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Xi: People want open, inclusive world

By CAO DESHENG in Johannesburg | | Updated: 2023-08-23 05:29
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People walk near the venue of the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, Aug 20, 2023. The 15th BRICS Summit is scheduled to be held from Tuesday to Thursday in South Africa. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping warned on Tuesday of the danger of a new Cold War, and urged countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation to cope with risks and challenges the world is facing.

Xi made the remarks in a speech read by Commerce Minister Wang Wentao at the BRICS Business Forum 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

He said human society is coming to a critical juncture and must decide whether to maintain peace and stability or slide into the abyss of a new Cold War.

Noting today's world is a community with a shared future, Xi said people around the planet do not long for a "new Cold War" or "exclusive groups", but an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world of lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.

This is the inevitable progression of history and the trend of the times, he added.

Xi rebuffed some Western countries' attempts to deliberately instigate confrontation between "democracy" and "authoritarianism" and between "freedom" and "totalitarianism", saying such moves can only lead to a fragmented world and clashes between civilizations.

He spoke highly of the collective rise of emerging market countries and developing nations represented by the BRICS countries, saying they are fundamentally reshaping the global landscape.

As BRICS countries gather with more than 50 other nations in South Africa, the issue is not about taking sides or fostering confrontation, but about building a framework for peaceful development, Xi said. He added China sincerely welcomes those interested in joining the BRICS cooperation mechanism.

Xi noted that China, as a member of the developing world and Global South, has always stood with other developing countries, firmly upheld their common interests, and advocated for increased representation and for a louder voice for emerging market countries and developing nations in global affairs.

China does not have the genes to seek hegemony or engage in power play, and it firmly stands on the right side of history, he said.

Speaking of China's economy, Xi said it is resilient, with great potential and vitality, and its positive fundamentals will not change in the long run.

Since the beginning of this year, the Chinese economy has maintained a positive momentum of recovery and improvement.

Xi pledged China will continue to optimize the business environment, implement national treatment for foreign companies, create a market-oriented, law-based and world-class business environment, and build a high-standard, global network of free-trade areas.

The nation will make greater contributions to the global economy and provide the international business community with even more room for development, he added.

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