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'Holistic approach' to help solve global woes

Initiative explores 'common' development, security in 'fractured' world

By XU WEIWEI in Hong Kong and YANG WANLI in Bangkok | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-03-22 09:30

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, attends the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting via video link and delivers a keynote address in Beijing, capital of China, March 15, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

Initiative explores 'common' development, security in 'fractured' world

The Global Civilization Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping has not only established a platform for the world to connect and engage in dialogue, but also helped to promote the wisdom of China and other nations, experts said.

Wirun Phichaiwongphakdee, director of the Thailand-China Research Center of the Belt and Road Initiative, said during the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting last week, that the initiative gave the world's political leaders a precious chance to know more about Chinese solutions and Chinese wisdom.

The meeting, which was held via video link, also provided opportunities for other countries to share in the dividends from Chinese path to modernization, he added.

The GCI, which calls for respecting the diversity of civilizations and upholding the common values of humanity, reflects the collective wish of most people in the world, he added.

"I think the Chinese path to modernization is the real practice of respecting the diversity of civilizations. The concept of modernization should not be defined by a single source, but can be explained by diversified forms in different political, cultural and historical contexts," he said. "China has been pursuing a development road with insistence on openness and mutual understanding. As President Xi had said, 'a single flower doesn't make spring'."

Khalid Taimur Akram, executive director of the Pakistan Research Center for a Community with Shared Future, said the distinct feature of Xi's GCI proposal is that his vision of modernization is not limited to China. "The president highlighted the importance of support of political parties that can steer and drive the process of modernization. The efforts of all political parties can push the agenda toward development and modernization," he said.

He also said the GCI can ensure the importance of common values of humanity, peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom for all people. "The holistic approach of the Global Civilization Initiative will likely explore the building of a global network for inter-civilization dialogue and cooperation, and will enrich the content of exchanges and expand paths of cooperation to encourage mutual understanding and friendship among people of all countries."

The salient features of the proposal are diversity of civilization and respecting the inheritance and innovation of civilization, Akram said.

President Xi "stressed upon people-to-people cooperation and exchange. I believe the initiative will work out of the box in terms of filling the spaces between cultures and civilizations", he said.

The initiative promotes mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness among civilizations, and will bring cultural exchanges that transcend estrangement, mutual learning that transcends clashes, and coexistence that transcends feelings of superiority, Akram said.

Karori Singh, emeritus fellow and former director of the South Asia Studies Center at the University of Rajasthan in India, said the meeting was an important event in China's efforts to promote dialogue and generate greater understanding. He said the Communist Party of China is performing its role of maintaining the connection between the government and the people.

The GCI, which focuses on people-centered modernization, is based on the interconnected pillars of the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, and takes in multilateralism, promotion of solidarity, dialogue of civilizations, and recognition of inheritance and innovation. Singh described it as "an exploration of common global development and security architecture in the fragmented and fractured world".

In the spirit of the GCI, Singh added, China's efforts have proved to be effective, as seen from its 12-point peace plan for the Ukraine crisis and its success in bringing Saudi Arabia and Iran to the negotiating table. "Xi's visit to Moscow will further facilitate such efforts," he said.

Echoing Xi's statement that nations should uphold the principles of equality and mutual learning, Chaiyasit Tantayakul, adviser to the Horticultural Science Society of Thailand, said all nations should advocate respect for various development paths and diversified cultures, and oppose ideological confrontation in various forms.

"Over the past years, China has kept pursuing peaceful development and mutually beneficial cooperation, which are illustrated in China's Global Civilization Initiative, and are crucial to promoting the collective growth of developing countries," he said.

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