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President shows commitment to shared future

By Shakeel Ahmad Ramay | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-06-27 09:30
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President Xi Jinping chairs the 14th BRICS Summit via video link from Beijing on June 23, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping's keynote speech to the BRICS Business Forum 2022 on Wednesday can be summarized as a sincere proposal for and commitment to sustainable peace and prosperity.

It was not the first time that Xi urged the world to work for peace and prosperity. The world has seen him deliver a similar message while addressing United Nations platforms, regional associations and forums, and bilateral and national forums.

It is apparent that he shares a belief that without ensuring peace and prosperity, the world cannot achieve the goal of a community with a shared future. His message also shows his resolute belief in the need for, and his commitment to, a shared future that can only be achieved through cooperation.

Historical facts show that it was cooperation that helped the world to grow and overcome many challenges. The World Bank has noted that from 1970 to 2015, global GDP grew 25-fold in the aftermath of globalization, increasing from $2.96 trillion in 1970 to $74 trillion in 2015.

The world was also able to reduce by half, from 1990 to 2019, the number of people living in poverty and facing food insecurity. Unfortunately, despite the huge benefits of cooperation and economic links, some nations still choose other directions.

President Xi rightly identified the problems and the causes of problems, summing up current global contradictions as either peace or war, progress or regression, openness or isolation, and cooperation or confrontation. There is no denying the fact that these contradictions have haunted humanity for a long time, though recently the situation has been aggravated.

Trade war, economic isolation and confrontation in the name of so-called human rights and democracy have become the new normal. Hegemonic aspirations and military bloc politics are igniting the flames of new conflicts and crises. The Russia-Ukraine crisis is the latest example.

Experts believe that the West is adopting such tactics out of fear of losing hegemony and economic power. Western countries are bent on denting the global system without realizing that the fall of this system would be a disaster, and no one would be a winner. Rather, everyone would be a loser.

We have seen the disasters of the two world wars, which engulfed millions of people and caused the destruction of resources.

In this context, Xi's advice, which emphasized abandoning the hegemonic mentality, is rational. He also urged powerful countries to depart from the philosophy of "position of strength", as it will not serve the purpose of peace and prosperity.

By citing historical lessons, Xi urged all to pursue and defend peace, as it is the only way to secure sustainable prosperity. He reiterated the importance of the China-proposed Global Security Initiative and its four pillars: common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security for lasting peace.

Thus, the Chinese president proposed that we try to forge partnerships based on the principles of win-win cooperation.

The UN must be at the center of all international engagement, and we should adhere to the core values and principles of the UN Charter. It is not a choice-it is the need of the times, amid global challenges including food and energy insecurity, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

However, the challenges are so huge that no single country or region can handle them alone, so there is a need to strengthen cooperation and avoid isolation.

We should understand that small yards with high fences will not serve the purpose. Our world should promote trade, economic linkages, technology development and investment through the system based on the World Trade Organization. This is a win-win proposition for everyone and will boost innovation and creativity, which would be good news for global growth and development.

Xi also urged the business communities of the BRICS member countries-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa-to play a role in achieving a development agenda. He asked them to be partners in a new industrial revolution, strengthen cooperation on digital economy, smart manufacturing, clean energy and low-carbon technology, and support the industrial restructuring and upgrading.

In a nutshell, the speech reverberated strongly amid today's global situation and will give hope to developing countries and build a positive image of BRICS.

The author is CEO of the Asian Institute of Eco-civilization Research and Development in Pakistan.

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