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China releases a white paper on its proposals, actions on building ‘a global community of shared future’

Wu Xinbo

Global Times 2023-09-26

PhotoLi Xuanmin/GT

  The Chinese government released a white paper on Tuesday to introduce the theoretical base, practice and development of a global community of shared future, as by presenting China's vision of the course of human development, it counters the hegemonic thinking of certain countries that seek supremacy.

  Ten years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the idea of building a global community of shared future. His proposal lights the path forward as the world fumbles for solutions, and represents China's contribution to global efforts to protect the shared home and create a better future of prosperity for all, according to the white paper, titled A Global Community of Shared Future: China's Proposals and Actions.

  The timing of releasing such a document is crucial, as apart from marking the 10th anniversary of the proposal of a significant idea, the world is in severe turbulence and experiencing profound changes which have not been seen in the past century, so the international community has been calling for solutions, and China, as a responsible major power which is much more powerful than it was 10 years ago, has responsibility to contribute its wisdoms and actions to meet the demand of this era, said Chinese analysts.

  Chinese experts said that the white paper, without mentioning the US, has clearly expressed firm oppositions against many ideas and behaviors of Washington, such as democracy versus authoritarianism, alliance-based confrontation, and small yard, high fence, and this shows that China is now openly disagreeing with the US-proposed rule-based order, which in fact is a way to preserve the old order dominated by US hegemony.

  Many ideas and behaviors of US-led West have already caused endless and ongoing conflicts and tensions worldwide, and will lead the world into a new cold war. China and majority of countries in the world share similar concerns, and they're responsible for finding a path to effectively reform the world order and build a global community of shared future, experts said.

Oppose and propose

  The zero-sum game is doomed to fail, the white paper said. But certain countries still cling to this mindset, blindly pursuing absolute security and monopolistic advantages, which will do nothing for their development in the long run but create a major threat to the world.

  It is increasingly obvious that the obsession with superior strength, and the zero-sum mentality are in conflict with the needs of our times, the white paper said, pointing out that the new era calls for new ideas.

  Wu Xinbo, director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times on Tuesday that many ways of thinking as well as actions of the US are against China's interest, and also against the interest of the vast majority of countries worldwide.

  As a responsible major country, we, China, should make our position clear, and to clearly tell the world about what we are upholding, and if we want other countries to support us, we should tell them where we are going, Wu said.

  The white paper and China-proposed initiatives are not aimed at challenging the US and the West or serve the ambition of struggle for power, but actually to proceed from the common interests of mankind, because the US approaches will definitely lead the world to a new cold war, Wu noted.

  China's proposals and actions are not for China's own benefit or self-interest, but for the common good of humanity, the expert said.

  The white paper said To build a global community of shared future is to pursue openness, inclusiveness, mutual benefit, equity and justice. The goal is not to replace one system or civilization with another. Instead, it is about countries with different social systems, ideologies, histories, shared rights, and shared responsibilities in global affairs, the document read.

  Maya Majueran, director of Belt and Road Initiative Sri Lanka (BRISL), a Sri Lanka-based organization that specializes in BRI cooperation, told the Global Times that The US and its Western allies have long been attempting to influence other countries and the world order with their own values and political system in the name of promoting democracy and human rights and continue to pressure countries whose positions differ from them.

  They even bully emerging markets and developing countries to pick sides, so many countries are looking at China's proposal as an engine to boost their own economic recovery by aligning with it, Majueran said.

  Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times that China's proposals and initiatives have been welcomed worldwide, but a few Western countries led by the US always try to boycott, stigmatize or downplay China's proposals, and this is because of their arrogance and ignorance, and they don't want the unequal international system that unfairly benefits them to be reformed.  

Wisdom and actions

  The concept of a global community of shared future has deep roots in China's profound cultural heritage and its unique experience of modernization. It carries forward the diplomatic traditions of China and draws on the outstanding achievements of all other civilizations, the white paper said. It also manifests China's time-honored historical traditions, distinct characteristics of the times, and a wealth of humanistic values.  

  The white paper also pointed out the direction and plan to build a global community of shared future including pressing ahead with a new type of economic globalization in which countries need to pursue a policy of openness and explicitly oppose protectionism, the erection of fences and barriers, unilateral sanctions, and maximum-pressure tactics, so as to connect economies and jointly build an open world economy.

  The concept China advocates is not built upon sacrificing neighboring countries' interests, which is in stark contrast to the capital accumulation stage of Western countries, Wirun Phichaiwongphakdee, director of the Thailand-China Research Center of the Belt and Road Initiative, told the Global Times.

  The Thai expert exemplified by a number of BRI projects in Southeast Asia including the China-Thailand Railway being built, which he said demonstrates how China and the ASEAN are working together to build a community of shared future.

Convincing contributions

  China is not just providing proposals, but also actively implements its own ideas by actions, and has provided the world with extensive achievements. Over the past decade, China has contributed its strength to building a global community of shared future with firm conviction and solid actions.

  For instance, by July 2023, more than three-quarters of countries in the world and over 30 international organizations had signed agreements on Belt and Road cooperation with China. The BRI originated in China but the opportunities and achievements it creates belong to the whole world. It's an initiative for economic cooperation, not for geopolitical or military alliances, and it's an open and inclusive process that neither targets nor excludes any party, the white paper said.

  Among several BRI projects, for example, the China-Laos Railway began operation on December 3, 2021, with 167 tunnels and 301 bridges built in 11 years along its total length of 1,035 kilometers. The railway construction created more than 110,000 local jobs, and helped build about 2,000 kilometers of roads and canals for villages along the railway, benefiting local people.

  Also, through the mediation of China, Saudi Arabia and Iran achieved historic reconciliation earlier this year, setting a fine example for countries in the region to resolve disputes and differences and achieve good neighborly relations through dialogue and consultation, and catalyzing a wave of reconciliation in the Middle East.

  China has also proposed a range of regional and bilateral initiatives on building communities of shared future and working with stakeholders to build consensus and expand cooperation, thereby playing a constructive role in promoting regional peace and development. It also boosts international cooperation in fields including fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing disorder in cyberspace governance and dealing with the global climate challenge.

  Over the past decade, the vision of a global community of shared future has gained broader support. More countries and people have come to the understanding that this vision serves the common interests of humanity, represents popular calls for peace, justice and progress, and can create the greatest synergy among all nations for building a better world, the white paper said.

2005- ©Center for American Studies,Fudan University.