China criticises blocs, invites 13 countries to Brics-related event

Updated on Jun 25, 2022 01:34 AM IST
Besides the leaders of the Brics countries, China had invited leaders of 13 countries for the event, seen to be Beijing’s push to expand the five-member bloc. These include Algeria, Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Malaysia and Thailand
Chinese President Xi Jinping hosts the 14th Brics Summit via video link in Beijing, on Thursday. (AP)
Chinese President Xi Jinping hosts the 14th Brics Summit via video link in Beijing, on Thursday. (AP)

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday praised developing countries for the resolve to seek “strength through unity” but criticised in strong words “some countries” for building “a small yard with high fences”, the third day in a row he appeared to disapprove of US-led western alliances.

“Some countries have politicised and marginalised the development issue, built ‘a small yard with high fences’, imposed maximum sanctions, and stoked division and confrontation,” Xi said in his speech, delivered virtually, at the High-level Dialogue on Global Development on Friday.

Besides the leaders of the Brics countries, China had invited leaders of 13 countries for the event, seen to be Beijing’s push to expand the five-member bloc. It was a mix of countries: Algeria, Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Malaysia and Thailand.

Calling for an “enabling international environment for development”, Xi warned that “protectionist moves will boomerang; anyone attempting to form exclusive blocs will end up isolating himself; maximum sanctions serve nobody’s interest, and practices of decoupling and supply disruption are neither feasible nor sustainable”.

An English translation of Xi’s speech, which was delivered in Mandarin, was released by the Chinese foreign ministry late on Friday, a day after the 14th Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit was held online.

Xi did not name countries but his criticism is being interpreted to be directed at the US, its alliances and the sanctions they imposed on Russia for invading Ukraine.

The Chinese President said: “…emerging markets and developing countries are more resolved to seek strength through unity, and the new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation is bringing more opportunities to countries around the world.”

On the issue of global development, the Chinese President mentioned the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and said China will take pragmatic steps to give continued support to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“China will allocate more resources for global development cooperation. We will upgrade the ‘South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund’ to a ‘Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund’, and add US$1 billion to the fund on top of the US$3 billion already committed,” he said.

In a statement, India’s Minister of External Affairs said, “On 24 June, Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] highlighted India’s development partnership with Africa, Central Asia, South East Asia, and from Pacific to Caribbean; India’s focus on a free, open, inclusive, and rules-based maritime space; respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations from the Indian Ocean Region to Pacific Ocean; and reform of multilateral system as large parts of Asia and all of Africa and Latin America have no voice in global decision-making.

“Prime Minister noted the importance of circular economy and invited citizens of participating countries to join Lifestyle for Environment (LIFE) campaign. The participating guest countries were Algeria, Argentina, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Malaysia, and Thailand.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sutirtho Patranobis has been in Beijing since 2012, as Hindustan Times’ China correspondent. He was previously posted in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he covered the final phase of the civil war and its aftermath. Patranobis covered several beats including health and national politics in Delhi before being posted abroad.

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