Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at a BRICS leaders’ meeting held in Antalya, Turkey, Nov. 15, 2015. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
ANTALYA, Turkey, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday called on BRICS countries to strengthen confidence in growth and boost coordination within the emerging-market bloc so as to jointly cope with global challenges.
Acknowledging that the five countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are facing increasing complexities and difficulties and experiencing slower growth, Xi proposed that they upgrade their economic structures for long-term development.
“China stands ready to share development opportunities with other BRICS countries and lift our economic cooperation,” he said at a BRICS leaders’ meeting held in the Turkish resort city of Antalya on the sidelines of a Group of 20 (G20) summit.
“Pure gold fears no fire,” Xi stressed. “As long as we hold firm confidence and strengthen coordination, the BRICS countries will surely sail through winds and waves.”
This year’s G20 summit, the 10th of its kind since 2008, comes as the world economy is still being held back by slow, uneven recovery and shortfalls in demand, investment and infrastructure.
The Chinese economy expanded 6.9 percent in the first three quarters of this year, which contributed as high as about one third to the global growth although the third-quarter figure — also 6.9 percent — posted the lowest reading in six years, according to Chinese officials.
On a larger scale, the emerging-market countries still contribute to more than half of the global growth today.
“We are still the important engine for the world’s economic growth,” Xi told other leaders.
The president suggested the BRICS members jointly help improve global economic governance by forestalling short-term financial risks within the G20 framework and increasing the representation and voice of developing countries.
“We should press ahead with the transition of the G20 mechanism from crisis response to long-term governance,” said Xi, the leader of the world’s second largest economy.
“We need to build an open world economy, oppose trade protectionism, push for the adoption of responsible macroeconomic policies by all G20 members, and jointly expand global demand,” he noted.
The president also wanted the BRICS countries to promote international cooperation and help build a new-type global partnership that is more diversified, open, pragmatic and efficient.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Jacob Zuma attended the meeting held prior to the G20 summit.
The five leaders strongly condemned Friday’s terror attacks in Paris that have left at least 129 dead and 352 injured, and reaffirmed their commitment to international cooperation in combating terrorism.
“The international community must join hands to step up counter-terrorism cooperation, in light of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and other recognized basic norms for international relations,” Xi said.
“Both the symptoms and root causes of the issue should be addressed. Double standard shouldn’t be allowed,” he added.
As to the refugee crisis in Europe, Xi held that the fundamental solution lies in peace and development.
During the meeting, the BRICS leaders pledged to strengthen their strategic partnership and cooperation in the course of carrying out the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and safeguard the interests of the emerging economies and developing countries.
They also called for early implementation of the 2010 reform plan of the International Monetary Fund.
In addition, other BRICS leaders voiced support for China in holding the rotating G20 presidency in 2016.
The BRICS held its 7th summit in July in the southwestern Russian city of Ufa, at which it announced the launch of the New Development Bank and Contingent Reserve Arrangement, two flagship projects of the BRICS cooperation mechanism.
At the summit, the Chinese president encouraged the BRICS countries to be confident in their cooperation mechanism against the backdrop of some complicated factors facing the bloc, such as the downward pressure on them due to the sluggish global economy, and external hypes of pessimistic views on the member states’ prospect and doubts over the effectiveness of BRICS cooperation.
Xi also called on BRICS nations to build a four-pronged partnership — safeguarding world peace, boosting common development, promoting diversified civilization and strengthening global economic governance.
Emerging countries have higher level of potential growth rate, Yuksel Gormez, a senior economist with the Central Bank of Turkey, told Xinhua in Antalya.
“In the following 10 to 20 years, growth performance in emerging countries will be higher than developed countries,” he said.
Russia holds the rotating chair of BRICS in 2015, and India will take over the presidency in 2016.
“Next year, India has the BRICS presidency, and China has the G20 presidency. It’s a very unique opportunity to bring India and China to work together in global economic governance,” Akshay Mathur, an expert on geoeconomics studies at Gateway House (Indian Council on Global Relations), told Xinhua.
“There are two or three very important items that India and China can work on: green infrastructure, financing infrastructure, transnational infrastructure and regional trade agreement,” he said.