作者：刘锦前 中国竞彩网计算器国际问题研究所 助理研究员 博士
The upcoming 3rd China International Import Expo (CIIE) in 2020 not only shows that China is transforming from a big producer to a major trade power, but also fully demonstrates China’s international image as a responsible country forging ahead in today’s environment. Facing various new challenges in the development of economic globalization, more and more developing countries, including the BRICS countries, are willing to work with China to explore solutions in the reform of the global economic governance system, and contribute to the harmonious development of human society.
In recent years, as the trade volume between China and the other four BRICS countries continued to expand, their are increasingly interdependent on each other. According to the statistics of the General Administration of Customs of China in 2019, the bilateral imports and exports of goods between China and Russia, India, Brazil, South Africa all showed positive growth compared with 2018. Such results in BRICS cooperation were hardly won under the background of rising anti-globalization and weakening demands in the international market. According to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Commerce, from a global perspective, China’s imports and exports currently account for about 30% to 40% of the world’s total. Shanghai has become an important resource allocation center in the world, with its ability to allocate important resources at home and abroad increasing steadily. As the region with the most centralized and complete capital market platforms in China now, it has established a relatively complete financial market system including the inter-bank foreign exchange market, bond market, stock market, gold market, commodity futures market and financial futures market.
At the Second China International Import Expo held in Shanghai in 2019, the BRICS countries shared their economic achievements, demonstrating huge potential for economic and trade cooperation. The sandalwood and textiles from India, jewelry from Russia, and beef and coffee from Brazil attracted a large number of Chinese buyers and professional visitors. Many foreign enterprises participating in the Expo said that they had seen unprecedented business opportunities. Be it on-site sales or looking for Chinese agents, they believed that their gains at the CIIE had far exceeded expectations. It is worth noting that in the past two years, the exhibitors from the BRICS countries were mainly engaged in the fields of food, agricultural products, hand-made products, etc., which seems to indirectly reflect that there remains much room for improvement in terms of the depth and level of economic and trade cooperation among BRICS countries.
The CIIE platform can be used to open up a new situation in BRICS cooperation. In terms of cooperation results, the CIIE has become an important platform for BRICS cooperation. The BRICS countries need to further consolidate and expand cooperation in the future, lead technology trends and fulfill their responsibilities. On one hand, they can further improve the depth and level of cooperation in fields such as trade and investment, manufacturing and mineral processing, agricultural cooperation, medicine and health, digital technology innovation and financial governance, so as to produce new practical results. On the other, developing countries and least developed countries situated at the low end of the industrial chain are most vulnerable to the shocks brought by rising trade protectionism and increasing downward pressure on the world economy. The BRICS countries can also strengthen coordination of their positions on major global issues, make more voices representing the interests of developing countries, and show the world their determination to advance the development of the BRICS mechanism and uphold multilateralism, so as to deal with the risks and challenges faced by mankind.
The CIIE platform can be leveraged to lead the BRICS relations to new heights. Faced with the challenges of rising unilateralism and trade protectionism, it’s expected that the BRICS countries will enhance mutual understanding, respect each other’s major interests and concerns, and achieve a win-win situation through the CIIE platform. For many years, the BRICS countries including China have been upholding international fairness and justice, and have discussed feasible solutions for major international and regional issues involving climate negotiations, reform of the international financial system, and poverty alleviation from the standpoint of emerging market countries. However, they have not formed an organized and highly institutionalized cooperation mechanism. Under the background of different civilizations, the loose cooperation mechanism makes it difficult for them to effectively discuss and resolve problems and contradictions among them on the BRICS platform. The CIIE platform can create opportunities for them to further interact with each other during economic and trade activities, overcome cultural differences, avoid cognitive biases and short-sightedness, and ultimately achieve a mutually beneficial, win-win situation.
The CIIE platform can be utilized to contribute BRICS wisdom to the exchanges and mutual learning of different civilizations. Diversified civilizations make it necessary for us to have exchanges and mutual learning, which will contribute to the development of civilizations. The charm of world civilization lies in its diversity, and the key to human progress lies in mutual learning. In the world today, the evolution of major changes unseen in a century has accelerated, the destabilizing factors and uncertainties in the international situation have become more prominent, and the novel coronavirus pneumonia pandemic has brought unprecedented impacts to international cooperation and exchanges. To meet the common challenges of mankind and build a community with a shared future for mankind, it’s urgent for us to build consensus among different civilizations, and gain wisdom and methods from the mutual learning and appreciation of various civilizations. The different cultural heritages of the BRICS countries and their common expectation for a better future for mankind can not only provide continuous spiritual nourishment and intellectual support for the peoples to establish emotional bonds and a communication bridge of souls through cultural activities, but also demonstrate to the world that different civilizations can coexist peacefully and complement each other. The BRICS countries still have differences in the cooperation of specific cross-cultural projects, national art development, etc., and don’t have enough experience in exploring ways to promote the inheritance and development of human civilization. However, just as President Xi Jinping said in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the First China International Import Expo that a single flower does not make spring, while one hundred flowers in full blossom bring spring to the garden, and that pursuing inclusive growth, mutual benefit and win-win results is surely the right way forward.
(Dr. Liu Jinqian, Associate Research Fellow, Institute of International Relations, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences)