Bridging the gap in global governance
First Voice
Bridging the gap in global governance

Editor's note: CGTN's First Voice provides instant commentary on breaking stories. The column clarifies emerging issues and better defines the news agenda, offering a Chinese perspective on the latest global events.

At the Session I of the 2022 G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, Chinese President Xi Jinping opened his remarks with stern evaluation of the global environment. "The world economy is getting more fragile. The geopolitical environment remains tense. Global governance is seriously inadequate. Food and energy crises are compounded with one another. All this poses formidable challenges to our development," he said.

These words are applicable to the G20 members themselves as they have no shortage of problems with each other. And their problems have been driving many of the instability. China and the U.S. have been engaged in trade conflicts for several years. The United States and Europe are diverging on the energy issues. Not to mention Russia and Ukraine are still facing off each other on the battlefield.

But G20 members also have the power to make transformation of the international system that would bring about long-lasting peace and development.

G20 could be the driving force for stability or instability. The members have a choice. Together, they account for more than 80 percent of global GDP, 75 percent of international trade and 60 percent of the global population. Whether it is global economic recovery, health architecture, digital transformation or climate change, G20's cooperation has a decisive effect on international governance and problem-solving. B.R. Deepak, chair of the Center of Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, said that common solution to global challenges can be found in G20 "where these collective decisions and collective leadership are emphasized upon."

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with U.S. President Joe Biden in Bali, Indonesia, Nov. 14, 2022. /Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with U.S. President Joe Biden in Bali, Indonesia, Nov. 14, 2022. /Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with U.S. President Joe Biden in Bali, Indonesia, Nov. 14, 2022. /Xinhua

China believes in building a community with a shared future for humanity. "Only when countries develop together can there be true development; only when countries prosper together can there be true prosperity," Xi recently said. As he emphasized, food and energy security is the most pressing challenging in global development, but the root cause remains in the interrupted supply chains and international cooperation. Unilateral sanctions must be removed, and restrictions on relevant scientific and technological cooperation must be lifted. Any politicization of food and energy issue or actions of using them as tools and weapons must be resolutely opposed.

Developing countries are bearing the brunt of instability. To fulfill the theme of this year's G20 "Recover together, recover stronger," it'd require all nations – developed or otherwise – to truly see themselves as being on-board the same boat. The boat only moves when all roll in the same direction.

Sometimes it takes assistance and cooperation with no strings attached or favors to be returned at the end of the deal. China has been consistently providing incentives for growth and public goods to the world. Since the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was proposed in 2013, the total volume in trade of goods between China and countries along the BRI routes has reached nearly $11 trillion by the end of 2021. World Bank's report has shown that BRI could help in lifting 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million people out of moderate poverty globally; To combat the global COVID-19 pandemic, China has sent anti-virus supplies to more than 150 countries. China has provided over 2.1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations, accounting for one-third of total number of doses administered outside China.

As the largest economies in the world, international assistance shouldn't be used by G20 members as a geopolitical tool to contain one another. During his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on November 14, Xi said that there is always competition in the world, but competition should be about learning from each other to become one's better self and make progress together, not about taking others down in a zero-sum game.

The same can be said for not just China and the United States, but for all countries. There will always be competition, but competition means nothing if we are rolling the boat backwards or in opposite direction of each other. Solving global problems require a stable global governance and international system. We'd only get there when we could navigate the differences and find a way forward together.

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