Xi unveils 5-point plan for a holistic Covid fight

Tells BRICS summit unilateralism, power politics will inflate dispute, confrontation

Agencies November 17, 2020

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday unveiled a five-point plan to beat the global coronavirus epidemic and mitigate its social, political and economic fallouts during a summit meeting of the group of five major emerging countries.

Speaking during an online summit of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Xi called for upholding multilateralism, and safeguarding peace and stability, warning that unilateralism and bullying, and withdrawing from international agreements ran counter to the will of the people.

First, we need to uphold multilateralism, and safeguard peace and stability. History teaches us that multilateralism, equity and justice can keep war and conflict at bay, while unilateralism and power politics will inflate dispute and confrontation.

Flouting rules and laws, treading the path of unilateralism and bullying, and withdrawing from international organisations and agreements run counter to the will of the general public and trample on the legitimate rights and dignity of all nations.

“We remain convinced that the theme of our times, peace and development, has not changed, and that the trend toward multi-polarity and economic globalisation cannot be turned around,” Xi told the BRICS summit convened by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We must keep people’s welfare close to heart and pursue the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind. Through concrete actions, we will contribute our share to making the world a better place for everyone,” he added.

Elaborating his plan, Xi stressed that multilateralism, equity and justice could keep war and conflict at bay, while the unilateralism and power politics would inflate dispute and confrontation. “We BRICS countries must stand up for equity and justice in the world,” he said.

“We need to oppose interference in others’ internal affairs, as well as unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction. With concerted efforts, we will foster a peaceful and stable environment for development,” he added.

Second, the Chinese president said, “we need to enhance solidarity and coordination, and come together to meet the Covid-19 challenge, which still surged despite the passage of nearly one years since it first emerged in Central China in December last year.

He revealed that the Chinese companies were working with their Russian and Brazilian partners on phase-III clinical trials of vaccines, adding that his country was prepared to cooperate with South Africa and India in this regard.

He also proposed the convening of a BRICS symposium on traditional medicine to explore its role in coronavirus prevention and treatment. “This may well boost the global arsenal against Covid-19,” the president said.

The president reminded the summit that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had predicted that the world economy would shrink by 4.4% this year. “Third, we need to pursue openness and innovation, and promote global economic recovery,” he proposed.

“Fourth, we need to prioritise people’s livelihood, and promote sustainable global development. Fifth, we need to pursue green and low-carbon development, and strive for harmony between man and nature.”

Earlier, Putin encouraged the fellow members of the BRICS alliance to manufacture and distribute coronavirus vaccines developed by Russia. “There are Russian vaccines… they work effectively and safely... It’s important to unite for mass production of these products into wide circulation,” he said.


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