Brics summit: Xi, Putin criticise unilateral sanctions, urge deeper cooperation

A screen at a shopping centre in Beijing showing a news broadcast of Chinese President Xi Jinping addressing the Brics Business Forum, on June 23, 2022. - Reuters

BEIJING (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday (June 24) criticised the use of unilateral sanctions within the global community, as he called on fellow leaders of Brics emerging economies to deepen ties to achieve “more inclusive and resilient” economic growth.

He also urged the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa to be more vocal on international platforms so as to better protect multilateralism, and overcome “small, hegemonic factions” within the global community.

While Xi did not name specific countries, Beijing had previously used similar language to describe factions led by the United States, largely comprising Western democracies.

“We need to pool strength for economic recovery, step up macro policy coordination (and) keep supply chains secure and unclogged,” he said, speaking via video link at the 14th Brics summit in Beijing.

The summit was being held at a “critical juncture in the shaping of the future course of humanity,” Xi said, according to Chinese state media Xinhua news agency.

“Brics countries, as important emerging markets and major developing countries, need to act with a sense of responsibility to bring positive, stabilising and constructive strength to the world,” he added.

The five nations of the influential grouping account for more than 40 per cent of the global population and about a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product.

Xi pointed to how the continued spread of Covid-19 and the increasingly salient Russia-Ukraine conflict over the past year have hurt global economic recovery, but the Brics countries have “jointly tackled the challenges”.

In a veiled reference to the US-led Nato military alliance, he said that countries, in their attempts to expand military alliances, have forced nations to pick sides and ignored the rights and interests of others.

President Vladimir Putin has cited the expansion of Nato as a key reason for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The world will become even more volatile and unstable if we allow the dangerous trend to continue,” Xi said.

After the summit, the Brics nations said they supported talks between Russia and Ukraine, according to the text of a declaration published on the Kremlin website.

China, India and South Africa had earlier abstained from voting on a United Nations resolution condemning Russia’s invasion.

In a call with Putin on June 15 – Xi’s 69th birthday – both leaders reaffirmed their strong ties, with Xi assuring Putin that China will support Moscow’s core interests in “sovereignty and security”.

At the summit, Putin said in a televised statement that Russia wants to deepen its economic ties with the other Brics nations, as his country faces severe Western sanctions, including an unprecedented ban in February that expelled a number of Russian banks from the Swift global payment system.

He told Brics leaders: “Only on the basis of honest and mutually beneficial cooperation can we look for ways out of this crisis situation, which developed in the global economy because of the ill-conceived, selfish actions of certain states.”

He said such countries, led by the US and using financial mechanisms, “in fact, shift their own mistakes in macroeconomic policy onto the whole world”.

“We are convinced that now, more than ever, the leadership of Brics countries is needed to develop a unifying, positive course towards the formation of a truly multipolar system of inter-government relations,” he added.

On Thursday, business representatives from the Brics nations also called on their countries’ leaders to deepen trade and investment ties within the grouping, among other initiatives, after the end of the Brics Business Forum.

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China , BRICS , Summit , Xi Jinping , Putin


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