Op-ed: A global community of shared future: China's proposals and actions

The following is an op-ed by the Chinese embassy in Maldives.


This is an era of promise, and an era of challenges. Our world is undergoing change on a scale unseen in a century. Various problems old and new and complex issues are converging with and compounding each other, posing unprecedented challenges for human society. The new era calls for new ideas. Humanity is in great need of new ideas that generate positive developments and conform to positive historical trends.

Ten years ago, President Xi Jinping propounded the idea of building a global community of shared future, answering a question raised by the world, by history, and by the times: “Where is humanity headed?” His proposal lights the path forward as the world fumbles for solutions, and represents China’s contribution to global efforts to protect our shared home and create a better future of prosperity for all.

The past decade has seen steady progress in implementing the vision. From bilateral to multilateral and from regional to global dimensions, ground-breaking results have been achieved on every front. The Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative have taken root and borne fruits, bringing prosperity and stability to the world and creating substantive benefits for the people.

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. It is now widely recognized in the international community that the vision has nothing to do with self-interest and protectionism. Instead, by presenting China’s vision of the course of human development, it confronts the hegemonic thinking of certain countries that seek supremacy. It is therefore of great significance to promote solidarity and cooperation among all countries and create a better future for humanity.

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, cultures and levels of development coming together to promote shared interests, shared rights, and shared responsibilities in global affairs. The vision of a global community of shared future stands on the right side of history and on the side of human progress. It introduces a new approach for international relations, provides new ideas for global governance, opens up new prospects for international exchanges, and draws a new blueprint for a better world.

We should build a world of lasting peace through dialogue and consultation. It means beating the swords of war into the plowshares of peace. The stone wall at the entrance to the UNESCO headquarters carries the inscription of one single message: “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” Throughout human history, obsession with power and hegemony has led to frequent wars and loss of lives. The lessons are painful and profound, and we need to remove the fuses of war from our minds. Big countries should treat the smaller ones as equals instead of seeking unilateral dominance or imposing their will on others. No country should open Pandora’s box by willfully provoking turmoil and armed conflict or undermining the international rule of law. Countries should respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, and respect the development path and social system chosen by other peoples.

We should build a world of common security for all through joint efforts. It means turning absolute security for one into common security for all. There is no place in the world that enjoys absolute security, and a country cannot build its security on the turmoil of others. Threats to other countries can turn into a challenge to one’s own country. When neighbors are in trouble, instead of reinforcing one’s own fences, one should extend a helping hand. As challenges often take on global dimensions, it is all the more important for countries to cooperate in addressing them, turning pressure into motivation and crises into opportunities. Unilateral action or blind belief in the use of force cannot address the complex international security threats. The only solution lies in cooperative and common security. It is normal for countries to have differences, and they should be properly addressed through dialogue and consultation. As long as we show sincerity, goodwill and political wisdom, no conflict is too big to resolve and no ice is too thick to break.

We should build a world of common prosperity through win-win cooperation. It means bidding farewell to the winner-takes-all mindset and sharing development achievements. In this day and age, the international community has evolved into a sophisticated and integrated apparatus, as the removal of any single part will cause serious problems to its overall operation. We must keep to the correct direction of economic globalization, and oppose any attempt to set up technological blockades, cause technological divides, or seek development decoupling. While we should make the pie of the global economy bigger, it is even more important to divide it well, so that development achievements can benefit people of all countries more equitably, and bring about true cooperation and win-win results.

We should build an open and inclusive world through exchanges and mutual learning. It means bidding farewell to the mindset that one civilization is superior to another and starting to appreciate the strengths of other civilizations. Our world can fully accommodate the common growth and progress of all countries, and success for one country does not mean failure for another. There is no universally applicable development path. A development path that continuously benefits the people is the most viable one. Countries and nations should respect their differences and seek harmony without uniformity, and civilizations should draw strength from each other and make progress together. Exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations should be a driving force for human progress and a strong underpinning for world peace.

We should make our world clean and beautiful by pursuing green and low-carbon development. It means bidding farewell to the destructive exploitation of resources and preserving and enjoying the lush mountains and lucid waters. Humanity coexists with nature. Any harm we inflict on nature will eventually come back to haunt us. We often take natural resources such as air, water, soil and blue sky for granted. But we could not survive without them. Industrialization has created a level of material wealth never seen before, but it has also inflicted irreparable damage on the environment. We must not exhaust all the resources passed on to us by previous generations and leave nothing to our children, or pursue development in a destructive way. Lush mountains and lucid waters are invaluable assets. We must follow the philosophy of harmony between humanity and nature and observance of the laws of nature and pursue a path of sustainable development, so that everyone is able to enjoy a starry sky, lush mountains and fragrant flowers.

All good principles should adapt to changing times in order to remain relevant. A broad consensus of solidarity and cooperation has developed in the international community behind the proposal and the implementation of the concept of a global community of shared future to address the challenges facing humanity. Looking to the future, it is bound to shine as a pioneering thought with the power of truth that transcends time and space, opening up a beautiful prospect of common development, long-term stability, and sustained prosperity for human society. The future of humanity is bright, but it will not come without effort. Building a global community of shared future is both a salutary vision and a historical process that calls for generations of hard work.

China is ready to work with the Maldives and other countries hand in hand to make even greater contribution to building a global community of shared future.