Nearly a decade ago, when then newly-elected leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) made its debut at the Great Hall of People after the first plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, the world was speculating how the world’s most populous nation and second largest economy led by Xi Jinping would reach out to the rest of the global community, and what kind of role the country would play in an era of mounting changes and challenges.
During his first overseas trip as Chinese president in March 2013, Xi, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, elaborated on China’s vision of fostering a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation at the core and building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Over the past decade, under Xi’s leadership, China has been committed to the path of peaceful development, and devoted itself to addressing global challenges, facilitating win-win cooperation and making the global governance system more just and more equitable.
As we have observed, China’s approach is in line with today’s zeitgeist, and conducive to maintaining peace and stability, bolstering world economic growth and building a world of common prosperity and with a shared future.
Also in 2013, the Chinese president proposed the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road successively in his visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia. This is how the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) took shape.
Nine years on, the initiative has substantially strengthened partnerships, promoted connectivity and pushed forward common development worldwide.
The annual trade volume between China and around 150 countries which have participated in the BRI expanded from 1.04 trillion U.S. dollars in 2013 to 1.8 trillion dollars in 2021, a quantum leap of 73 percent over eight years.
According to a World Bank report, the initiative could help lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million out of moderate poverty globally, and boost trade by 2.8-9.7 percent for participating countries and by 1.7-6.2 percent for the whole world.
Mohamed Fayez Farahat, director of Egypt’s state-run Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo, said China-proposed initiatives reflect the country’s contribution to global development and its support for developing countries and emerging economies.
“China defends the causes of developing countries on the international stage, and also plays an active role in important international organizations,” the expert noted.
FOR BETTER GLOBAL GOVERNANCE
In a rapidly changing world, one of the world’s priorities is the need to improve global governance. The lingering COVID-19 pandemic, regional conflicts, backlash against globalization and other complicated factors are intertwining with each other, and the deficits in peace, security, trust and governance are widening.
On various occasions in the past decade, the Chinese president has underlined that the solutions lie in real multilateralism and to the UN-centered international system, as well as in joint efforts to forge a new type of international relations, which features mutual respect, equity and justice, and win-win cooperation, and build a community with a shared future for mankind.
In his speech at the general debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, Xi called for staying true to multilateralism and safeguarding the international system with the UN at its core.
“Global governance should be based on the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits so as to ensure that all countries enjoy equal rights and opportunities and follow the same rules,” Xi said.
Over the years, China has been walking the talk by actively involving in such global affairs as the pandemic fight, poverty reduction, climate actions and peacekeeping, and the building of an open world economy. China has made itself a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, a defender of the international order, a provider of public goods.
Shaping a more just and effective global governance needs a collective drive. That is why China has been working relentlessly with other countries, notably the developing world, for this end. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the world’s largest and most populous regional institution, stands as a good example of how Beijing is working with its partners to promote the new type of international relations.
In its 21-year history, the SCO member countries have been working closely to enhance cooperation in various fields including security, economy and trade, public health and culture. It has developed into a constructive force in improving global governance and promoting stability and development.
With the rise of emerging economies, developing countries have become more vocal in global governance, and begun to push the globalization process toward a fairer and more inclusive direction through various multilateral cooperation mechanisms and platforms, said Sheriff Ghali Ibrahim, head of the department of political science and international relations at the University of Abuja.
China has proved to be a pioneer, since its concept of globalization has largely promoted a shared future for humanity, with no discrimination, segregation, or exclusion, the Nigerian expert said.
A FUTURE SHARED BY ALL
The still ravaging pandemic is a constant reminder that people are living in a global village, where the fate of all nations has never been so closely connected before. In order to better respond to such planetary woes in the future, the international community is expected to stand in solidarity and work in harmony with one accord.
With a deep insight into the world’s shared aspirations, the Chinese president has proposed the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, contributing China’s wisdom to eliminating the deficits in peace, security, trust and governance, and highlighting the necessity and importance of building a world with common development and collective security in the profoundly changing global landscape.
For Sudheendra Kulkarni, former chairman of Indian think-tank Observer Research Foundation, development and security are “two sides of the same coin and both are indivisible.”
“No country can achieve security if other countries are insecure, and no country can achieve development if other countries’ development is in danger. We must consider security and development in a global context,” Kulkarni said.
Adhering to the concept of building a community with a shared future, China has been working together with the rest of the world to safeguard true multilateralism, maintain stable global supply chains, facilitate free trade and investment, and pursue green and low-carbon development. From its strong support for an open world economy to its firm commitment to carbon reduction and neutrality, China has shown its determination with actions.
When attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Zhaparov was deeply impressed by the motto “Together for a Shared Future.”
“This (is) a call for the international community to build a community with a shared future for mankind. Whether we are a small country or a big country, in the context of globalization, we all have one future and one destiny,” he told Xinhua in a recent interview.
In the eyes of former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Xi’s call for building a community with a shared future for mankind is highly relevant and necessary in this era.
Building a sense of shared future is important for the world to avoid fragmentation and address challenges, and for Asia to safeguard peace and promote common development, Hatoyama said. “On the earth we live, not only the environment functions as a whole, but people are also interconnected.”