By Ambassador Chen Xiaodong
At the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held recently, General Secretary Xi Jinping announced that China has always been committed to its foreign policy goals of upholding world peace and promoting common development, and it is dedicated to promoting a human community with a shared future. This drew a grand blueprint for major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics along the new journey and showed the way forward for human development and progress. China has worked hard on several important fronts:
First, lead the way in injecting new momentum into peaceful development. China faithfully fulfils our obligations as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. We sent more than 50 000 people to participate in UN peacekeeping operations, and we have become the second largest contributor to both the UN budget and its peacekeeping missions. In the face of the crisis in Ukraine, the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue, Afghanistan and other hot spots, China has always been committed to facilitating peace and negotiation. We advocate the settlement of disputes through peaceful means. China has fully promoted and participated in international co-operation against Covid-19 and put forward Chinese solutions to challenges in food, energy and other security matters. China deems it a responsibility to promote world peace and security and has put forward the Global Security Initiative, which received the appreciation and support of more than 70 countries.
Second, contribute to world development and build a new engine for economic growth. China is actively promoting high-quality Belt and Road co-operation. By the end of August 2022, China’s trade in goods with Belt and Road partner countries reached around US$12 trillion. Our non-financial direct investment in Belt and Road partner countries exceeded US$140 billion. China has held five consecutive China International Import Expos, making it a window to foster the new development pattern, a platform to promote high-level opening up, and an international public good for all. China’s efforts contribute to global momentum for global openness and co-operation. China facilitated the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BRICS New Development Bank. We set up the Silk Road Fund, and worked to bring into force the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. China launched the Global Development Initiative that gives a strong impetus to human development. China upholds the concept that green is gold and has announced specific targets for carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, which demonstrates our firm determination to build a clean and beautiful world.
Third, be courageous enough to build positive energy for global governance. China is firm in safeguarding the international system with the UN at its core and the international order underpinned by international law. We oppose unilateralism, protectionism, hegemony, power politics and the so-called rules-based international order. We work to steer global governance toward a more just and reasonable direction.
We practise true multilateralism, promote sustainable development with concrete actions, and work to make Chinese contributions to addressing the global deficit in governance.
Today, our world, our times, and history are changing in ways like never before. The historical trends of peace, development, co-operation, and mutual benefit are unstoppable and humanity will enjoy a bright future. And yet, the hegemonic, high-handed and bullying acts of using strength to intimidate the weak, taking from others by force and subterfuge, and playing zero-sum games are exerting grave harm. All of this is posing unprecedented challenges for human society. At this crossroads in history, to build a community with a shared future for mankind has become a glorious flag that embodies the righteous path for the world and efforts to lead world development. It has received high recognition and warm response from the international community and has been written into the resolutions of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly for six consecutive years. This concept has made multiple leaps from China doing the solo in the band to a chorus of all countries. On the new journey, China will continue to advance the great practice of building a human community with a shared future and make new contributions to creating a better world.
It is important to advance peaceful development. China firmly pursues an independent foreign policy of peace. We always develop positions and policies based on the merits of the matter itself. We uphold the basic norms of international relations, safeguard international fairness and justice, and resolutely oppose all forms of hegemony and power politics, Cold War thinking, interference in the internal affairs of other countries, and double standards. China will never claim hegemony or engage in expansion. China adheres to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in pursuing friendship and co-operation with other countries. We are committed to promoting a new type of international relations and to deepening and expanding global partnerships based on equality, openness and co-operation. We work to enhance co-ordination and positive interaction with other major countries. We strive to enhance friendly ties, mutual trust, and converging interests with our neighbouring countries. Guided by the principles of sincerity, real results, affinity, and good faith and with a commitment to the greater good and shared interests, China endeavours to strengthen solidarity and co-operation with other developing countries and safeguard the common interests of the developing world.
It is important to jointly promote openness and mutual benefit. General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasised during his speech at the opening ceremony of the CIIE last week that openness is a key driving force behind the progress of human civilizations and an intrinsic path towards global prosperity and development. We should commit ourselves to openness to meet development challenges, foster synergy for co-operation, build the momentum of innovation, and deliver benefits to all. China remains committed to the fundamental national policy of opening up to the outside world and pursues a mutually beneficial strategy of opening-up. We will amplify the interplay between domestic and international markets and resources, strive to create new opportunities for the world with our own development, and contribute our share to building an open global economy. We adhere to the right course of economic globalisation and will steadily expand institutional opening-up with regard to rules, regulations, management and standards. We promote trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation and work to maintain a diversified and stable international economic pattern and economic and trade relations. We are ready to jointly create an international environment conducive to development and foster new drivers for global development. We oppose protectionism. We oppose setting barriers to trade. We oppose wanton decoupling, unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure.
China is ready to increase support for global development co-operation. China is ready to invest more resources in global development co-operation. We are committed to narrowing the gap between the North and the South, and we are firm in supporting faster development for developing countries. It is important to write a new chapter of multilateralism. China plays an active part in the reform and development of the global governance system. We pursue a vision of global governance featuring shared growth through discussion and collaboration. China upholds true multilateralism, promotes greater democracy in international relations, and works to make global governance fairer and more equitable. China works to see that multilateral institutions such as the WTO and APEC better play their roles, co-operation mechanisms such as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) exert greater influence, and emerging markets and developing countries are better represented and have a greater say in global affairs.
To build a community with a shared future for mankind is the only way for humanity to meet global challenges together. It blazes the bright path to enhancing the well-being of all peoples. This community is not built overnight. Its growth is a gradual process through bilateral co-operation, multilateral co operation and regional co-operation. On this front, China and Africa have been walking together through thick and thin. We have been working to foster the China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, which is a new practice for building the human community with a shared future. President Ramaphosa of South Africa observed that the China-Africa community with a shared future destiny is an exemplary people-oriented practice that’s based on equity.
As an ancient Chinese adage teaches, in order to deliver more benefits, it is important to keep up with the times. In his report to the 20th CPC National Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping called on all countries to hold dear humanity’s shared values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom; to promote mutual understanding and forge closer bonds with other peoples, and to respect the diversity of civilizations. General Secretary Xi Jinping also called for efforts to allow cultural exchanges to transcend estrangement, mutual learning to transcend clashes, and coexistence to transcend feelings of superiority, so that all can join forces to meet all types of global challenges. China, on its new journey in the new era will definitely focus on the shared interests of all countries.
We will move forward hand in hand with all progressive forces in the world, including South Africa, to build a human community with a shared future and to create a better future for mankind.
Chen Xiaodong, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to South Africa.