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Xi warns about ‘expanding military alliances’ at BRICS summit — state media

This file photo taken on September 10, 2021 shows a large screen displaying a news programme featuring Chinese President Xi Jinping
This file photo taken on September 10, 2021 shows a large screen displaying a news programme featuring Chinese President Xi Jinping. (File photo: AFP)
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BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping warned against “expanding” military ties on Wednesday in a speech ahead of a virtual summit with top leaders from Russia, India, Brazil, and South Africa.اضافة اعلان

Beijing is hosting the meeting of the influential club of BRICS emerging economies, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product.

Three of its members — China, India, and South Africa — have abstained from voting on a UN resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Xi told the BRICS business forum that the “Ukraine crisis is ... a wake-up call” and warned against “expanding military alliances and seeking one’s own security at the expense of other countries’ security”.

China and India have strong military links with Russia and buy large amounts of its oil and gas.

In a call last week, Xi assured his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that China would support Moscow’s core interests in “sovereignty and security” — leading the US to warn Beijing that it risked ending up “on the wrong side of history”.

South Africa, one of the few African countries wielding diplomatic influence outside the continent, has also not condemned the Russian military action.

Xi took a swipe at US and EU sanctions on Russia in the speech on Wednesday, saying “sanctions are a boomerang and a double-edged sword”.

Leaders of the Group of Seven  nations will meet next week in Germany to discuss how to proceed with sanctions against Russia.

The BRICS summit takes place as Russian troops continue to pummel eastern Ukraine after invading the country four months ago.

China and India have both ramped up crude oil imports from Russia, helping to offset losses from Western nations scaling back Russian energy purchases.

India bought six times more Russian oil from March to May compared with the same period last year, while imports by China during that period tripled, data from research firm Rystad Energy shows. 

Once bitter Cold War rivals, Beijing and Moscow have stepped up cooperation in recent years.

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