Calling Western sanctions an act of “weaponizing” the global economy, Chinese leader Xi Jinping made a case for unity, speaking in advance of a summit with leaders of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) economic bloc of emerging economies.
"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," Xi said via video link. "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."
China is hosting the BRICS summit of leaders from the five countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin will be in attendance, the first time he has participated in such a forum since he launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February.
Xi has blamed NATO for provoking Russian aggression. In his remarks, he said that Western sanctions were a "double-edged sword" that weaponized the global economy and would "bring harm to the people of the world."
China, Xi said, has taken security initiatives that others should emulate, urging them to "embrace solidarity and coordination.”
Putin said Russia was "redirecting" its trade to BRICS countries and other "reliable international partners," according to a Kremlin transcript of a video address, as reported by CNN.
Western countries have used sanctions to pressure Russia to cease its vicious attack on Ukraine, which has caused a humanitarian crisis and has prompted worldwide condemnation and allegations of war crimes.
The BRICS bloc was established in 2009 to "serve common interests of emerging market economies and developing countries."