History has repeatedly proven that “sanctions are a boomerang and a double-edged sword,” China’s President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday.
“To politicise the global economy and turn it into one’s tool or weapon, and wilfully impose sanctions by using one’s primary position in the international financial and monetary systems will only end up hurting one’s own interests as well as those of others, and inflict suffering on everyone,” he said at the opening of a virtual BRICS business forum.
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are members of the group founded in June 2009.
Xi’s remarks come in the backdrop of burgeoning Western sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine war that have made Russia the most-sanctioned country in the world.
Beijing, a close ally of Moscow, has so far refused to condemn the war and supported Russia’s stance against NATO’s eastward expansion, at the same time calling for efforts to broker peace through diplomatic negotiations.
Xi also told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin last week that Beijing will keep backing Moscow on issues of sovereignty and security.
“Blind faith in the so-called ‘position of strength’ and attempts to expand military alliances and seek one’s own security at the expense of others will only land oneself in a security dilemma,” he said in Wednesday’s speech.
Solidarity, coordination key for world peace
The Chinese president warned that the world is facing drastic changes and a plethora of emerging security challenges, leading to major setbacks to global development.
“Where is the world headed: Peace or war? Progress or regression? Openness or isolation? Cooperation or confrontation? These are choices of the times that we are confronted with,” he said, according to a transcript of his speech released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Xi said China will “continue to pursue opening-up against higher standards and continue to foster a market- and law-based and internationalised business environment.”
“People have reason to be concerned that the world economy might slip into a crisis. At this critical juncture, tiding over difficulties together and pursuing cooperation is the only way for us to forestall an economic crisis,” he said, stressing the need to “pursue win-win cooperation.”
Xi said certain critical industrial and supply chains are “suffering from deliberate disruptions,” which is why “global economic recovery is losing steam.”
“We should reach out to each other and jointly promote sustainable global development. We should respond to people’s concerns, pursue the larger interests of all countries, and steer global development to a new era to deliver benefit to all,” said Xi.
His emphasis on economic cooperation comes as the world’s second-largest economy battles a slowdown and tries to get back on track to fulfil growth targets.
A Covid-19 resurgence in recent months added to China’s economic worries, but the situation has stabilized as major economic hubs including Shanghai have opened up after strict weeks-long lockdowns.
“We should embrace solidarity and coordination and jointly maintain world peace and stability. The tragedies of the past tell us that hegemony, group politics and bloc confrontation bring no peace or security; they only lead to wars and conflicts,” said Xi.
“We should refuse to be led astray by any turn of events or intimidated by any risk. We should rise to challenge and forge ahead with resolve toward the goal of building a community with a shared future for mankind.”