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Remarks by Executive Vice Minister Zhang Yesui At the Opening Ceremony of the First BRICS Media Summit

2015/12/01

Beijing, 1 December 2015

Minister Liu Qibao,
President Cai Mingzhao,
Vice President Vladimir Kazbekov,
Distinguished Guests,

At the outset, let me extend, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, warm congratulations on the opening of the first BRICS Media Summit.

The BRICS Media Summit, which brings together media workers of BRICS countries for an exchange of views on national development and media cooperation, is a decision of historic importance. It adds a new dimension to BRICS cooperation, and more importantly, marks a new start for increasing understanding and cooperation between over three billion people, and better upholding the major interests of emerging markets and developing countries.

BRICS countries have been united by the shared goal of world peace and common development. Thanks to the concerted efforts of all parties, BRICS countries have, in a short span of seven years, strengthened political mutual trust, made notable achievements in economic cooperation and engaged in closer people-to-people exchange. A multi-tiered, all-dimensional and wide-ranging cooperation architecture has emerged, which is a full indication of the strong vitality and broad prospects of BRICS cooperation.

Equally important, BRICS countries have grown into an important force for world peace and development.

It is heartening to note that BRICS countries have contributed significantly to world economic growth. According to statistics and forecasts of authoritative international agencies, BRICS accounted for 21.9% of the world's total GDP in 2014, up from 16.2% in 2009. The figure will further rise to 25.77% in 2020. Over the past 10 years, BRICS countries have been an important engine pulling the world out of the quagmire of the financial crisis, and a major powerhouse of the world economy, contributing over 50% to global growth.

It is heartening to note that BRICS countries have played a constructive role in upholding international equity and justice. We have been firm in defending the outcomes of the victory of WWII, abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and safeguarding the existing international system. We are builders of world peace, taking an active part in the political settlement of hotspot issues and speaking in one voice and standing for justice on major international and regional issues. We are promoters of a new model of international relations, calling for democracy in international relations and improved global governance. The New Development Bank and the Contingency Reserve Arrangement are important supplement to the international economic governance system.

It is heartening to note that BRICS countries have injected strong impetus into cooperation between emerging markets and developing countries. BRICS countries have actively explored paths of independent development in keeping with our own national conditions, and provided useful experience for other countries. We are actively involved in global development cooperation, making important contribution to the attainment of MDGs and the formulation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. In the spirit of win-win cooperation, we have made active efforts to promote South-South cooperation and, as true partners of other developing countries, provided best possible assistance to them.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

BRICS cooperation now stands at a new starting point. Yet, we should not lose sight of the tough global challenges ahead, as the world is still in the middle of complex and profound changes, with weak economic recovery and prominent geopolitical issues. Some emerging markets and developing countries have encountered difficulties and faced mounting downward economic pressure. BRICS countries have also seen slowdown in their growth and entered a stage of adjustment. From time to time, jarring noises could be heard in the world that attempt to draw a bleak picture of BRICS' future, question the effectiveness of our cooperation and exaggerate the difficulties we face.

At such a difficult time, it is all the more important to move ahead firmly in our own direction. As long as we stay confident in our own development path and BRICS cooperation and make solid efforts to manage our own affairs well, develop stronger partnership and build firm institutions for our cooperation, we will embrace a better future for our cooperation.

At the Ufa meeting last July, BRICS leaders agreed to deepen partnership in the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, which sets the direction for the future development of BRICS countries. At present, cooperation at the government level should focus on the following areas:

First, advance practical cooperation in all areas and implement important initiatives to demonstrate the efficiency of BRICS cooperation. As instructed by our leaders, we need to actively advance practical cooperation across the board, achieve more results and deliver real benefits to our people. We need to follow up on the building of the New Development Bank, make good progress in the selection and launch of projects, and strive for early harvest. This way, we will create new highlights in our cooperation. We need to strengthen people-to-people exchange, increase mutual understanding and enhance friendship so as to garner more popular support for BRICS cooperation.

Second, strengthen economic links, leverage respective strengths and foster new drivers of development. We need to speed up efforts to implement the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnerships and strive for new progress in key areas such as trade, investment, energy, agriculture, science and technology, finance, connectivity and ICT. BRICS countries should leverage their complementary strengths in resource endowment and industrial structure, build a value chain of shared benefits and a big market of integrated interests, and foster closer economic partnerships. We should also synergize our development strategies with those of other emerging markets and developing countries, and work together for economic upgrading and long-term development.

Third, strengthen coordination on major international agendas to maintain world peace and promote common development. We need to speak in one voice on international and regional hotspot issues and put forth our own proposals and propositions on climate change, cybersecurity, terrorism and other global challenges. We must ensure full implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and work together to promote the common development of developing countries. We must speed up efforts to reform the global economic governance system and push for early implementation of the 2010 IMF reform plan to foster a favorable external environment. We must uphold the multilateral trading system and advocate an open world economy to ensure equal opportunities, rules and rights for all countries in international economic cooperation.

The media are a window for understanding, a bond for friendship and a bridge for cooperation. They have an irreplaceable role to play in promoting all-dimensional cooperation between BRICS countries. And there is much to accomplish in media cooperation. The theme of the summit, "Innovation, Development, Cooperation and Trust", is consistent with the trend and direction of BRICS cooperation. The media of BRICS countries should deepen cooperation and form synergy to let the world hear more of our voices and foster a favorable environment for our development. They should reach out to the people and bring our people together by increasing mutual trust. They should focus on the theme of development in their reporting to contribute more to the building of integrated market and all-dimensional connectivity between BRICS countries. They should also pursue innovation and adapt to changes in the media industry in order to make new progress in development.

The Chinese foreign ministry places great importance on the constructive role of the media and maintains good cooperation with the BRCIS media. I see in the audience many old friends. Going foward, the foreign ministry will continue to support the wide-ranging and multi-tiered cooperation between BRICS media and the BRICS Media Summit. I hope friends from the BRICS media will report more about each other's countries and tell good BRICS stories together.

In closing, I wish the first BRICS Media Summit full success.

Thank you.

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