Wang Yi Attends the Formal Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs

On June 4, 2018 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the Formal Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs in South Africa. The meeting was chaired by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu of South Africa, and attended by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj of India and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Galvao of Brazil.

Wang Yi expressed that the BRICS countries held the first meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs during the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2006, which translated an economic concept into a concrete action. Over the past 12 years, the BRICS cooperation mechanism has been increasingly improved, with constant consolidation of its foundation as well as gradual expansion of its areas, opening a new chapter for South-South cooperation. Last year, we have further confirmed the framework of "three-wheel drive" consisting of economy and trade and finance, political security as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges, demonstrating the strong vitality of the BRICS cooperation. The BRICS cooperation has become a positive, stable and constructive force in international affairs.

Wang Yi pointed out that the current world is facing huge changes that have never been seen in the past hundred years. Under such background, the BRICS countries should demonstrate a broader strategic vision, stronger collective efforts and a firmer will of shouldering responsibilities. The BRICS countries should take the building of the second "golden decade" as an opportunity to create more well-being for the people of the five countries and make greater contributions to world peace and development.

Wang Yi noted that the BRICS countries should become the strong engine and lasting driving force for the growth of world economy, join hands to build an open world economy, and oppose trade protectionism and unilateralism, in a bid to safeguard common interests and development space. The BRICS countries should be the staunch forces and solid support of maintaining world peace and stability. Under the current situation, the BRICS countries should, in particular, jointly adhere to multilateralism, safeguard the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and maintain international fairness and justice. The BRICS countries should be the connecting bonds of civilization integration and common progress of all continents, take a people-centered approach, and vigorously promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges and interactions, so as to bring people of the five countries closer. The BRICS countries should be important platforms for emerging markets and developing countries to conduct South-South cooperation, take the "BRICS Plus" as the support, actively carry out exchanges and cooperation with other emerging markets and developing countries, and constantly expand the "friend circle" of the BRICS, so as to enhance the influence and appeal of the BRICS.

The representatives of all countries attending the meeting spoke positively of the great progress of the BRICS cooperation over the past decade, and highly appreciated the important contributions China made as the presidency last year to advancing the BRICS cooperation. They expressed that against the background of complex changes in the current international situation, the BRICS countries should further strengthen coordination and cooperation, deepen strategic partnership, jointly adhere to multilateralism, oppose unilateralism and protectionism, and safeguard the basic norms of international relations. The representatives attending the meeting expressed that they will give full support to and actively cooperate with South Africa to well prepare for the tenth BRICS Summit to ensure the success of the meeting, sending positive and strong signal to the outside and injecting stability into the world.

The main task of this meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs is to prepare for the BRICS Summit to be held in Johannesburg in July. A Press Communiqué was also released after the meeting.

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