Chinese dictator Xi Jinping delivered a keynote address to the BRICS Business Forum on Wednesday that urged foreign investors to “do business in China” despite growing concerns about its costly coronavirus lockdowns, unsteady economy, unfair trade practices, human rights abuses, refusal to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and territorial aggression.
BRICS is a coalition of emerging economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. (Describing China as an “emerging economy” is increasingly laughable given its hyperactive industrial development and titanic carbon footprint, but Xi’s government insists on milking its “emergent” designation for all that it’s worth).
Xi sees BRICS as a vehicle for building the ruthlessly amoral post-American, China-dominated world order of his dreams — an order in which imperial powers like China and Russia can seize territory like Taiwan and Ukraine by force and regimes can abuse their people to retain power however they see fit, without paying any price for human rights violations.
Xi actually had the gall to portray Russia as the victim of Western powers, a peace-loving nation regretfully forced by cruel NATO to make war against its neighbor:
The tragedies of the past tell us that hegemony, group politics and bloc confrontation bring no peace or security; they only lead to wars and conflicts. The Ukraine crisis is another wake-up call for all in the world. It reminds us that blind faith in the so-called “position of strength” and attempts to expand military alliances and seek one’s own security at the expense of others will only land oneself in a security dilemma.
Xi slipped in some Chinese Communist Party cant about “zero-sum games,” “hegemonism,” and “power politics,” which are code words for international human rights law. Beijing is working hard to keep its concentration camps and slave plantations running by discrediting the entire notion of human rights as a hypocritical scam deployed by fading Western powers to keep rising authoritarian powers down.
China’s flagging economy, mounting domestic crises, and outrageous refusal to condemn the Russian attack are obstacles to Xi’s bid for hegemonic power, so after his creepy salute to peace through invasion, he strove to reassure the BRICS nations that Beijing will look out for their business interests:
This year, facing a complicated and challenging domestic and international environment for development, China has risen to various challenges and taken well-coordinated steps to respond to COVID-19 and pursue economic and social development. Putting the people and their lives first, China has built a strong line of defense against the virus, and consolidated the gains made in COVID-19 response. Thanks to these efforts, we have protected people’s lives and health and ensured overall stable performance in economic and social development to the maximum extent possible. We will step up macroeconomic policy adjustment, and adopt more forceful measures to deliver the economic and social development goals for the whole year and minimize the impact of COVID-19.
In the second half of this year, the Communist Party of China will convene its 20th National Congress, which will chart the course for the next phase of China’s development. We will ground our efforts in the new development stage, follow the new development philosophy, foster a new development paradigm and strive to achieve high-quality development. China will continue to pursue opening-up against higher standards, develop new systems for a higher-standard open economy, and continue to foster a market- and law-based and internationalized business environment. I warmly welcome you to invest and do business in China, strengthen business cooperation with China, and share in China’s development opportunities.
Xi concluded by urging the BRICS nations to “keep industrial and supply chains safe and unclogged,” without dwelling on China’s role in clogging them, and threw in the usual rhetorical salutes to “clean energy and low-carbon technology,” without dwelling on China’s rapacious appetite for oil and coal.
The BRICS summit was a platform for restoring a façade of international prestige to the Beijing-Moscow axis of tyranny, as Russian leader Vladimir Putin participated in Thursday’s virtual summit — one of the few forums where he has been welcomed since launching his brutal assault on Ukraine. The other three BRICS members — Brazil, India, and South Africa — refrained from mentioning Ukraine by name during the summit.
Putin, like Xi, sought to rally BRICS as an alternative to the Western post-WWII order, which frowns on things like invading neighboring countries and showering their cities with missiles. Putin urged BRICS to work together to blunt the effect of international sanctions against Russia, as China and India have been doing by purchasing huge volumes of Russian oil and coal.
“Western partners neglect the basic principles of market economy, free trade, and inviolability of private property,” Putin insisted.