Hu Zhangliang, Chinese ambassador to Sierra Leone (Photo via Chinese embassy to Sierra Leone)
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. While celebrating her own social economic development, China is committed to promoting peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit among all the nations.
In 2013, H.E. President Xi Jinping proposed the vision of Community with a Shared Future at Moscow State Institute of International Relations and the conception of China-Africa Community with a Shared Future at Nyerere International Convention Center in Tanzania. In addressing the summit commemorating the 70th anniversary of the United Nations in 2015, President Xi elaborated on his vision for A New Type of International Relations.
In October 2017, H.E. President Xi Jinping in his capacity as the General Secretary of Communist Party of China delivered a report at the 19th Party Congress. The centerpiece of the foreign policy sections of the report is to Build A New Type of International Relations and Build A Community with a Shared Future for Mankind. The two conceptions became the core essence of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. In that report, H.E. President Xi Jinping gave a coherent answer to important questions such as what our world should be like, what kind of foreign policy China needs, what is the best way to build state-to-state relation, and how to explore a better future for mankind. The two conceptions are in line with the trend of world development and the common aspirations of all peoples.
1. Building A New Type of International Relations
Building a new type of international relations is first and foremost about taking a new approach to developing state-to-state relations, which will pave the way for building a community with a shared future for mankind. In this endeavor, China advocates the adherence to the following key principles, mutual respect, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation.
Mutual respect is the prerequisite for building a sound relationship. All countries, regardless of their size, strength and wealth, should stand as equals. Different systems, religions and cultures should be treated equally. Countries and regions need to enhance interactions to diffuse misgivings and build consensus, hence achieving their own growth and prosperity and contributing to the progress of mankind as well.
Fairness and justice should be the norms of behavior among countries. China always supports the UN playing a central role in international affairs, observes the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and adheres to international laws and universally recognized norms governing international relations. China believes in building a more just and equitable international order by supporting the developing countries to have a greater say and representation in international affairs.
Win-win cooperation is the goal. Our world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. No country can stand aloof from the global challenges of terrorism, cyber insecurity and climate change. With the future of all countries closely connected and our interests intertwined, the only right choice is to meet the risks and challenges together and work for mutual benefit and common development. China calls on all countries to expand converging interests and jointly tackle challenges, with a view to upholding peace and promoting development.
2.Building A Community with a Shared Future for Mankind.
As the term suggests, a community with a shared future for mankind means that the destiny and future of each and every nation and country are interlocked. All countries and peoples should stand together through thick and thin, and endeavor to build this planet into a harmonious big family and realize mankind’s longing for a better life. China sincerely hopes that all countries will choose the path of peaceful development and work together for an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.
To achieve lasting peace needs to replace Cold War mentality and power politics with mutual respect, equal consultation and harmonious co-existence. To achieve universal security requires fostering a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, resolving disputes and differences through dialogue and consultation. To achieve common prosperity, countries are expected to draw on each other’s strength and work for the rebalancing of economic globalization, common development and progress through mutual assistance and mutually reinforced efforts. To build an open and inclusive world is to strive for open development, cultural diversity and mutual learning instead of seclusion, isolation or estrangement. To build a clean and beautiful world demands environmental and ecological protection as well as cooperation in addressing climate change.
Over the past 70 years, China has been working hard for the abovementioned goals. Since 1989, China has dispatched over 40,000 peacekeepers to around 30 operations, with more than 2,500 peacekeepers currently on duty in eight missions. A total of 21 Chinese military and police personnel lost their lives for UN peacekeeping. The Chinese peacekeepers are highly commended by the UN and host countries for their strict discipline and professionalism. China is the largest UN peacekeeping force contributor among the five permanent members of the Security Council.
Over the past 70 years, 850 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty. This accounts for over 70 percent of poverty reduction worldwide. Meanwhile, China has provided over 400 billion RMB yuan in foreign aid and sent over 600,000 aid workers to nearly 170 countries and international organizations.
In 2013, President Xi Jinping put forward the Belt and Road Initiative. With this initiative, China aims to contribute its wisdom and suggestions for better global economic governance and greater development worldwide. Many of African countries, including Sierra Leone also benefited from this important initiative and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. China has also been playing an essential role in addressing global climate change, promoting human rights and deepening people-to-people exchanges and cooperation.
The Chinese diplomatic efforts and achievements over the past decades demonstrate that China has always been a contributor to world peace, facilitator of global development and proponent of a just and reasonable international order. The building of a new type of international relations and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind require the participation of all countries and all peoples. Let all of us pool the strength together to advance this great cause.
(The author is Chinese ambassador to Sierra Leone)
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