By Guo Jiping, People’s Daily
After five years, the BRICS cooperation has once again ushered in the “China Year”. As the BRICS chair for 2022, China will host the 14th BRICS Summit under the theme of “forming a high-quality partnership to jointly create a new era of global development”, attempting to make a new blueprint for high-quality development with BRICS partners and send a strong message to the international community of solidarity and cooperation.
BRICS has evolved from an investment concept in a research report into the world’s first group with non-Western countries as the main body and an important force in the international stage that can’t be ignored.
The extraordinary 16-year journey of the BRICS cooperation represents a new chapter of development and cooperation.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, emerging markets and developing countries have generally exhibited stronger momentum and greater potential for development, playing an increasingly important role in the global economic landscape.
Statistics indicate that the average annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of emerging markets and developing countries was about 3.65 percentage points higher than that of developed countries from 2000 to 2019, and the proportion of their GDP in the world’s total rose to over 40 percent.
The five BRICS countries, as representatives of emerging markets and developing countries, have 26.46 percent of the world’s land area and about 42 percent of the global population. Their contribution to world economic growth has grown to 50 percent in recent years.
The solidarity and cooperation among the BRICS countries, which conform to the trend of human society progress and international landscape evolution, may seem like an accident, but is in fact historically inevitable.
From the perspective of world development and international landscape advancement, the BRICS countries are in similar stages of development, shoulder similar historical missions, and share common development goals.
The establishment of the BRICS mechanism embodies a trend of historic progress and the direction of human development.
The BRICS mechanism brings a brand new option to the world, which is dialogue and cooperation, said a professor at the Durban University of Technology in South Africa.
It can be seen from the respective and common development of the BRICS countries that they have established a three-wheel-driven comprehensive and multi-level cooperation architecture covering economy, political security and people-to-people exchanges guided by the BRICS leaders’ meetings.
Throughout their journey, the BRICS countries have made active efforts to forge a new partnership of friendship rather than alliance, embarked on a new path featuring mutual respect and common development, and practiced a new concept of mutual benefits, common interests and cooperation for common development, becoming a vivid interpretation of building a new type of international relations.
Jim O’Neill, who coined the term BRICs, pointed out that the development of the BRICS countries has greatly exceeded his expectations, which is mainly because of the strong driving force of China’s economic development.
Since 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping has delivered a series of important speeches at the BRICS summits and other occasions, contributing Chinese wisdom to, providing Chinese solutions for, and announcing pragmatic measures on “Where is the BRICS going?”, and injecting strong confidence into promoting the BRICS cooperation and global development.
The status and role of the BRICS countries in multilateral mechanisms, including the United Nations (UN), the Group of 20 (G20), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, have been continuously strengthened, which has effectively enhanced the voice of emerging markets and developing countries in international discourse.
“As a positive, inspiring and constructive force in the international community, the BRICS countries need to firm up belief, brave the storms and waves, and take real action to promote peace and development, uphold fairness and justice, and advocate democracy and freedom, so as to inject stability and positive energy into international relations in a period of turbulence and transformation,” said Xi when delivering a video address at the opening session of the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting lately.
Xi’s remarks once again showed the world the composure and sense of responsibility of a major country and helped the world feel the value of the BRICS cooperation and its broad prospects.
Countries need to move forward by following the logic of historical progress, and develop by riding the tide of development of our times, as Xi once said.
In the face of the various risks and challenges of the day as well as the historical trend toward multipolarity and democratization of international relations, it is more than ever important for emerging markets and developing countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation.
Driven by the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, the BRICS countries have been engaged in drawing “concentric circles” for common development and getting more countries involved in the cause of solidarity and progress, so as to make the pie of cooperation bigger and the force for progress stronger, and contribute still more to the lofty vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind.