People’s Daily: As we know, BRICS foreign ministers’ meetings usually end with just one press statement, but the recent one released an extra statement on multilateralism. Do you have anything on this? Is there any difference between BRICS attitude towards multilateralism and multilateral cooperation and the general understanding of the international community, especially the proposition of developed countries?
Wang Wenbin: Since China put forward the proposal during its rotating presidency of BRICS in 2017, the five countries’ foreign ministers have held separate formal meetings for five consecutive years. Since then, we’ve developed a tradition of elaborating on our consensus on current international landscape and prominent issues in the form of press statements with good effects.
The means serves the end just as the vehicle carries the meaning. Today there are so many different interpretations and definitions of multilateralism in the world which is faced with various global challenges and threats. What kind of multilateralism should we uphold? What kind of multilateral institutions should we support? The international community needs an answer urgently.
Under such circumstances, BRICS countries, as representatives of emerging markets and developing countries, have tackled the problem head-on and given their answer. The BRICS Joint Statement on Strengthening and Reforming the Multilateral System laid out the following principles. First, it should make instruments of global governance more inclusive, representative and participatory to facilitate greater and more meaningful participation of developing and least developed countries. Second, it should be based on inclusive consultation and collaboration for the benefit of all. Third, it should make multilateral organizations more responsive, action-oriented and solution-oriented based on the norms and principles of international law and the spirit of mutual respect, justice, equality, mutual beneficial cooperation. Fourth, it should use innovative and inclusive solutions, including digital and technological tools. Fifth, it should strengthen capacities of individual States and international organizations. Sixth, it should promote people-centered international cooperation at the core. This is the answer given by the BRICS.
BRICS countries reiterated their commitment to the path of multilateralism and their support for strengthening and reforming multilateralism. It is also out of this consideration that China supported BRICS countries in issuing a separate joint statement on strengthening and reforming the multilateral system. This statement is not only the outcome of the five countries’ concerted efforts and their answer, but also reflects the shared aspiration of the overwhelming majority of countries and the widespread consensus of the international community.
The BRICS countries, as emerging markets and developing countries, are indeed different from a few developed countries in their attitude towards multilateralism and multilateral cooperation. The BRICS countries stress the need to observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and oppose exceptionalism and double standard. We are committed to extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and oppose hegemonic bullying and zero-sum games. We pursue openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, and reject bloc politics and ideological confrontation. We call for taking real actions to solve real problems, and reject empty words that prolong them. China has every confidence that the contents of this statement will stand the scrutiny of practice and the test of history and will surely win more and more international recognition and support.