In a written interview with BRICS media on the eve of the New Delhi summit, Chinese President Hu Jintao outlines his vision of the role the five-nation grouping can play at the global level.
The fourth BRICS Summit will be held in New Delhi on March 28-29. What is China's expectation for the summit?
The fourth BRICS Summit is being held against the backdrop of continued profound and complex changes in the international situation, uncertain prospects in world economic recovery and the steadily rising status and role of emerging markets and developing countries in international affairs. It is yet another major event in the ongoing BRICS cooperation. India, the host country, has worked effectively in preparing for the summit. China will work with other BRICS members to push for positive outcomes.
China hopes the summit will continue to display the BRICS spirit of unity and win-win partnership, continue to enhance coordination and cooperation on global economy, finance, development and other major issues of common interest, push forward practical cooperation in various fields, send a joint message of confidence for world economic stability and recovery, provide impetus for improved global economic governance and make a contribution to common development in the whole world. We also hope the summit will help strengthen institutional building of BRICS cooperation, map out plans for the future, and lay a solid foundation for the long-term growth of BRICS cooperation.
How does China think the growing weight of emerging markets and developing countries will impact on the international landscape?
Currently, a large number of emerging markets and developing countries have achieved rapid economic growth and become an important force in promoting world peace and common development. Firmly committing to the path of peaceful development, cooperative development and harmonious development, these countries form an important part of common development of the world, which is conducive to a more balanced world economy, more reasonable international relations, more effective global governance and more durable world peace.
Since the outbreak of the international financial crisis in 2008, these countries have spearheaded the global recovery through their own development. The steady increase of their representation and the greater say they acquired in global economic governance have moved the international order in the direction of greater fairness and rationality. What has happened testifies once again that without the rise of emerging markets and developing countries, there will be no universal prosperity in the world; and that without the stability of these countries, there will be no world peace and stability. The development of these countries has a constructive impact on the international landscape. The international community should look at these countries from a long-term and strategic perspective and actively support their development.
How does China see the momentum and future of BRICS cooperation and its role in global governance? How can BRICS countries uphold the interests of developing countries through closer coordination?
BRICS countries are the defender and promoter of the interests of developing countries. In their cooperation, BRICS countries have committed to promoting South-South cooperation and North-South dialogue, endeavoured to implement the U.N. Millennium Development Goals, worked for early realisation of the goals set out in the mandate for the Doha development round negotiations, strived to secure a greater say for developing countries in global economic governance and fought all forms of protectionism. Cooperation among BRICS countries is made necessary by the ongoing economic globalisation and democratisation in international relations. It is consistent with the trend of the times characterised by peace, development and cooperation, and fully conducive to building a harmonious world of durable peace and common prosperity.
From Yekaterinburg to Brasilia, and from Sanya to New Delhi, the BRICS summit mechanism has improved steadily, with a multi-level and wide-ranging cooperation framework having taken shape. Political mutual trust among BRICS members is strengthened, their practical cooperation in the economy, finance, trade, development and other fields deepened, and their communication and coordination in major international affairs enhanced. They have played a constructive role in global governance. It is fair to say that BRICS cooperation now stands on solid ground, enjoys a huge potential and holds out a broad prospect.
China has always made cooperation with emerging markets and developing countries, BRICS included, a foreign policy priority, and has firmly supported and actively participated in BRICS cooperation.
How does the Chinese side view the practical cooperation among BRICS countries? What major cooperation outcomes has BRICS achieved since its inception? What important proposals will be put forward in the near future?
Practical cooperation is an important pillar of BRICS cooperation. BRICS practical cooperation, which started from scratch, has in recent years grown steadily with enriched contents and diverse forms. Such cooperation serves the common interests of the BRICS members and enjoys a favourable response in their economic, social and public opinion circles.
In the past year, BRICS countries have vigorously implemented the Action Plan of the Sanya Declaration and expanded their cooperation in finance, industry, commerce, health, agriculture, statistics, science, technology and think tanks, thus bringing tangible benefits to their peoples and further reinforcing the momentum of BRICS cooperation.
As for BRICS practical cooperation in the near future, China wants to see efforts made in the following two areas: First, building a solid foundation. We should beef up the existing cooperation programmes in the spirit of practicality and efficiency and build a number of flagship projects. Second, being innovative. We should properly explore new areas of cooperation in light of the needs of economic and social development in BRICS countries, tap the cooperation potential and inject new vitality into the mechanism of BRICS cooperation.
I am confident that with sustained commitment to the principles of openness, solidarity and mutual assistance, BRICS members will keep making fresh progress in their practical cooperation.
How does China evaluate its relations with other BRICS members? With South Africa joining BRICS last year, how does China see South Africa's contribution as a new member?
The other BRICS members are all China's strategic partners. It is a foreign policy priority for China to develop relations with them.
Brazil is the first developing country to establish a strategic partnership with China. In recent years, the two countries have had frequent high-level exchanges, resulting in stronger political mutual trust and steady development of cooperation mechanisms. The two countries have also maintained close communication and coordination in major international and regional affairs.
China and Russia are each other's largest neighbour and comprehensive strategic partner of coordination. Bilateral relations have enjoyed the momentum of sound and steady growth. At present, the two countries are actively implementing the 10-year plan for the development of China-Russia relations, and the series of important consensus and agreements of cooperation reached by their leaders and their cooperation in various fields is moving forward vigorously.
The China-India strategic and cooperative partnership has made all-round progress in recent years. A sustained, sound and steady growth of relations between China and India, the two large developing countries sharing borders with each other, will serve not only the well-being of the two peoples but also peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world as a whole.
The people of China and South Africa enjoy a deeply-cherished traditional friendship. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the two countries have seen their relations growing in a comprehensive and rapid manner. China and South Africa have carried out fruitful cooperation in the political, economic, trade, cultural, people-to-people, international affairs and other fields, which benefits the two countries and gives a strong boost to China-Africa relations and solidarity and cooperation among developing countries. BRICS has become more representative with South Africa being a member.
I look forward to meeting other BRICS leaders in New Delhi to exchange views on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues of mutual interest.
(These answers were provided by President Hu in response to a number of questions submitted by The Hindu in India, Folha de Sao Paulo in Brazil, Russian News in Russia, People's Daily in China and BusinessDay in South Africa.)