Key Messages of China’s Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs to the World (II) – by Cao Zhongming, Ambassador of China to Belgium
On December 27-29, 2023, an important conference was held in Beijing, China. That is the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs and the work conference for overseas envoys to foreign countries. The Conference gave a systematic elaboration on and a comprehensive summary of the substantial practices in building a global community of shared future over the past decade, and established the pillars of building a global community of shared future as a scientific system. It was pointed out at the conference that building a global community of shared future is the core tenet of Xi Jinping’s Thought on Diplomacy. It is how China proposes to solve the questions of what kind of world to build and how to build it based on our deepening understanding of the laws governing the development of human society. It accords with the common aspiration of people in all countries and points the direction for the progress of world civilizations. It is also the noble goal pursued by China in conducting major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics for the new era.
In building a global community of shared future, the goal is to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world of lasting peace, universal security and shared prosperity. At a high-level meeting on jointly building a global community of shared future held at the United Nations Office at Geneva on January 18, 2017, President Xi Jinping proposed to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world of lasting peace, universal security and shared prosperity. This proposal has set a clearer goal and drawn a clearer blueprint for the future of humanity. To build a world of lasting peace through dialogue and consultation means beating the swords of war into the ploughshares of peace; To build a world of common security for all through joint efforts means turning absolute security for one into common security for all; To build a world of common prosperity through win-win cooperation means bidding farewell to the winner-takes-all mindset and sharing development achievements; To build an open and inclusive world through exchanges and mutual learning means bidding farewell to the mindset that one civilization is superior to another and starting to appreciate the strengths of other civilizations; To build a clean and beautiful world by pursuing green and low-carbon development means bidding farewell to the destructive exploitation of resources and preserving and enjoying the lush mountains and lucid waters.
In building a global community of shared future, the pathway is promoting global governance that features extensive consultation and joint contribution for shared benefit. To be more specific, it means global affairs must be discussed by all, governance systems built by all, and benefits of governance shared by all, so that every country is a participant, contributor, and beneficiary of world peace and development. Countries need to actively advocate greater democracy in global governance rules, and ensure that all countries enjoy equal rights and opportunities and follow the same rules; We should choose dialogue over confrontation, tear down walls rather than erect walls, pursue integration instead of decoupling, opt for inclusiveness, not exclusion, and guide reforms of the global governance system with the principle of fairness and justice, so that the global governance system will reflect the evolving political and economic landscape in the world, conform to the historical trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation, and meet the practical needs in addressing global challenges.
In building a global community of shared future, the guiding principle is to apply the common values of humanity. China advocates peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, the common values of humanity, and respects the diversity of world civilizations. These common values have their roots in the profound traditional Chinese culture, are founded on commonalities of values that transcend differences, highlight the shared aspiration of people of all countries for a better life, and set new coordinates of values for building a global community of shared future that are in line with the trends of times and shared interests of humanity. We will promote the harmonious coexistence of civilizations and realize win-win cooperation between countries by upholding the common values of humanity. On top of that, it is important to firmly reject imposing one’s own values and ideas on others in disregard of countries’ different histories, cultures, systems and development stages.
In building a global community of shared future, the basic underpinning lies in building a new type of international relations. The new type of international relations has paved the way for building a global community of shared future. A new type of international relations should be built on the principles of mutual respect, equity and justice, and mutually beneficial cooperation. The law of the jungle must be abandoned and a new path for state-to-state relations featuring dialogue over confrontation and partnership over alliance needs to be found. It is important to treat others with sincerity and equality, and oppose power politics and bullying practices; It is necessary to discard extreme materialism and overemphasis on competition, and ensure that all countries have equal rights and opportunities for development; It is necessary for countries to reject the maximization of self-interest, address the legitimate concerns of other countries while pursuing their own interests, and promote common development of all countries alongside their own development.
In building a global community of shared future, the strategic guidance comes from the implementation of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative. Development serves as the material foundation for security and civilization, security acts as the fundamental prerequisite for development and civilization, and civilization provides the cultural-ethical support for development and security. The three global initiatives put forward by President Xi Jinping guide the advance of human society across these three dimensions. Resonating and complementing each other, they have evolved into a crucial cornerstone for building a global community of shared future, offering China’s solutions to major challenges pertaining to peace and development for humanity. China has made active efforts to implement the three global initiatives, which have had the unequivocal support and warm response from over 100 countries.
In building a global community of shared future, the platform for action is high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a vivid example of building a global community of shared future. Put forward by President Xi Jinping in 2013, the BRI, drawing inspiration from the ancient Silk Road and focusing on enhancing connectivity, aims to enhance policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity, inject new impetus into the global economy, create new opportunities for global development, and build a new platform for international economic cooperation. Over the past 10-plus years, Belt and Road cooperation has stayed committed to its founding mission, and has grown rapidly and made historic achievements. A path of cooperation, opportunity and prosperity that leads to common development has been found. Benefiting over 150 countries, the BRI has become the most popular international public good and largest international cooperation platform in today’s world.
The building of a global community of shared future cannot be accomplished overnight, and it requires all countries to pursue the common good and build a beautiful home together. China is ready to work with EU members and other countries to uphold the vision of building a global community of shared future, play a bigger role in human progress and modernization, and usher in a bright prospect of peace, security, prosperity and progress for the world.