All Leads to Community with Shared Future for Mankind

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  • 2024-06-23
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All Leads to Community with Shared Future for Mankind

It is increasingly difficult to explain today’s world with conventional theories of international relations. The notion that countries are destined to seek hegemony once they grow strong and the zero-sum game mindset are only breeding more disputes and conflicts. Against such a backdrop, humanity is in great need of new ideas that conform to the trend of the times and history. With humanity’s interests at heart, China envisions a community with a shared future for mankind. This vision addresses the question of where humanity should be headed, the question of our times that carries global and historical significance.

Humanity has come a long way from the early days of a primitive society, undergoing revolutions in agriculture, industrial production and information technology. Though this process has brought a steep increase in productivity, it does not change one fundamental reality—the Earth is the one and only home of mankind. All countries bear responsibilities for safety of this planet and the future of humanity. Resorting to vicious competition or even war for the sake of profit and power will only lead mankind to self-destruction.

Peace and development have been the most basic wish of humanity throughout history. Having experienced the ravages of wars and conflicts, especially two devastating world wars, people around the globe are keenly aware of the need to cherish peace, expand cooperation and seek common development. The idea that “humanity is one big family” is taking deeper root in people’s hearts, and the desire for a community with a shared future grows stronger than ever.

As the wheels of history move forward, the world has become a global village where the interests of all countries are intertwined. Globalization has connected countries in a way like connecting scattered lakes and rivers into a vast ocean. With the rapid growth of the Internet, big data, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence, exchanges among people have reached unprecedented depth and breadth, and countries are more interconnected and interdependent than ever before.

Meanwhile, our world is undergoing major changes not seen in a century and faces unprecedented challenges. The deficit in peace, development, security and governance is becoming more serious. Amid global challenges in such areas as food and energy security, resource and environmental conservation, climate change, and wealth inequality, countries won’t be able to withstand battering winds and waves if they ride 190-plus small boats separately. Only by sticking together in one big ship can they overcome the waves and sail toward a better future.

The vision of a community with a shared future for mankind is rooted in traditional Chinese culture, of which harmony is a core tenet. The Chinese culture values the primary importance of peace and harmony without uniformity, sees all nations as belonging to one and the same family, and champions the belief that the strong should not bully the weak and the rich should not insult the poor. For the Chinese nation, one should also help others succeed while pursuing one’s own success, as helping others is helping oneself, and one should not do to others what he does not want others do to him. The Chinese nation also believes that the laws of nature govern all things and that man must seek harmony with nature, which shows a respect and love for the world and the longing for harmonious coexistence between man and nature.

The vision of a community with a shared future for mankind is also inspired by the wisdom of other civilizations. This vision finds similar propositions in different civilizations. Ancient Greek philosophers explored the idea of a human community on the basis of city-states, advocating the need to pursue common interests through concerted actions. The traditional African philosophy of Ubuntu holds that “We are, therefore I am.” It highlights the interdependence of everyone and profoundly shapes governance in African countries. An Indonesian proverb says, “Sugarcane and lemongrass grow in dense clumps.” Mexican poet Alfonso Reyes wrote, “The only way to be profitable on a national level is to be generous on a universal one.” All of this points to how the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind is a common ideal among different cultures.

Whether it’s addressing crises at hand or creating a better future, history and reality have proven time and again that countries must pursue robust communication, solidarity and cooperation, foster extensive consensus on global issues, and make a concerted response, so as to build a community with a shared future for mankind and generate stronger confidence and impetus for bringing about a bright future.

The Key to Understanding China’s Diplomacy

As the core tenet of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind is the key to understanding China’s diplomacy and how China sees the common future of humanity.

First, the goal of this vision is to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world of lasting peace, universal security and shared prosperity. Building a world of lasting peace means beating the swords of war into the plowshares of peace. Building a world of universal security means pursuing not absolute security for one but common security for all. Building a world of shared prosperity means bidding farewell to the winner-takes-all mindset and sharing development achievements. Building an open and inclusive world means dropping the mindset that one civilization is superior to another and starting to appreciate the strengths of other civilizations. Building a clean and beautiful world means stopping destructive exploitation of resources and preserving and sustaining lush mountains and lucid waters.

China has played a constructive role in the settlement of global and regional hotspot issues, and contributed over 30 percent of global growth for years in a row. It is a main trading partner of more than 140 countries and regions. China accounted for a quarter of the world’s newly added green areas over the past 20 years. These are concrete actions by China for the goal of building an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world of lasting peace, universal security and shared prosperity.

Second, the pathway to the goal is promoting global governance that features extensive consultation and joint contribution for shared benefit. To be more specific, it means global affairs must be discussed by all, governance systems built by all, and benefits of governance shared by all.

China calls for an equal and orderly multipolar world and an open and inclusive economic globalization. China has put forward ideas that facilitated the completion of the quota and governance reforms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and has been instrumental in the conclusion and accelerated implementation of the Paris Agreement. All these efforts reflect China’s sense of responsibility as a major country.

Third, the guiding principle is to apply the common values of humanity. These common values transcend differences in ideology, social system and level of development, and embody the broadest common expectations of people of all countries for a better life. Peace is the ever-lasting wish of the people. Development is the top priority of all countries. Fairness and justice are the cornerstone of the international order and the moral underpinnings of international relations. Democracy is an abiding ideal of mankind. Freedom requires the all-round development of people.

From sending medical teams to other countries to sharing poverty alleviation experience with the rest of the world, from supporting the “Great Green Wall” initiative in Africa to actively participating in global governance in response to climate change, from respecting all countries’ independent choice of their development path to appreciating civilizational diversity in the world, China’s actions have strengthened the force for peace and promoted common development.

Fourth, the basic underpinning lies in building a new type of international relations. The new type of international relations centers on win-win cooperation and emphasizes mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. It has its roots in traditional Chinese culture, such as the notion that peace is more precious than anything else.

During the Munich Security Conference this year, China’s foreign minister said that lose-lose is not a rational choice, and win-win is the future of mankind. Yet U.S. Secretary of State claimed, “If you’re not at the table in the international system, you’re going to be on the menu.” Which philosophy can bring about a better future? Members of the international community have the answer in mind.

Fifth, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative are strategies that drive the endeavor. The three initiatives revolve around the overarching vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, and provide clear action plans for tackling major challenges of the world concerning development, security and civilization.

China is making full efforts to invigorate the global implementation of the United Nations (U.N.) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, uphold world peace and add to global responses to security challenges. China is promoting the development of a global network for inter-civilizational dialogue, energizing international people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, and working with partners to turn the three initiatives into results on the ground. With these efforts, China continues to fulfill its solemn commitment to building a community with a shared future for mankind and making even greater contributions to world peace and development in the new era.

Lastly, the platform for action is high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a vivid example of building a community with a shared future for mankind and has been well received by the international community both as a public good and a cooperation platform. Coming from China, the BRI produces opportunities and fruits shared by the world.

Under the BRI, assistance programs and cooperation under market principles advance side by side, and large signature projects and small and beautiful programs complement each other. The over 3,000 projects launched under the BRI have galvanized nearly US$1 trillion of investment and created more than 420,000 jobs for partner countries, bringing tangible benefits to their peoples.

This is the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, rich in meaning and clear in message. At the heart, it is about taking the world to a bright future of shared prosperity through systematic efforts.

A Boon for the World

With decade-long efforts, the ambitious vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind is yielding abundant fruits.

Promoting high-quality cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

Policy connectivity. Over 150 countries and more than 30 international organizations have joined BRI cooperation by signing relevant documents, covering more than 75 percent of countries and regions of the world.

Infrastructure connectivity. The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway in Indonesia has added impetus to the local economy; the Piraeus Port in Greece has grown into a leading container port on the Mediterranean coast; the new terminal of Bole International Airport in Ethiopia is serving as a hub for African airlines; the Belo Monte ultra-high voltage transmission project in Brazil has become a “clean electricity expressway” across its vast territory.

Trade connectivity. World Bank statistics show that BRI is likely to generate 1.6 trillion USD in revenues each year by 2030—roughly 1.3 percent of global GDP—90 percent of which will be shared by BRI partner countries. The estimation is 7.6 million people will be lifted from extreme poverty and 32 million from moderate poverty.

Financial connectivity. The Silk Road Fund, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank have made a big difference in development investment and financing. China and BRI partner countries have jointly operationalized more than 3,000 projects, and mobilized nearly 1 trillion USD in investment.

People-to-people connectivity. The International Alliance of Museums of the Silk Road and the Network of Silk Road Arts Festivals boast a total of 562 members from China and around the world; Confucius Institutes and Luban Workshops have helped train young talents in BRI partner countries; small and beautiful programs, such as Juncao technology for mushroom farming, water boreholes building and hybrid rice growing, are delivering sustained gains for ordinary people.

Delivering on the three major initiatives

First, the Global Development Initiative (GDI). China is committed to creating opportunities for global development through its own development. It held the High-Level Dialogue on Global Development and major expos like the China International Import Expo and the China International Fair for Trade in Services, and continued to shorten the negative list for foreign investment. China is committed to win-win cooperation for common development. Over 130 livelihood programs have been carried out in nearly 60 countries to the benefit of 30 million people. China is committed to promoting an open world economy. It has become a major trading partner of over 140 countries and regions, and entered into free trade agreements with 28 countries and regions.

Second, the Global Security Initiative (GSI). China is a strong force for world peace. It is the second largest contributor to both the U.N.’s regular budget and its peacekeeping assessment, and the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. China is playing its role as a responsible major country in tackling hotspot issues. China has issued position papers on Ukraine and the Palestinian question, and the special representative of the Chinese government on Eurasian affairs and the special envoy of the Chinese Government on the Middle East Issue traveled intensively to engage with various parties. China facilitated the historic reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which helped to set off a wave of reconciliation in the region.

Third, the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI). China held the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting, the CPC and World Political Parties Summit, the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, Dialogue of Friendship Associations of Countries with Ancient Civilizations and so on; it continued to deepen cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); it hosted the Chengdu FISU World University Games and the Hangzhou Asian Games; it celebrated the Year of Culture and Tourism with multiple countries, and established a great number of sister relations between cities or provinces.

Promoting international cooperation in all regions and fields

China is working with African, Arab, Latin American and Caribbean, and Pacific Island countries to build communities with a shared future fast and steady. Solid progress has been made in building these communities with ASEAN, fellow Lancang-Mekong countries, members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Central Asian countries. China issued action plans and joint statements or reached agreement with a growing number of countries on building bilateral communities with a shared future.

To promote international cooperation in different domains, China proposed field-specific initiatives such as a global community of health for all, a community of shared future in cyberspace, a community of shared future on nuclear security, a maritime community with a shared future, a community of life for man and nature and a community of all life on Earth. These initiatives helped build a powerful synergy in a collective response to global challenges.

As an old Chinese adage goes, “With the rising tide and favorable wind, it is time to sail the ship and ride the waves.” More and more countries and people have come to realize that the future of humanity should be decided and created together by all countries. A community with a shared future for mankind spells hope for the world. It will generate even greater benefits when all countries work together toward this goal.