BRICS summit, Boao Forum hailed as platforms to ‘seek common grounds’
The BRICS Leaders Meeting and the annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), both held last week in south China's island province of Hainan, were hailed by experts as platforms to "seek common ground while accepting differences."
"Only through being compatible and tolerant and seeking common ground while accepting differences can cooperation between countries be ensured even in the face of divergence," said Liu Youfa, vice director of the China Institute of International Studies.
The BRICS group includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The non-governmental and non-profit BFA, founded in 2001, has become an important platform for discussions on key topics in Asia and the world.
Prof. Zhang Lili of China Foreign Affairs University said that the construction of the BRICS mechanism meets the demands of the global situation, and is also necessary due to the development of the five nations.
Chen Fengying, director of the Institute of World Economic Studies under the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said that the BFA also attracts the participation of many countries from outside Asia, which has offered valuable development experience for Asian countries.
The ten-year-old BFA has been an important force in building consensus in the region, promoting Asia's voice and boosting Asian cooperation.
Over the past decade, China has established various cooperative partnerships with almost all other Asian countries and has become the largest trading partner and export market for many of them.
Chen said, "Not only political leaders attend the BFA annual meeting — business people, scholars and media leaders are also present, which shows the forum's openness."
She also said that topics at the BRICS Leaders Meeting include many that concern global governance, which also benefits nations other than the five members.
Liu said with the participation of South Africa, the BRICS mechanism covers all major continents, including Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa, and each of the five nations plays a big part in its own region. Therefore, "cooperation among the BRICS countries would promote global exchanges."
In his speech at the BRICS Leaders Meeting, President Hu Jintao said that in the past decade, China imported 687 billion U.S. dollars of goods on average every year, creating over 14 million jobs in related countries and regions. This fully demonstrated that China's development was part of the world's development, and the better China developed, the greater the contribution it would make to the world.
Prof. Wang Yizhou of Peking University said that the public hoped that the BRICS and the BFA could provide the world with a "brand new angle" for development, different from that of Western nations, after the global financial crisis.
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