost the research, production and equitable distribution of vaccines as a global public good.
We need to promote openness and innovation-driven growth to facilitate a steady global recovery. We need to uphold the WTO-centered multilateral trading regime, make sure that the latest outcomes of scientific and technological progress bring benefit to all countries, and push for an economic globalization that is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all.
We need to promote common development, follow a people-centered philosophy of development and fully implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We need to actively respond to climate change based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, promote the transition to green and low-carbon development, and jointly build a clean and beautiful world.
Under the current circumstances, it is important for BRICS countries to stay resolved, strengthen unity and further enhance the quality of practical cooperation. To this end, I wish to make five proposals.
First, strengthen public health cooperation in the spirit of solidarity. We need to step up to our political responsibility, support each other’s COVID response, and share relevant information and COVID control experience. We need to pursue practical cooperation on vaccines, including joint research and production and mutual recognition of standards, and facilitate an early launch of the BRICS Vaccine R&D Center in virtual format. It is also important to strengthen cooperation on traditional medicine to develop more tools against the virus.
Second, strengthen international cooperation on vaccines in the spirit of equitable access for all. China has provided vaccines and necessary technical support for countries in need, and has made active contribution to promoting the equitable distribution of vaccines and global cooperation against COVID-19. To date, China has provided more than one billion doses of finished and bulk vaccines to over 100 countries and international organizations, and will strive to provide a total of two billion doses by the end of this year. I would like to take this opportunity to announce that on top of the $100 million donation to COVAX, China will donate an additional 100 million doses of vaccines to fellow developing countries within this year.
Third, strengthen economic cooperation in the spirit of mutual benefit. We need to earnestly implement the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership 2025, and expand cooperation in such areas as trade and investment, technology and innovation, and green and low-carbon development. China proposes to host a BRICS high-level meeting on climate change and a BRICS forum on big data for sustainable development. We welcome the substantive progress made in expanding the membership of the New Development Bank (NDB), and look forward to a bigger role of the NDB in supporting the development of its members and in global economic and financial affairs. The BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution innovation center, already launched in Xiamen, has hosted events such as personnel training, a think tank symposium and an industrial innovation contest. Next year, the center plans to hold a forum on the development of industrial Internet and digital manufacturing, among other activities, and we look forward to active participation of government departments and business communities of BRICS countries. The Agreement on the Cooperation on BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation, which has already been signed, should be fully implemented by us all to bring benefits to the people of our five countries.
Fourth, strengthen political and security cooperation in the spirit of fairness and justice. We need to consolidate the BRICS strategic partnership, support each other on issues concerning our respective core interests, and jointly safeguard our sovereignty, security and development interests. We need to make good use of BRICS mechanisms such as the meeting of foreign ministers and the meeting of high representatives for security, better coordinate our position on major international and regional issues, and send out an even bigger, collective voice of BRICS countries. The BRICS Counter Terrorism Action Plan,adopted earlier this year, should be implemented in real earnest.
Fifth, strengthen people-to-people exchanges in the spirit of mutual learning. The BRICS Women Innovation Contest hosted by China this year is a refreshing addition to our cooperation despite the pandemic. China suggests setting up a BRICS alliance for vocational education to organize vocational skills competitions and create a platform of exchanges and cooperation for the vocational colleges and businesses of our five countries. Going forward, China will host the BRICS seminar on governance and the BRICS forum on people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and open an online training course for media professionals of our five countries. China will host the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games early next year. We look forward to welcoming athletes from BRICS countries and around the world to demonstrate their sporting skills and achieve excellent performance.
As a Chinese saying goes, “A man of wisdom adapts to changes; a man of knowledge acts by circumstances.” In advancing BRICS cooperation, we need to embrace changes of our times and keep abreast of the times. We need to set clearer priorities in our wide-ranging cooperation, make our cooperation more results-oriented and ensure that its benefits are fully delivered. We need to adjust and improve the substance and modality of our cooperation on the basis of consensus to meet the evolving circumstances and practical needs. I am confident that with our concerted efforts, the BRICS mechanism will brim with renewed vigor and vitality.