China's president Xi Jinping urged BRICS countries on Thursday to play a constructive role and reject U.S.-led hegemony as the world emerges from the COVID 19 epidemic.
Xi spoke at a virtual summit with leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, but he did not name America and its allies, but his message was clear.
We need to encourage the international community to practice multilateralism. Xi said that the world should reject the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation, oppose unilateral sanctions and abuse of sanctions, and reject the small circles built around hegemonism by forming a big family belonging to a community with a shared future for humanity.
The Chinese leader's remarks by the state Xinhua News Agency came after his warning at a BRICS-related forum yesterday against attempts to expand military alliances, as seen in the conflict in Ukraine, a veiled reference to NATO.
China has refrained from condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine and criticized U.S. sanctions against Moscow.
In a joint statement, the BRICS leaders said they discussed the situation in Ukraine, but stopped calling it an invasion or war. They said they support talks between Russia and Ukraine. We have also discussed our concerns over the humanitarian situation in and around Ukraine and expressed our support for UN-led relief efforts.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said BRICS authority and influence are steadily increasing and called for members to fight against adversity, despite international condemnation.
It is only on the basis of honest and mutually beneficial cooperation that we can look for ways out of the critical situation that has emerged in the world economy because of the ill-conceived and selfish actions of certain states that are actually shifting their macroeconomic policy mistakes onto the rest of the world, Putin said.
The Russian leader said that BRICS leadership is more relevant than ever for the formation of a multipolar system of interstate relations based on universal norms of international law.
The summit's virtual format was attested to the lingering threat posed by the coronaviruses.
Confronted by slowing economic growth at home, Xi urged his counterparts of emerging economies to pool their strength and step up policy coordination to overcome challenges in global development.
Speaking from Beijing, Xi said there should be more international cooperation to build a strong line of defense against the coronavirus, which has had a resurgence in China and has triggered citywide lock-downs this year.
This cause was shared by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who supported the move to establish a vaccine research and development center, increase coordination among customs authorities, and other measures.
Such practical steps make BRICS a unique international organization whose focus is not limited to dialogue, said Modi.
Modi, who stopped short of denouncing Russia over the Ukraine war, made no mention of either country in his opening remarks.