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Xi says BRICS important force in shaping int’l landscape

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JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping said here on Wednesday that the BRICS is an important force in shaping the international landscape.

BRICS countries choose their development paths independently, jointly defend their right to development, and march in tandem toward modernization, which represents the direction of the advancement of human society, and will profoundly impact the development process of the world, Xi said in a speech delivered at the 15th BRICS Summit.

The track record of the BRICS shows that the members have consistently acted on the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, and taken BRICS cooperation to new heights in support of the five countries’ development, he said.

BRICS nations, Xi said, have upheld fairness and justice in international affairs, stood up for what is right on major international and regional issues, and enhanced the voice and influence of emerging markets and developing countries.

BRICS countries invariably advocate and practice independent foreign policies, said Xi, adding that they always address major international issues based on their merits, making fair remarks and taking fair actions.

BRICS nations do not barter away principles, succumb to external pressure, or act as vassals of others, he said, adding that they share extensive consensus and common goals.

No matter how the international situation changes, the BRICS’s commitment to cooperation since the very beginning and the common aspiration will not change, he added.

Xi also noted that BRICS countries gather at a crucial time to build on their past achievements and open up a new future for BRICS cooperation.

He called on all members to navigate the trend of the times and stay in the forefront.

BRICS members should always bear in mind their founding purpose of strengthening themselves through unity, enhance cooperation across the board, and build a high-quality partnership, Xi said.

All BRICS countries, he added, should help reform global governance to make it more just and equitable, and bring to the world more certainty, stability and positive energy.

Xi called for efforts to deepen business and financial cooperation among BRICS countries to boost economic growth.

Xi said the world economic recovery remains shaky, and challenges for developing countries are even more formidable, hampering their efforts to realize the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Development is an inalienable right of all countries, not a privilege reserved for a few,” Xi said.

He called on BRICS countries to be fellow companions on the journey of development and revitalization, and oppose decoupling and supply chains disruption as well as economic coercion.

BRICS countries should focus on practical cooperation, particularly in such fields as digital economy, green development, and supply chain, and bolster economic, trade and financial exchanges, Xi said.

He added that China will set up a China-BRICS Science and Innovation Incubation Park for the New Era to support the deployment of innovation results.

Xi called on BRICS countries to expand political and security cooperation to uphold peace and tranquility.

“The Cold War mentality is still haunting our world, and the geopolitical situation is getting tense,” Xi said.

The BRICS countries should keep to the direction of peaceful development, and consolidate the BRICS strategic partnership, Xi said, adding that members should make good use of the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the Meeting of High Representatives on National Security and other mechanisms, support each other on issues concerning their respective core interests, and enhance coordination on major international and regional issues.

“We need to tender good offices on hotspot issues, pushing for political settlement and lowering the temperature,” he said.

Noting that artificial intelligence (AI) is a new area of development, which not only can bring huge development dividends, but also contains risks and challenges, Xi said the BRICS countries have agreed to launch the AI Study Group at an early date.

“We need to enable the study group to play its full role, further expand cooperation on AI, and step up information exchanges and technological cooperation,” he said.

The BRICS members should also jointly fend off risks, promote the establishment of an international mechanism for universal participation, and develop AI governance frameworks and standards with broad-based consensus, so as to continuously make AI technologies more secure, reliable, controllable and equitable, he added.

Also in his speech, Xi said human history will not end in one civilization or one system.

“There are many civilizations and development paths in the world, and this is how the world should be,” he said.

“We should increase people-to-people exchanges and promote mutual learning between civilizations,” he added.

The Chinese leader said BRICS countries need to champion the spirit of inclusiveness, advocate peaceful coexistence and harmony between civilizations, and promote respect of all countries in independently choosing their modernization paths.

“We need to make good use of such mechanisms as the BRICS seminar on governance, the BRICS forum on people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and the Women Innovation Contest to deepen people-to-people exchanges and strengthen the bond between our peoples,” he noted.

Xi also said that China would like to propose that BRICS countries expand cooperation on education, enhance the role of the BRICS alliance for vocational education, explore and set up a cooperation mechanism on digital education, and foster a paradigm of all-round cooperation on education.

In addition, he also urged BRICS countries to strengthen exchanges on traditional cultures and promote the renewal of fine traditional cultures.

Xi urged BRICS countries to uphold fairness and justice, and improve global governance.

Xi said strengthening global governance is the right choice if the international community intends to share development opportunities and tackle global challenges.

International rules must be written and upheld jointly by all countries based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, rather than dictated by those with the strongest muscles or the loudest voice, he said.

Xi also said ganging up to form exclusive groups and packaging their own rules as international norms are even more unacceptable.

BRICS countries, Xi said, should practice true multilateralism, uphold the UN-centered international system, support and strengthen the WTO-centered multilateral trading system, and reject the attempt to create small circles or exclusive blocs.

“We need to fully leverage the role of the New Development Bank, push forward reform of the international financial and monetary systems, and increase the representation and voice of developing countries,” he added.

Addressing the summit, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his concerns that global financial and payment systems are increasingly being used as instruments of geopolitical contestation.

He also said new realities call for a fundamental reform of the institutions of global governance so that they can be more representative and better able to respond to challenges.

The BRICS group supports the rise of a multipolar world order, and opposes attempts made by some countries to assert their hegemony, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the summit in a virtual address.

“We are all unanimously in favor of the formation of a multipolar world order that is truly just and based on international law,” the Kremlin reported Putin as saying at the summit.

“We are against any kind of hegemony, exclusivity, which is being promoted by some countries,” Putin said.

Putin noted that the BRICS group is strengthening economic cooperation in such fields as supply chain diversification, de-dollarization and transition to national currencies in mutual settlements.

Putin outlined the importance of enhancing cooperation in other fields such as innovation, and in the creation of safe transport routes.

The future-oriented strategic course of BRICS meets the aspirations of the global majority, Putin said, adding that the BRICS group is tackling some of the most pressing issues on the global and regional agenda.

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DPRK, Russia sign comprehensive strategic partnership agreement: KCNA

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The top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the president of Russia on Wednesday signed the Treaty on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership following their summit in Pyongyang, state media reported on Thursday.

The treaty was the culmination of the state visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin, which also featured a bilateral summit meeting and private talks between him and Kim Jong Un, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and president of the State Affairs of the DPRK, as well as a welcoming ceremony at Kim Il Sung Square and a grand performance, among other high-profile events, according to multiple reports by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

In a joint statement, the DPRK top leader said the conclusion of the treaty put the relations of the two countries on a new higher stage – relations of alliance – calling it “the most powerful treaty in the history of the DPRK-Russia relations,” the KCNA reported.

The Russian president said the treaty is an “actual breakthrough document” reflecting the desire of the two countries to put bilateral ties on a new level, the report said.

The treaty includes a clause stipulating mutual support if one of the signatories to the treaty is invaded, and Russia “does not rule out military technical cooperation with the DPRK under the treaty,” the KCNA said.

The top leaders had a “tete-a-tete” which lasted for more than two hours, during which they reached a consensus on building a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries and came to a “satisfactory” agreement on defending regional and global peace and international justice and on the matters of immediate cooperation, the KCNA reported.

Prior to the private conversation, the two sides held an extended bilateral meeting involving senior officials from both countries, where Kim hailed Putin’s visit as an event of strategic significance in developing the DPRK-Russia good-neighborly relations, and reaffirmed “the full support and solidarity of the DPRK government and people to the Russian government and people as regards the special military operations in Ukraine,” the KCNA said.

In addition to the treaty, the two governments signed agreements concerning the construction of a motorcar bridge over the River Tuman on their shared border and bilateral cooperation in the fields of public health, medical education and science, the KCNA said.

Also on Wednesday, the DPRK side awarded Putin the Order of Kim Il Sung, the highest medal of honor of the country, and hosted a banquet in his honor, the KCNA reported.

Putin concluded his state visit and left the DPRK capital on Wednesday night, as Kim took senior DPRK officials to Pyongyang International Airport to see him off, it added.

Source(s): CGTN

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The World Demands Justice for Palestine

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In the latest conflict between Palestine and Israel which has consumed more than 36,000 lives in the ceaseless bombing and crossfire during the past eight months, the international community has shown unprecedented solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for justice and dignity. From celebrities to politicians, from human rights activists to students, many around the world have expressed their support for the Palestinian people.

A subtle but powerful gesture of solidarity was made recently on the red carpet of the Palais des Festival in Cannes, France. Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett lifted the hem of her dress, the colors of which against the red carpet resembled that of the Palestinian flag. Blanchett, who is also a UNHCR goodwill ambassador, has been a vocal advocate for the rights of refugees. Last November, she spoke at the European parliament, “I am not from Israel or Palestine. I am not a politician. I am not even a pundit. But I am a witness, and having witnessed the human cost of war, violence and persecution visiting refugees from across the globe, I cannot look away.”

Her feelings and her conscience is shared by many. Indeed, countries around the world are choosing not to look away. Global support for Palestine was seen in the historic and courageous decision of Norway, Spain and Ireland to recognize the State of Palestine on May 22. This reflected the growing consensus among European

countries that the two-State solution is the only viable way to end the conflict and achieve peace. The three countries also called on other European countries to follow their example.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and Israel have found themselves increasingly isolated and condemned by the international community for their aggression and violations of international law. The U.S. is facing a crisis of conscience within its own borders. Several U.S. officials resigned over the government’s policy on Gaza, which they considered to be biased and immoral. Lily Greenberg Call, the first Jewish appointee to resign from the Biden administration over the war in Gaza, wrote in her resignation letter that she could not “in good conscience continue to represent” the administration. Veteran State Department official Stacy Gilbert resigned because the administration is “twisting the facts” to justify continued U.S. military support to Israel. Annelle Sheline, a former State Department official, said she quit the agency because she thinks the President “must know what’s happening to people in Gaza, and yet the policy doesn’t change.”

Israel has been denounced by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Human Rights Council, and many countries for its war crimes and violations of international law. The prosecutor of the ICC has applied for arrest warrants for two senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, for their involvement in the military operations. The Human Rights Council has launched an investigation into the human rights violations committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory. Many countries have condemned the Israeli attacks on Gaza, and some have imposed sanctions and boycotts on Israel, such as Türkiye, South Africa, and Malaysia.

In March this year, U.S. President Joe Biden set a red line by stating that if Israel goes into Rafah, “we’re not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells used.” Then, when Israel bombed the Rafah refugee camp on May 26, the Biden administration decided that Israel did not cross the “red line”, keeping the greenlight on for U.S. military aid to Israel. Since October 7, a number of high-ranking U.S. officials have come out posturing on the issue, apparently raising concerns over Israel’s tactics but again repeating the rhetoric of “Israel’s right to defend itself” and paying lip service to “the need for a two-State solution” without taking any concrete action to stop Israeli aggression. Instead, they have vetoed or blocked U.N. resolutions that would hold Israel accountable, give Palestine full U.N. membership or facilitate an early ceasefire.

The world stands with Palestine in its quest for peace and justice. This is no longer a regional issue, but an issue of universal human values. The U.S. and Israel must face the consequences of their policies and actions, which have provoked the wrath and condemnation of the world. The time has come for the U.S. and Israel to change course and respect the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people.

Source(s): see.news / Xin Ping

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Netanyahu disbands war cabinet as pressure grows on Israel’s north

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved the six-member war cabinet, an Israeli official said on Monday, in a widely expected move following the departure from government of centrist former general Benny Gantz.

Netanyahu is now expected to hold consultations about the Gaza war with a small group of ministers, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer who had been in the war cabinet.

The move was announced as U.S. special envoy Amos Hochstein visited Jerusalem, seeking to calm the situation on the disputed border with Lebanon, where Israel said tensions with Hezbollah were bringing the region close to a wider conflict.

The Israeli military said on Monday it had killed a senior operative in one of Hezbollah’s rocket and missile sections in the area of Selaa in southern Lebanon.

The military also said its operations were continuing in the southern parts of the Gaza Strip, where its forces have been battling Hamas fighters in the Tel Sultan area of western Rafah, as well as in central areas of the enclave.

Hochstein’s visit follows weeks of increasing exchanges of fire across the line between Israel and Lebanon, where Israeli forces have for months been engaged in a simmering conflict with Hezbollah that has continued alongside the war in Gaza.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes on both sides of the so-called Blue Line that divides the two countries, leaving eerily deserted areas of abandoned villages and farms hit by near-daily bombardment.

“The current state of affairs is not a sustainable reality,” government spokesperson David Mencer told a briefing.

Netanyahu had faced demands from the nationalist-religious partners in his coalition, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, to be included in the war cabinet. Such a move would have intensified strains with international partners including the United States.

The forum was formed after Gantz joined Netanyahu in a national unity government at the start of the Gaza war in October. It also included Gantz’s political partner Gadi Eisenkot and Aryeh Deri, head of the religious party Shas, as observers.

Gantz and Eisenkot both left the government last week, over what they said was Netanyahu’s failure to form a strategy for the Gaza war.

Source(s): CGTN

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