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Chinese initiatives promote common development

By Zhai Kun and Sui Xuemeng | China Daily | Updated: 2023-04-22 09:47


Proposed in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Communist Party of China in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting on March 15, the Global Civilization Initiative is CPC Central Committee General Secretary Xi Jinping's third such proposition — after the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative. Together, they can help build a community with a shared future for mankind.

The GCI can be summarized in four proposals: respecting the diversity of civilizations, advocating the common values of humanity, highly valuing the inheritance and innovations of civilizations; and jointly promoting robust international people-to-people exchanges and cooperation. The GCI also advocates that different countries and regions independently explore their own path to modernization based on their specific national conditions. The GCI respects and treasures different cultures and values, which are required to build a harmonious world.

First, the GCI is aimed at improving the global governance system. Since the founding of the People's Republic, the country has been proposing and implementing global initiatives to address global problems in order to facilitate peaceful development. China advances the peaceful diplomatic agenda in a comprehensive way and at multiple levels, proposes initiatives that are beneficial to the world, and takes active part in global development work.

It knows its global position and responsibilities, while it makes efforts to improve the global political order and strengthen economic globalization. The country has also been providing global public goods and helping improve the world order.

Today, China understands the world better and participates in global affairs more creatively. President Xi Jinping proposed the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind during a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in March 2013. This proposal reflects the highly interdependent relationship between China and the world, and provides Chinese wisdom for overcoming global challenges and building a better world.

Xi proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, too, in 2013, the GDI in 2021, the GSI in 2022 and the GCI this year. All of these initiatives will help build a community with a shared future for mankind. In general, China is becoming a power with a global perspective, and global ideas and responsibilities.

Second, the China-proposed global governance system will help strike a better balance between knowledge and power in the world. China's initiatives, to be sure, are based on mutual learning, inclusiveness and cooperation and aim to converge the interests of all countries. These initiatives reflect the development of China's own order, and will help break the monopoly of the Western worldview and methodology, encouraging countries to realize shared growth through discussions and collaboration. The China-proposed global governance system is not static. It is a developing concept, which will facilitate new initiatives like the GDI, GSI and the GCI.

Third, China's concept of global governance is aimed at reshaping the system of knowledge and action. In terms of knowledge, the question "what has happened to the world?" means the world has undergone major changes and faces major, unprecedented challenges. How should we respond? The answer is, by building a community with a shared future for mankind. The concept follows the basic principle of realizing shared growth and aims to build a five-in-one world, that is, a world of lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity, and a world that is open, inclusive, and enjoys a well-protected environment and a well-preserved ecology.

In terms of action, the GDI, the GSI and the GCI can be implemented through practical measures. The GDI aims to reshape the global growth concept and promote qualitative global development. More than 100 countries and international organizations have supported the initiative and nearly 70 have joined the Group of Friends of the GDI.

The GSI, which is aimed at reshaping global security, has won the support of more than 80 countries and organizations, with the China-mediated rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran being its biggest achievement.

As for the GCI, it aims to reshape the concept of global civilization, because conflicts and confrontations among civilizations hinder communications and exchanges among different countries. The GCI advocates respecting the diversity of civilization, opposing ideological confrontations, and promotes cooperation among countries in order to resolve global issues.

Fourth, the GCI is also aimed at destroying the old and establishing the new, because the development of humanity needs to correct, renew and integrate ideas. The West has dominated the world order and global values for long. Theories such as "the superiority of the Western liberal democratic system", "the clash of civilizations", "zero-sum game" and "binary opposition" increase misunderstanding among civilizations, and ignore non-Western developing countries' practices and achievements.

Western democratic politics and modernization have ignored different countries' demand for modernization and democracy, which is not surprising because the "clash of civilizations" theory creates misunderstandings and triggers confrontations among different civilizations.

The GCI advocates that democracy and modernization be open and diversified. Besides, every developed as well as developing country has the right to explore its own path to modernization based on its real national conditions. According to the GCI, different civilizations play a different but irreplaceable role in advancing humanity's modernization and ushering in spring in the garden of world civilizations. It encourages all civilizations to learn from each other and build a strong communication network.

China's initiatives are global public goods. They call for an end to the zerosum game, and are aimed at propelling global economic growth and sharing individual development experiences with each other. In short, China wants to share its experiences with other countries and pursue common global development.

Zhai Kun is a professor at the School of International Studies and deputy director of the Institute of Area Studies at Peking University; and Sui Xuemeng is a doctoral candidate at the School of International Studies at Peking University.

The views don't necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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