World embraces Xi's vision for development

Source:China Daily 2019-03-08

President's concept is winning support across the globe. Cao Desheng reports.

China has translated its commitment to advancing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind into concrete action since the concept was enshrined in the Constitution at last year's session of the National People's Congress, the nation's top legislature.

One year on, the vision, representing the prospect of common development and progress, has gained wide international support and helped produce synergy among the international community to pursue a better future amid growing global challenges.

Zhang Yesui, spokesman for the second session of the 13th National People's Congress, said on Monday at a news conference that 152 countries and international organizations have signed cooperation documents with China on the Belt and Road Initiative - an important platform for building a community with a shared future on the principle of extensive consultations and joint contributions for benefits shared by all.

The trade volume between China and countries participating in the BRI has exceeded $5 trillion, total Chinese investment in those countries has surpassed $70 billion, and more than 200,000 jobs have been created, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank celebrated its third anniversary in December. The number of approved members has risen to 93; they come from nearly every continent and represent broad support for the multilateral financial institution.

Over the past three years, the bank has approved $7 billion in financing for development projects in Asia and Africa, with the aim of promoting sustainable economic development through infrastructure investment.

In November, China launched the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai as part of efforts to expand opening-up and help other countries benefit from the nation's rapid economic growth.

The expo attracted more than 3,600 companies from around the world, and more than 400,000 domestic and foreign buyers attended. Deals for intended one-year purchases of goods and services worth a combined $57.83 billion were reached at the six-day event.

In an interview with People's Daily, Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, said that the proposal to build a community with a shared future for mankind, pioneered by President Xi Jinping, is an important contribution to the world.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, proposed the concept in March 2013 during a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He elaborated on the vision in September 2015 at summits commemorating the 70th anniversary of the UN's founding.

The vision sees countries forging partnerships in which they will treat each other as equals and engage in mutual consultations and understanding, and create a security architecture that features fairness, justice, joint contributions and shared benefits. In addition, they will promote open, innovative and inclusive development that benefits all, increase inter-civilization exchanges to enhance harmony, inclusiveness and respect of differences, and build an ecosystem that puts nature and green development first.

"These five aspects, taken together, constitute the overall approach to creating a community with a shared future for mankind, depict a bright future for the progress of international relations and represent a major innovation in the theory of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics," wrote Wang Yi, State councilor and foreign minister, in an article posted on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In January 2017, when Xi visited the UN Office in Geneva, he delivered a keynote speech titled "Work Together to Build a Community With a Shared Future for Mankind" that called for the building of an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity, and explained how countries can build a community with a shared future.

Win-win cooperation

The vision, together with the idea of building a new form of international relations featuring win-win cooperation, constitutes the main pillars of China's foreign policy.

Zhou Li, vice-president of the Chinese People's Association for Peace and Disarmament, said Xi's vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind aims to turn the aspirations of people across the world to live a better life into reality.

Zhou is a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body, whose current meeting of more than 2,000 political advisers is an important event in the nation's political life.

Qu Xing, China's former ambassador to Belgium and also a member of the CPPCC National Committee, said in an article that Xi's vision represents a global value that aims to address the common challenges facing humanity.

This global value entails the perspectives of interrelated international power, shared interests, sustainable development and global governance, Qu said, adding this is especially important given recent profound changes in the international situation.

The Munich Security Report, published ahead of the 55th Munich Security Conference held last month in Munich, Germany, said that when looking at the current state of international affairs, it is difficult to escape the feeling that the world is not just witnessing a series of small and large crises, but that there is a more fundamental problem.

"Indeed, we seem to be experiencing a reshuffling of core pieces of the international order," wrote Wolfgang Ischinger, the conference chairman, in the report's foreword. "We have to think about how we can preserve the core pieces of the international order."

Xi has said on many occasions that the world is undergoing changes not seen for a century.

The international order, based on rules established with the founding of the UN after World War II, is being challenged by rising unilateralism, isolationism and populism. Against such a backdrop, countries are looking for solutions to questions such as how to uphold the postwar international order with the aims and principles of the UN Charter at the core.

They are also trying to find solutions to the question of how to promote democracy, rule of law and a proper balance in international relations, as well as how countries can work together for a better future amid growing economic globalization, multipolarization, cultural diversity and digitalization.

Wherever they are, whatever beliefs they hold, and whether they like it or not, people from across the world live in a close-knit community with a shared future, Qu said.

He cited the international cooperation to counter the 2008 financial crisis as an example, saying the countries' interdependence and cooperation led to the growing importance of the G20, which brings together the European Union and 19 of the world's leading economies.

In a globalized world, isolationist moves or a beggar-thy-neighbor approach could lead to conflicts or even wars, bringing disastrous consequences for society, he added.

Staunch promoter

Xi is a staunch promoter of building a community with a shared future for mankind, and has advocated it on various important occasions at home and abroad in recent years.

From the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia in April to the Qingdao Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in June, and the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in September to the first China International Import Expo in November, Xi availed himself of home-field diplomacy to promote the concept.

He also used overseas trips such as the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to expound on the notion, and called on countries to work with China to promote the vision with peace and development at the core.

In a keynote speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in November, Xi said economic globalization is a sure way for human society to achieve development, and the multilateral trading system has created opportunities for all.

"In today's world, countries' interests are so closely intertwined, and the global supply chain, industrial chain and value chain are so closely connected. We are all links in the global chain of cooperation; increasingly, we are becoming one and the same community with shared interests and a shared future," he said.

Therefore, facing trade frictions with the United States, China has adhered to seeking solutions through dialogue based on mutual respect, equality and good faith.

Based on that principle, Xi reached an important consensus with his US counterpart Donald Trump during their meeting in Buenos Aires in December, which helped reduce tensions.

Significant positive progress is also being made in subsequent trade talks as the two sides work on a final agreement on trade disputes.

Analysts said Xi aims to develop a model of how a rising country can avoid confrontation with an established one, and that vision will show that different civilizations can enrich exchanges and coexist peacefully.

Ji Zhiye, former president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said Xi's vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind is rooted in the cultural gene of "great harmony" in the time-honored Chinese civilization.

It continues and develops the concepts of peaceful coexistence, peaceful development and a harmonious world, said Ji, also a member of the CPPCC National Committee. He added that China and African nations are taking the lead in building an even stronger community with a shared future.

The 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation was attended by 40 presidents, 10 prime ministers, one vice-president and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, setting a record for diplomatic events hosted by China.

During the summit, Xi announced eight major initiatives to enhance cooperation with African nations, covering such fields as industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation and green development - a forward-looking arrangement considered as a road map for China and the continent to build an even stronger community with a shared future.

As the world's second-largest economy, China's contribution to global growth reached 18.4 percent a year on average from 1979 to 2017.

In 2017, the proportion accounted for 27.8 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

At the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia, Xi announced a series of new measures to expand reform and opening-up, demonstrating China's willingness to work with the outside world.

They included broadening market access, easing foreign equity restrictions, lowering automobile import tariffs and increasing imports.

Solutions

In an article published in the January issue of the magazine Contemporary World, Su Ge, former president of the China Institute of International Studies, wrote that China's diplomacy last year illustrated the country's firm resolve to deepen reform and opening-up, as well as its resolute determination to uphold globalization and make its contribution to global governance.

He added that the country's diplomatic moves introduced the China solution, wisdom and impetus to the world's common development.

In January, in a speech at the Hellenic National Defense College, Zhang Qiyue, ambassador to Greece, said that over the past year, China has actively participated in the reform of the global governance system to move economic globalization toward more open, inclusive, balanced and win-win results.

Despite profound changes in the international landscape, the goal of China's foreign policy remains the promotion of peace and global development, said Zhang, a member of the CPPCC National Committee.

China has also participated constructively in the resolution of hot topics such as the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, the Iranian nuclear issue and peace talks in the Middle East, she said, adding that the country remains the top contributor of peacekeeping forces among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

At a gathering in Beijing to commemorate the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up, Xi again stressed that China remains committed to deepening reform and expanding opening-up, as well as advancing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

That vision is being increasingly accepted worldwide. In February 2017, the phrase was for the first time incorporated into a UN resolution by the 55th UN Commission for Social Development.

It has also been adopted by the UN Security Council, the Human Rights Council and the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, thus turning the Chinese concept into an international consensus.

Yasuo Fukuda, former Japanese prime minister, was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying that it is a common ideal for mankind to build a world without conflict, one with equal development opportunities and with every person in it blessed with happiness.

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