Xi stresses unity, reason in virus fight
President addresses the virtual 12th BRICS Summit via video link in Beijing on Tuesday. Chinese officials participated in the meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. [Photo by Li Xueren and Ding Lin/Xinhua]

BRICS members urged to safeguard peace, stability, uphold multilateralism

President called on Tuesday for wiping out the “political virus” in the world’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and promoting global economic recovery by upholding openness and innovation.

Xi made the remarks in Beijing when addressing the 12th BRICS Summit via video link. BRICS groups the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

“What has happened shows that acts of politicization, stigmatization, blame-shifting and scapegoating only serve to disrupt overall global cooperation against the virus,” Xi said. “We need to overcome division with unity, replace bias with reason and stamp out the ‘political virus’. In this way, we will pool the maximum global synergy to beat the virus.”

He called on the BRICS countries to uphold multilateralism to safeguard world peace and stability.

It is against the universal aspiration of people around the world to ignore rules and the rule of law, engage in unilateralism and bullying, and keep withdrawing from multilateral groups and reneging on agreements, Xi said, adding that such acts trample on the legitimate rights and dignity of all countries.

He expressed opposition to interference in the internal affairs of other countries, as well as unilateral sanctions and “long-arm jurisdiction”.

Xi underlined the need to support the World Health Organization in playing a leading role in the fight against the pandemic, and called on the BRICS countries to strengthen cooperation in vaccine research and development.

Noting that Chinese companies are carrying out Phase III clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines with Russian and Brazilian partners, Xi said China is also willing to cooperate with South Africa and India in this regard.

He proposed that the five BRICS countries hold a symposium on traditional medicines to explore their role in preventing and treating COVID-19.

“China has joined the COVAX facility, a platform on which we will share vaccines with other countries, developing countries in particular. We will actively consider providing vaccines to BRICS countries where there is a need,” Xi said.

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