Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked BRICS members to shelve their differences to develop mutual trust and strategic communication as he opened the 9th annual summit of the five member emerging economics on Sunday.
The three-day BRICS summit started with BRICS Business Council in southeastern Chinese city Xiamen in Fujian province.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Michel Temer, South African President Jacob Zuma and Russian President Vladimir Putin are participating in the 9th annual BRICS summit.
BRICS members include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. These five countries are a group of five emerging economies.
Xi in his opening speech focussed broadly on enhancing cooperation between the BRICS member.
The Chinese president said, “Construction of any tall building starts with foundation. We have laid the foundation and put in place the framework for BRICS cooperation".
He further added that all members should treat each other as equals.
"In terms of BRICS cooperation, decisions are made through consultation (and) not by one country. We respect each other's model of development, accommodate each other's concern and work to enhance strategic communication and mutual trust," he told about 1,000 delegates from different countries.
"Given difference in history, national conditions and cultures it is natural to have some differences. However with strong faith in cooperation and enhancing collaboration the BRICS countries can achieve steady progress in our cooperation,” said Xi.
In his speech Xi referred to his multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in which the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a crucial component.
Xi said, “BRI is not a tool to advance any geopolitical agenda, but a platform for practical cooperation. It is not a foreign aid scheme, but an initiative for interconnected development which calls for extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, he said.
India had protested to CPEC as it passes through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and had also boycotted the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) hosted by China in May.
China has invited Egypt, Kenya, Tajikistan, Mexico and Thailand as guest countries for the Xiamen BRICS summit as special guests like India invited BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic) leaders for last year's BRICS summit at Goa.
(With PTI inputs)