With the crisis in Ukraine continuing unabated as new conflicts flare up in the Middle East, the world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation. On 27-28 December 2023, the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs was held in Beijing, outlining China’s future foreign work, and contributing China’s wisdom and solutions to problems that the world is facing.
Entering into the 21st century, the global village is getting smaller and the planet is becoming flat. Human interests are intertwined with each other, and our future is shared by all. At a crossroads in history, we have to choose between unity and division, between opening up and closing off, between cooperation and confrontation.
The only right choice is to build a community with a shared future for mankind, a vision that represents the greatest synergy among all nations and their popular calls for peace, development and stability. All civilisations around the world have manifestations of the concept of a global community of shared future, just as the motto of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” in ancient Indian literature.
The goal of building a community with a shared future for mankind is to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world of lasting peace, universal security and shared prosperity. The pathway is to promote global governance that features extensive consultation and joint contribution for shared benefit. The guiding principle is to apply the common values of humanity, the basic underpinning lies in building a new type of international relations. The strategic guidance comes from the implementation of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilisation Initiative, and the platform for action is high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. Over a decade years, this theme of building a community with a shared future for mankind has developed from a Chinese initiative to an international consensus, from a promising vision to substantive actions.
Two “calling for”
At present, a significant shift is taking place in the international balance of power, meanwhile, the Global South continues to grow and develop. Trends of muti-polarisation and economic globalisation have become irreversible. In recent years, facing the situation that certain countries keep instigating divisions and confrontations, sticking to bloc politics and zero-sum games, and with the rise of protectionism and transfer of domestic difficulties or even conflicts abroad, the international community has become more vigilant about repeating mistakes of history, more worried about negative consequences, and thus more against unilateralism and power politics, unwilling to allow disruption on global industrial and supply chains.
Facing these major challenges, China is calling for an equal and orderly multi-polar world, and calling for a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalisation.
To achieve this, we should resolutely oppose the attempt to roll back globalisation and abuse the concept of security, oppose all forms of unilateralism and protectionism, firmly promote trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation, overcome the structural problems hindering the healthy development of the world economy, and make economic globalisation more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” If focusing only on the dark side, we could see hegemonistic practices still prevail with the powerful bent on pushing a zero-sum agenda to bully and exploit the weak and vulnerable, and deficits in peace, development, security and governance keep expanding.
Yet we need also to be clear on the bright side. That is, the historical trends of peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit are unstoppable, as well as the will of the people and the general trends of our day will eventually lead to a bright future for humanity.
In China’s judgement, we firmly believe that the overall direction of human development and progress will not change, the overall dynamics of world history moving forward amid twists and turns will not change, and the overall trend toward a shared future for the international community will not change.
China and India are neighbours. Being ancient civilisations, the largest developing countries and emerging market economies with a population of over one billion, both of the two are now at a crucial stage of development and revitalisation. China and India share common visions for the future of mankind and have been playing increasingly important roles in maintaining global stability and promoting common development.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence jointly advocated by China and India. Standing at a new historic point, the two countries could once again offer oriental wisdom hand in hand, shoulder responsibility as major countries, carry forward the spirit of independence, and jointly help the world usher in a bright future of peace, security, prosperity and progress.