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China expected to play bigger role in world

Author:DUAN DANJIE     Source: Chinese Social Sciences Today     2023-07-21

The International Conference on “China and the World: Towards Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind” was held on July 5 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: Zhu Gaolei/CSST

China’s vision of building a human community with a shared future, as well as its contributions to promoting world peace and development, and experience in development and poverty reduction, received wide acclaim at a recent international conference on “China and the World: Towards Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind.”

Hosted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and held on July 5 in Beijing, the conference gathered more than 200 diplomats, experts, and scholars from nearly 40 countries. Li Shulei, a member of the Political Bureau and head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, delivered the keynote address. CASS President Gao Xiang chaired the opening ceremony. 

Well-timed proposal

The proposal of building a human community with a shared future was put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in his speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 2013.

In 2015, at the summit meetings marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, Xi called on countries around the world to “unite ever more closely to build a new partnership of mutual benefit and a community of shared future for mankind.” To achieve this goal, he said at the UN headquarters in Geneva in 2017 that “the international community should promote partnership, security, growth, inter-civilization exchanges, and the building of sound ecosystems.” 

In 2023, at the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting, President Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, proposed the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI), further enriching and expanding practical pathways for building the human community with a shared future.

Over the past decade, the notion of building a human community with a shared future has been written into resolutions or declarations of such multilateral mechanisms as the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the BRICS. 

Stjepan Mesić, former president of Croatia, noted in his speech at the opening ceremony that China has been committed to democratizing international relations in the last 10 years. The new global order and strategy initiated by China based on the building of a human community with a shared future is in stark contrast with the geopolitical strategies of other major countries.

Building a human community with a shared future is a significant step towards a multipolar, interdependent, and multilateral world, Mesi? said, adding that the international community should offer stronger support to realize the vision’s values, principles, and objectives, even if it might take 10 years, or even 100 years. 

The concept of the human community with a shared future conforms to the trend of the times and aspirations of people all over the world, demonstrating huge influence and appeal. From the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to fostering a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation, from upholding humanity’s shared values to the Global Development Initiative (GDI), Global Security Initiative (GSI), and GCI, attendees pointed out that these important notions and initiatives have deepened and broadened the rich connotations of the human community with a shared future from diverse perspectives, providing practical pathways for the construction of a better world.

According to Former Prime Minister of Egypt Essam Sharaf, it is the dream of all mankind to build a human community with a shared future, and Chinese modernization is a vital resource to that end. Among other pillars, cooperation, harmony, peace, and development are particularly important, with each embodying universal principles. 

Chinese insights and contributions

Participants of the conference spoke highly of China’s efforts and achievements in maintaining world peace and advancing common development. They appealed to all countries to jointly cope with global challenges and resolve problems hindering world development, thereby promoting world peace and common prosperity and making new strides towards building a human community with a shared future.

Yusufu Ali Zoaka, a professor from the University of Abuja in Nigeria, said that China has exemplified the promotion of world peace. By advancing the building of a human community with a shared future, China has been inspiring the whole world to take part. 

According to Zoaka, the vision put forth by China is not rooted in hegemonism. Instead, it aims to enable countries to share the benefits of China’s prosperous development through initiatives such as the BRI, GDI, GSI and GCI, thereby contributing to global prosperity in a peaceful and positive manner.

Quoting the Chinese proverb “if you want to walk fast, walk alone, but if you want to walk far, walk together,” Zoaka said that China’s commitment to common prosperity together with countries around the world will certainly create a better future for the entirety of humanity. 

At present, the world has entered a new period of volatility and transformation. Cold War mentality and power politics are resurfacing, as are unilateralism and protectionism. Facing profound changes in the world and our times, President Xi stressed upholding true multilateralism, and making the global governance system more fair and equitable at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021.

The essence of multilateralism is cooperation, said Jasna Plevnik, president of the Geoeconomic Forum Croatia. Emphasizing that China has instituted many platforms for multilateral cooperation including the BRI, she said experience has demonstrated that these multilateral cooperative mechanisms have not only been recognized worldwide, but are also contributing to the construction of a new international order in a novel manner. China has always been committed to promoting global peace and development with an inclusive attitude for human good, Plevnik said. 

Victor Larin, an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and vice-chairman of RAS’s Far Eastern Branch, said that true multilateralism relies on rules that have been jointly established with global recognition, and is grounded in dialogue, inclusiveness, and mutual respect. True multilateralism reflects joint actions and the common will of all countries, and will foster mutual understanding and tolerance among them.

Valuable experience

Comparing Chinese and Western political philosophies, Maria Francesca Staiano, director of the Center on China Studies under the International Relations Institute at the National University of La Plata in Argentina, said that a series of new development concepts and practical paradigms proposed by China, including the building of a human community with a shared future, pay more attention to humanity itself, rather than simply aiming to realize political governance purposes through the rule of law. This represents a significant contribution of Chinese experience to the international community and the whole world would benefit to learn from it.

Under the CPC leadership, China has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty, which is a miraculous and remarkable achievement worldwide, said Ali Issa Abdi, managing director of the Horn Economic and Social Policy Institute in Ethiopia. Countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America need to draw upon China’s development experience. 

However, a simple “copy and paste” is inadvisable, Abdi said. He suggested solving realistic issues in light of each country’s national conditions, which is a crucial inspiration from Chinese experience.

The anti-poverty campaign in the Chinese countryside indicates that sustained and rapid economic growth, powerful institutional guarantees and policy support, and the extensive participation of the whole society are the three cornerstones critical for success, said Wei Houkai, director of the Rural Development Institute at CASS. The synergy among the three aspects is favorable to forming a long-term effective mechanism for rural poverty reduction. 

Wei said that measures, guidance and policies tailored to each village, household, and person will enhance the precision of targeted alleviation, on the basis of sizing up poverty conditions and accurately pinpointing sources of poverty. China’s targeted poverty strategy and experience is of great referential and promotional value to other countries, he added.

Kenneth Quinn, president emeritus of the World Food Prize Foundation, has visited China many times and borne witness to rapid development and changes in the country. He stated that China’s successful eradication of absolute poverty is a remarkable achievement in the history of global anti-poverty efforts. Moreover, he expressed the expectation that the United States and China can join hands in the future to tackle the greatest global grain security challenge in human history, thus promoting the building of a human community with a shared future. 

Karina Batthyány, executive secretary of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences, also showed admiration for China’s tremendous achievements. She said that since the 1980s, the Chinese economy has continued to grow rapidly at about 10% annually on average, contrasting sharply with the economic turmoil that many Latin American countries have suffered in the past four decades.

The successful experience of Chinese modernization holds great potential for Latin America to overcome its current development predicament, Batthyány said. She advised the region to thoroughly analyze and learn from China’s successful modernization experiences. Additionally, she stressed the importance of intensifying South-South cooperation to accelerate the construction of a multipolar world system.

Editor  :  Yu Hui

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