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Create a New Platform for South-South Cooperation Based on "BRICS Plus"

     On September 4, The Bangkok Post published an op-ed by Ambassador Lyu Jian. The full text is as follows:

  The 9th BRICS Summit will be held in the Chinese city of Xiamen from September 3 to 5. It will be yet another opportunity for China to host other BRICS leaders following the Sanya Summit in 2011. President Xi Jinping will join them in the discussion about deepening practical cooperation, conducting people-to-people exchange, and advancing institutional building under the theme of "Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future", with the aim of issuing positive signals on generating new drivers for growth, improving global economic governance, and safeguarding world peace and stability.

  Ten years on, BRICS cooperation has been fully expanded to an all-dimensional, wide-ranging and multi-tiered one covering not only economic but also political and people-to-people exchange and cooperation. BRICS countries coordinate closely in international organizations such as the United Nations and G20 where they stand up for the unity and interests of developing countries, contribute wisdom and put forth proposals in addressing global challenges. These efforts have been recognized by all parties. BRICS countries have become a key force bolstering world economic growth, promoting changes in international order and upholding peace and stability around the globe.

  China firmly supports and actively participates in the BRICS cooperation mechanism. This year marks the first year of the second decade of BRICS. China, who is serving as the rotating president of BRICS, will work with all the other parties to learn from the past, map out the future, usher in the second golden decade of BRICS and continue to contribute BRICS proposals for world peace and development.

  The influence of BRICS cooperation is no longer limited to the five countries but extended to the whole world. It is in the common interests of all parties if BRICS could help emerging market and developing countries enhance unity and cooperation. In this connection, China comes up with the idea of "BRICS plus" based on the successful experience in the past, in a bid to build a more extensive partnership. Leaders of Thailand, Mexico, Tajikistan, Egypt and Guinea have been invited this time for the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries during the BRICS Summit. They will join BRICS leaders in discussing cooperation plans for emerging market and developing countries.

  Under the theme of "Promoting Mutually Beneficial Cooperation for Common Development", the dialogue will focus on implementing the agenda for sustainable development, and establishing an extensive development partnership. A presidential statement will be issued by the Chinese side after the dialogue to summarize the consensus on implementing the agenda for sustainable development, stepping up South-South cooperation, establishing development partnership, and improving global governance.

  We hope and believe that the dialogue will fully embody the BRICS' spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, help us establish a more extensive partnership, widen the BRICS' circle of friends, pool the strength of emerging market and developing countries, draw attention to development issues and bring into existence a new platform for South-South cooperation with global impact.

  Thailand is a major country in the region who plays an important role in international and regional affairs, and takes an active part in promoting the international cause of development. Thailand is also a friendly neighbor of China. "China and Thailand being like family" has become the consensus of people from both sides and the theme of China-Thailand relations. By inviting Thailand as the sole representative of the region to the dialogue, China has demonstrated the importance it attaches to the bilateral relations and to the international standing of Thailand. China is looking forward to Thailand's unique insights and proposals at the dialogue about "BRICS plus" cooperation. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and President Xi Jinping will meet and bear witness to the signing of relevant documents between the two sides on the sidelines of the dialogue. It is believed that their meeting will give a boost to the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Thailand.

  China-Thailand relations have come to a crucial stage of upgrading. China is ready for more communication and cooperation with Thailand to enhance the complementarity of our development strategies with Thailand 4.0 and the Eastern Economic Corridor in mind. We will work alongside Thailand in its course of development as a sincere friend that can share weal and woe and pursue common prosperity. The China-Thailand railway is a landmark project of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides, and also part of the efforts to promote interconnectivity of the region under the framework of the "Belt and Road". It will not only add momentum to Thailand's economic growth, and improve Thailand's status as a transportation hub of the region, but also serve as a good example for future cooperation between China and Thailand in various fields. China will work closely with Thailand to commence the project as soon as possible, and make sure that the high-speed rail will deliver real benefit to the life of Thai people.

  I believe that via "BRICS plus", the friendship between China and Thailand will find its way to South-South cooperation and international development cooperation. In the meantime, the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries as well as "BRICS plus" cooperation will also help our two countries broaden bilateral cooperation and add luster to it.

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