On 31 August 2017, the Daily Telegraph and its website published a signed article by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming entitled “Common Aspiration Will Lead BRICS to New Success”. The full text is as follows:
Common Aspiration Will Lead BRICS to New Success
This year, BRICS cooperation enters its second decade. As the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa meet for their ninth summit in Xiamen, China from Sept. 3 to 5, they will review what BRICS cooperation has achieved and plan for the future of this group. Against profound adjustment in the world political and economic landscape, this summit and its success matter to more than just the group itself.
The five BRICS nations, covering 26% of the world’s land mass and home to 43% of the world’s population, represent the emerging markets and the developing world. Starting from scratch ten years ago, BRICS cooperation has grown closer and borne “golden fruits”.
In a decade, BRICS successfully turned an investment concept into a multi-layer framework for wide-ranging cooperation. Its institutions include the Leaders’ Summit and ministerial meetings of foreign ministers and security representatives. Its cooperation covers business, finance, agriculture, health, science and technology, and many other areas. Moreover, the establishment of the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement has added weight to BRICS global influence.
For a decade, BRICS countries have targeted their cooperation at development and delivered benefits to not only the people of their own, but the rest of the world. They have become new power houses of global growth. Compared with ten years ago, BRICS countries have increased their GDP from 12% of the world total to 23%, trade from 11% to 16% and outbound investment from 7% to 12%, contributing more than 50% of the world economic growth. In 2016, 80% of the world growth came from BRICS and other emerging and developing economies, indicating the rising roles of these markets in underpinning global growth and economic governance.
The past decade has also seen BRICS breaking away from outdated political-military alliance, ideology-based mindset and a winner-takes-all approach. Together, the BRICS countries have been building a new non-aligned partnership, shaping a new model of mutual respect and common progress, and exploring a new way to handle emerging power relations through win-win cooperation and positive interactions.
The BRICS cooperation has not all been plain sailing, but the five countries have always opted to trust one another, to remain confident and to stay true to their commitment of long-term, sustainable cooperation. At present, global economic recovery remains vulnerable while economic globalisation is frustrated by surging protectionism. The fact that many emerging markets and developing countries are encountering “headwinds” means that closing the gap between the industrial and the less-developed countries remains a daunting task.
In this context, the BRICS spirit, namely, openness, solidarity, equality, mutual understanding, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation, is all the more needed. The world expects the BRICS nations to work more closely together, to show solidarity and to take up their responsibilities.
First, BRICS can become the “propeller” of unity and cooperation among the emerging and developing nations by spreading the benefits of BRICS cooperation, safeguarding the overall interests of the developing world, exploring the BRICS+ dialogue and cooperation model, advancing international development cooperation and building a global partnership network.
Second, BRICS can serve as the “stabilizer” of regional and international situations by staying committed to the UN’s central role in international affairs, political resolution of hot spot issues, and joint response to terrorism, climate change and other global challenges.
Third, BRICS can work as an “accelerator” in the reform of the international order by enhancing multipolarity and democracy in international relations, by upholding fairness and justice, by contributing “BRICS wisdom” and “BRICS solutions” to world peace and development and by playing an active and constructive role in building a community of shared future for mankind.
The BRICS Summit in Xiamen, focusing on “Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future”, will map out a blueprint for the next ten years. In the coming years, BRICS countries will build stronger partnerships in upholding world peace, promoting common development, enhancing the diversity of civilizations and strengthening global economic governance.
Meetings of the High Representatives for Security Issues and Ministers of Foreign Affairs and coordinated actions at multilateral forums will enable the BRICS to play a bigger role and make their voices heard on major global and regional issues so as to uphold international justice and enhance common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.
BRICS coordination on macroeconomic policy and development strategy and the implementation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership will lead to greater common interests in trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation, the connectivity of financial markets, collaboration on creative industries and sustainable development. These will in turn create more projects that will draw the BRICS countries close together and benefit their peoples and the people of the world.
Effective cultural exchanges and closer people-to-people ties between countries as diverse as the BRICS members will set a fine example for inter-civilisation exchanges. Events such as film festivals, sports games and forum on traditional medicine will increase understanding and friendship among BRICS countries and build robust public support for BRICS cooperation.
Concerted BRICS efforts to advance the reform of global governance and to facilitate the implementation of Agenda 2030 will increase the representation and raise the voice of emerging and developing nations in international affairs.
For BRICS nations, with their common aspirations for the future, differences and distance are no handicaps. By working hand in hand and upholding the BRICS spirit, by staying committed to development, following the trend of history and consolidating security, economic and cultural cooperation, BRICS will embrace a new “golden decade” and deliver more “golden fruits” to the developing nations and the rest of the world.