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Promoting a human community with a shared future

By Liu Jianchao | China Daily | Updated: 2023-09-06 07:44


In March this year, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, proposed the Global Civilization Initiative at the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting. The GCI was the third global initiative he proposed to promote global organic unity after the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative in order to build a human community with a shared future.

The unity, following the trend of human progress and in response to the unprecedented changes in the world, points to the direction in which the world, which now is at a crossroad, should go. It is a new development of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy and speaks volumes about the sense of history, mission and responsibility, and the global vision of Chinese communists with Xi Jinping as their chief representative. To break new ground in advancing major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, we must get a sound grasp of the scientific nature and the considerable significance of this unity and the inherent relationship between the vision and the three global initiatives.

From the historical perspective, the three global initiatives, reflecting three major themes of human progress, constitute three pillars that support the overarching vision of a human community with a shared future.

In the long river of history, different civilizations, flowing and converging from time to time, have surged forward like waves. Along with the continuous progress of human society and the deepening of globalization, countries have become increasingly connected and inter-dependent, forming a community with a shared future.

People of all countries have come to realize that material abundance, peace and stability and cultural prosperity are what all societies aspire for. To achieve them, we need growth, security and civilization, which complement and reinforce each other.

As an ancient Chinese saying goes, "Only when the granary is full will people learn etiquette; only when people are well fed and clothed will they know honor and shame." Growth is the basis for security and civilization. Only when all countries prosper can peace last and civilizations thrive.

"Stability brings a country prosperity, while instability leads a country to poverty," is another ancient Chinese saying. Security is a prerequisite of growth and civilization. Chinese people in ancient times believed that the civilized tend to enjoy safety while the uncivilized are more prone to face troubles and encounter danger. Civilization develops on the basis of economic growth and security. It is the accumulation of a people's cultural pursuit and carries the imprint of a nation's history. It has a gradual and imperceptible influence on people's way of thinking and doing things, providing spiritual strength to the cause of development and security.

The three global initiatives, inherently connected and reinforcing each other, point the way forward for the progress of human society from three different perspectives: growth, security and civilization. They are the main buttresses supporting the vision to build a human community with a shared future.

The GDI, from the perspective of growth, answers the question of what development philosophy people need and how to achieve global development. It is aimed at creating the material foundation for a human community with a shared future. The GSI, from the viewpoint of security, focuses on the issue of what sort of security humanity needs and how to achieve universal security. It is aimed at providing security guarantee for the community. The GCI, from the perspective of the upper structure, answers the question of how to view different civilizations and promote exchanges and mutual-learning among them. It aims to build the cultural foundation for the human community.

From the perspective of practice, the three global initiatives, focusing on prominent issues amid the profound changes unseen in a century, provide viable paths for the world to build a human community with a shared future.

Today, our world, our times and the historical course are changing in ways like never before. The global economic recovery is weak and faltering, various security challenges keep emerging, misunderstandings, estrangement and conflicts among civilizations still exist, and deficits in global peace, development, security and governance are getting from bad to worse. With the world entering a new round of turbulence and transformation, humanity has once again reached a crossroad in history. Its future depends on the choice of all peoples around the world.

At this historical juncture, CPC Central Committee General Secretary Xi Jinping, with his great foresight, has set the direction for the world by proposing the vision of building a human community with a shared future as the overarching goal, and the three global initiatives as the action plans to address the outstanding issues facing humanity, calling on all countries to join the just cause.

The three global initiatives, centering on the overarching goal of building a human community with a shared future, are three well-conceived prescriptions that aim to cure the fundamental ills of the world. This is an excellent example of a problem-oriented approach. Targeting issues like humanity's survival, development and modernization, the GDI effectively responds to the strong aspiration and urgent need of the international community, developing countries in particular, to achieve faster economic growth.

It also focuses on tackling the unbalanced and inadequate development within and among nations, thus setting the direction for the cause of global development and global cooperation on development. Going forward, China will work hard to implement the GDI, so as to help the international community to achieve the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at a faster pace and inject strong impetus into global economic growth. On issues related to conflicts, wars, stability and peace, the GSI sheds light on a practical pathway to global security governance. It serves not only as a sound guidance for humanity to deal with global security challenges, but is also a viable solution to regional hot-spot issues and geopolitical conflicts.

China's success in brokering a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and its commitment to promoting the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis through peace talks are all cases in point of how we address security dilemmas by following the GSI. Targeting issues such as misunderstandings, estrangement, lack of mutual trust and inclusiveness among civilizations, the GCI aims to achieve dialectical unity based on the commonality and despite the diversity of civilizations, by seeking the common ground among them while fully respecting their diversity.

On the one hand, the GCI highlights the importance of inheritance as each civilization has its own rich past. It also emphasizes the need to fully harness the relevance of its past to the present as history is a mirror to understand the present and the future. It then advocates building a global network for inter-civilization dialogue and robust international people-to-people exchanges and cooperation to promote mutual understanding and friendship among people of all countries and reach a consensus on inter-civilization exchanges and mutual learning.

From the perspective of philosophy, the vision of building a human community with a shared future and the three global initiatives demonstrate salient theoretical characteristics and the unity of the worldview and methodology.

The vision of building a human community with a shared future provides scientific answers to the epochal questions of what kind of world we should build and how to build it. The vision, together with the new outlook on growth, security and civilization encompassed in the three global initiatives, represent the worldview of China and the Chinese communists in the new era. They also provide the methodology for putting that worldview into practice, as they contain not only profound political wisdom but also many practical pathways and measures. Thus, they represent the unity of both the worldview and the methodology.

The vision of building a human community with a shared future and the three global initiatives are scientific. They encapsulate the stances, viewpoints, and methods of Marxism, reflecting the hallmarks of Marxism, and demonstrating salient theoretical characters. Underpinned by dialectical and historical materialism, the vision and the three global initiatives reveal the laws governing the development of human society and its future direction. They also provide scientific methods and pathways to advance human society, demonstrating the great power of truth.

The vision of building a human community with a shared future and the three global initiatives are people-centered. Focusing on the aspiration for a better life of the peoples across the world, the vision and the three global initiatives highlight the overall interests of humanity and strive to improve the common wellbeing of all peoples.

Moreover, their vision of caring for every individual is self-evident. Responding to the yearning of peoples of different countries for peace, development and cooperation, the vision and the three global initiatives are committed to creating the right conditions to realize and guarantee each individual's well-rounded development.

The vision of building a human community with a shared future and the three global initiatives are practical. They embody the CPC's strong sense of responsibility to promote global harmony through concrete actions. And facts will prove their correctness and imperativeness. Their meaning and theoretical system will be further enriched with the changes in the situation.

From the perspective of civilization, the vision of a human community with a shared future and the three global initiatives, rooted in the Chinese civilization, steer theoretical innovation on international relations in the new era.

As CPC Central Committee General Secretary Xi Jinping said, "To meet our common challenges and create a better future for all, we look to culture and civilization to play their role, which is as important as the role played by economy, science, and technology."

The Chinese civilization advocates kinship between all people and all creatures, and peace among all nations as it believes that humanity rises and falls together, which underlies the way we Chinese view and understand societies and peoples of different regions and languages. For us, an ideal society pursues the common good as a just cause and advances common interests. Sound economic ethics put people's enrichment and well-being first and uphold justice while pursuing common interests. The right security concept favors peace over war, and believes that the essence of using force is to stop violence. The correct way to engage with other civilizations is to seek harmony without uniformity and appreciate other cultures and promote shared prosperity.

The most important principle to uphold when interacting with other countries is credibility, amity and good-neighborliness. What the vision of a human community with a shared future and the three global initiatives pursue, namely peaceful co-existence, win-win cooperation, inclusiveness, and shared growth, have all along been a part of the Chinese civilization. They speak volumes about the defining features of the Chinese civilization — its continuity, creativity, consistency, inclusiveness, and peaceful nature. They are a fine example of how our Party applies the basic tenets of Marxism to China's specific realities and its fine traditional culture. They also represent a major breakthrough by the Party in its exploration for the future of humanity.

Traditional Western theories of international relations tend to view the world from the perspective of strength and geopolitics. Theories such as "hegemonic stability" and the "clash of civilizations" are imbued with exclusionary ideas. In contrast, the core tenets of the vision of a human community with a shared future and the three global initiatives are rooted in the Chinese civilization.

At the same time, they are highly consistent with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter including developing friendly relations among nations based on sovereign equality and respect for equal rights of peoples, maintaining international security by collective and peaceful means, and establishing international cooperation to solve global economic, social and/or cultural problems. These creative and ingenious views on international relations demonstrate Oriental wisdom and provide a new perspective and paradigm for humanity to think about ways of engaging with other nations and ways to tackle global challenges.

Such a mindset, totally different from that of the traditional Western theories, determines that China will never tread the path of seeking hegemony even when it grows in strength, engage in hegemonism or power politics, pursue its own security at the cost of others, stoke divisions or confrontations, or create small circles to alienate those with views different from its own. Instead, China will remain committed to promoting world peace, driving global development and safeguarding the international order.

The vision of a human community with a shared future and the three global initiatives uphold and apply Marxist stances, viewpoints and methods, and constitute a well-developed system of thought with compelling logic. They reflect China's keen grasp of the law of history and its civilization, and its deep reflection on the questions that have emerged in modern times.

The three global initiatives, which are interconnected, interdependent and mutually reinforcing, provide a strong underpinning for the vision of building a global community with a shared future and offer China's solution to build a better world. On the new journey ahead, guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we, who have undertaken the Party's external work, will continue to implement Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, hold high the banner of the human community with a shared future, and pool positive energy from across the world to make the three global initiatives a grand success.

We will honor the Party's solemn commitment to seeking progress for humanity and harmony for the world, and make even greater contributions to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the advancement of the cause of human progress.

The author is minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.

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

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