BRICS Business Forum: Chinese President Xi Jinping hits out at US, EU sanctions against Russia

Without naming the Quad grouping and AUKUS, Xi lashed out at group politics and bloc confrontation, emphasising that they bring no peace or security.

Published: 22nd June 2022 10:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd June 2022 10:16 PM   |  A+A-

Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Chinese President Xi Jinping. (File Photo| AP)


BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday hit out at the US and EU for imposing sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, saying the act of wilfully imposing curbs will harm people around the world.

Without naming the Quad (US, India, Australia, Japan) grouping and the AUKUS (US, UK Australia) Xi lashed out at group politics and bloc confrontation, emphasising that they bring no peace or security and only lead to wars and conflicts.

History has shown that hegemony, group politics and bloc confrontations bring neither peace nor stability, but rather war and conflict, Xi said in a keynote speech delivered in a virtual format at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum.

"The Ukraine crisis is another wake-up call for all in the world. It reminds us that 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," he said.

The BRICS Business Forum meeting was held ahead of Thursday's 14th summit of BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which will be held in Beijing via video link followed by high-level dialogue on global development the next day. China is this year's chair of the BRICS.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa are expected to take part in the summit hosted by President Xi.

The Summit will be held in virtual format under the theme of Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development.

In his speech, Xi hit out at the US and EU for imposing sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, saying the act of wilfully imposing sanctions will bring disasters to people around the world. Putin ordered a "special military operation" against Ukraine on February 24. The US-led Western nations have imposed crippling sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

China, a close ally of Russia has declined to condemn Moscow for the invasion against Ukraine and maintained close political and business links. Latest reports said China's crude oil imports from Russia has climbed to over 55 per cent from a year earlier last month displacing Saudi Arabia as Beijing's top supplier.

Describing sanctions as boomerangs and double-edged swords, Xi said those who politicise, leverage and weaponise the global economy and wilfully impose sanctions by taking advantage of dominance in international financial and monetary systems will eventually harm others and themselves and bring disasters to people around the world.

He referred to the Global Security Initiative (GSI) which was proposed recently, which was seen as a counter to Quad.

He said that GSI calls on all countries to stay committed to the common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries besides taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously.

He said that it also proposed to peacefully resolve differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation and 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," he said.

He also highlighted the Global Development Initiative (GDI) proposed by him.

It calls on all countries to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, forge a 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, he said.

He also defended his much criticised dynamic zero COVID policy under which China virtually isolated itself from the rest of the world by restricting international travel and lockdown down highly populated cities like Shanghai for months.

"China has built a strong line of defence against the virus, and consolidated the gains made in COVID-19 response. Thanks to these efforts, we have protected people's lives and health and ensured overall stable performance in economic and social development to the maximum extent possible," he said.

On the slowdown of the Chinese economy as a result of COVID restrictions, Xi said, "We will step up macroeconomic policy adjustment, and adopt more forceful measures to deliver the economic and social development goals for the whole year and minimize the impact of COVID-19."

About the BRICS grouping, he said the five-member bloc is an "important cooperation platform for emerging markets and developing countries".

"BRICS cooperation has now entered a new stage of high-quality development," he said and asked businesses from the five countries to tap into the complementarity of BRICS countries' diverse economic structures and resources, upgrade cooperation on trade, investment and finance, expand cooperation on cross-border e-commerce, logistics, local currencies and credit rating, and keep industrial and supply chains safe and unclogged.

Noting that safeguarding peace is the common cause of all humanity, Xi said that only if everyone cherishes and upholds peace, and remembers and learns from the bitter lessons of war, can there be the hope of peace. "Facing the turmoil and instability in the world, we should keep firmly in mind the original aspiration of the UN Charter, as well as our mission to promote peace," Xi said.

Urging the international community to abandon zero-sum game and jointly oppose hegemony and power politics, Xi called for the building of a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, equity and justice, and mutually beneficial cooperation.


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