A tribute from China to humanity
Elias Jabbour
The closing ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, February 20, 2022. /CFP

The closing ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, February 20, 2022. /CFP

Editor's note: Elias Jabbour is a professor in the Faculty of Economic Sciences at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

As always happens at the closing events of the Olympic Games, the Olympic torch was extinguished and a fireworks party started forming Olympic rings. The world, an increasingly dangerous place because of COVID-19 and potential regional conflicts, needs hope for the future. After 19 days of competitions with the best winter athletes in the world competing in the Chinese capital, we can say that the closing event was a moment of tribute from China to humanity. A moment to be engraved in memory. The Chinese homage to the world could not be so simple and profound at the same time: "we are one world."

The richness of some details shows great messages. The images displayed on the big screen showing athletes competing in diversity and unity were very powerful. It is as if, for a few moments, the Chinese idea of a "community with a shared future" became reality under the slogan "we will be stronger together." Taking a digression, the world went through a troubled week in the international arena, with a high degree of instability and great risks. This closing event could not be so fundamental in the midst of attempts to invent a war by imperialism and its allies.

Back to the event and the games. There was 19 days of high-level competition. Norway maintained its hegemony conquered in the 2018 games with a total of 16 gold medals, followed by Germany with 12. China is confirming itself with an impressive performance. It went from 16th position in 2018 to third in 2022.

Looking at it historically, this is no ordinary accomplishment. It is a historic achievement of the Chinese people and socialism. No country in the world in history has left the social conditions that China suffered in 1949 to become a great Olympic and sportive power. It is the concept of rejuvenation of the Chinese nation taking place in the real movement.

Winter Olympics volunteers use cardboard skateboards at the end of the competition, February 20, 2022. /CFP

Winter Olympics volunteers use cardboard skateboards at the end of the competition, February 20, 2022. /CFP

From a geopolitical point of view, there are no coincidences. On one side of the world, decadent powers attempt a failed diplomatic boycott, are demoralized by announcing the day and time of an alleged Russian invasion of Ukraine while China honors humanity with an appeal around remembering that we are in "one world." The Chinese are not keen to just show that we live in one world. In practice, it demonstrates whether "one world" is not just a slogan, an advertisement.

The Chinese know that all the peoples on the Earth walk towards a single community. History demonstrates that this will occur as an imperative of human existence, as problems that cannot be solved within national frameworks become predominant. But not before that. The People's Republic of China demonstrates in practice that a "community with a shared future" cannot be a heterogeneous conglomerate of rich and miserable people, educated and ignorant, healthy and sick, strong and weak.

There is a struggle for the future of the human species that no analyst can ignore. The old order insists on something anachronistic, on the falsity of the clash of civilizations and the special character of a single country to the detriment of the entire human community. The world, increasingly unstable and dangerous, has had the sensation of experiencing two extremes in recent weeks. But in fact what happened was the struggle between two ways of seeing the world and its future. Indeed, there is no going back in history.

There are no "special nations" with a god-defined mission to catechize the world with their own values. That time is over. On the other hand, China has never had any kind of official religion, and has never set out to be a universal economic, political or ethical model – and therefore has never set out to catechize the rest of the world. In light of this vision that I present, if asked about the future of humanity, I am very clear that China, given its history, is not proposing to replace the United States as the articulating center of some kind of new "universal ethical project."

The only Chinese project is to deliver the best of its values ​​to the world. A special way to contribute to the future of humanity. In this sense, what I saw at the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics was not a demonstration of the moral superiority of their system and way of life. The Chinese made another decision: to pay a beautiful tribute to humanity.

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