|State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Attends Video Conference of RIC Foreign Ministers|
On 23 June, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held the Video Conference of RIC Foreign Ministers with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
Wang noted that COVID-19 is bringing a host of complex changes to the world. On the one hand, unilateralism, protectionism and practices of bullying are on the rise, with some countries and forces trying to scapegoat others, clamoring for decoupling, and exiting from international groupings and treaties. These moves are causing disruptions to international cooperation against COVID-19 and aim to provoke confrontation over ideology and social system, putting the world in jeopardy.
On the other hand, peace and development remain the theme of the times. The trend towards the rise of emerging economies, a multi-polar world, and globalization amidst twists and turns remain unchanged. Shaping a post-COVID-19 world featuring peace, stability, openness, diversity and win-win cooperation serves the shared interests of all and responds to the call of the times.
Wang put forward a three-point proposal on strengthening China-Russia-India cooperation:
First, the three countries should adhere to multilateralism and work to improve global governance. It is necessary to resolutely safeguard the outcomes of the victory of World War II and advocate greater democracy and rule of law in international relations. The purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be upheld, the authority and effectiveness of the United Nations defended, and communication and coordination at the UN enhanced. Efforts must be made to build an open world economy, uphold the WTO-centered multilateral trading regime, and ensure safe and smooth operation of global industrial and supply chains. And more needs to be done to take cooperation under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to a higher level and maintain the solidarity and cooperation among BRICS countries.
Second, the three countries should step up cooperation in winning the fight against COVID-19. It is important to draw on each other's experience, share information, and conduct joint R&D of drugs and vaccines. The three countries should continue to implement the effective measures for the protection of the safety and health of each other's nationals and explore the possibility of setting up joint response mechanisms as well as "fast-track lanes" for travels and "green lanes" for logistics. It is imperative to jointly promote international cooperation on the epidemic, firmly reject stigmatization of the virus, and resolutely oppose any attempt to exploit the disease for political aims. The three countries should support the World Health Organization and help improve global public health governance in an effort to build a community of health for all.
Third, the three countries should improve cooperation mechanisms to forge greater synergy. China suggests that the three countries set up a trilateral ministerial-level dialogue mechanism in such fields as economy and trade, energy, transportation, education, culture and health, and establish an eminent persons group to contribute wisdom for stronger trilateral cooperation. China supports Russia in hosting the first RIC defense ministers meeting, with a view to enhance defense and security cooperation.
Wang stressed that as major countries adhering to strategic independence, China, Russia and India should maintain the overall momentum of cooperation as partners and seize opportunities they can offer to each other. Committed to the shared interests in advancing domestic development and upholding world peace and prosperity, the three countries should approach the sensitive issues in their bilateral relations in the right way in order to maintain sound relations on the whole.
Minister Lavrov of Russia and Minister Jaishankar of India highlighted that the meeting was convened in a year marking the 75th anniversary of the victory of World War II and the founding of the United Nations. As firm supporters of multilateralism and multi-polarity, the three countries maintain that international relations should be based on universally recognized norms of international law.
Lavrov, as the Chair for this year's meeting, further noted that the global spread of COVID-19 is posing great impact on the political and economic order of the world. It is regrettable to see that certain country, out of selfish interests, is attempting to undermine the UN-centered post-war international order, provoking geopolitical confrontations, wantonly imposing sanctions against other countries, and escalating protectionism. These developments are deeply worrying. Facing the challenges, the three countries need to work in solidarity to maintain strategic communication and deepen cooperation on COVID-19, and enhance communication and coordination in multilateral mechanisms such as the G20, the SCO and BRICS. They should support WHO's lead role in the global campaign against the disease, advance cooperation on post-COVID-19 economic recovery, and safeguard the peace, prosperity and stability of the world.