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How does an opening China build a better world with a shared future?


 , Updated 12:44, 15-Dec-2023

"What has happened to the world and how should we respond?"

As early as 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward this thought-provoking question in his speech at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

Stressing that China is pursuing a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up, Xi offered China's solution of building a global community of shared future to address challenges facing the world. 

This year marks the 45th anniversary of China's reform and opening up where participation in international affairs has been an important part.

As an opening China moves closer to the world's center stage, the country is taking an active part in the reform and development of the global governance system, with the concept of building a global community of shared future having grown from an idea to action and a vision to reality.

Concrete actions

President Xi has put forward the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Global Development Initiative (GDI), the Global Security Initiative (GSI) and the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI) as global public goods to turn the vision of shared future into reality.

Borrowing the idea of the ancient Silk Road that once linked Asia and Europe with trade, Xi envisioned the BRI as a framework connecting countries around the world through trade, investment, infrastructure development and people-to-people exchanges, among others.

Over the past decade, more than 150 countries and 30-plus international organizations have joined the initiative.

The building of the Belt and Road should be solidified and deepened to elevate the country's opening up to a new level, the Chinese president said.

In September 2021, Xi put forward the GDI, which has gained support from over 100 countries and a number of international organizations, including the UN. Over 70 countries have joined the Group of Friends of the GDI, and over 200 cooperation projects have been included in the GDI project pool.

Aiming to promote security for all around the globe, the GSI has gained support from more than 80 countries and regional organizations and has been written in more than 20 bilateral and multilateral documents on China's exchanges with relevant countries.

Calling for respect for the diversity of civilizations, the GCI has also received positive feedback.

World leaders also laud these initiatives' substantial progress. For instance, during Xi's latest trip to Vietnam, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong hailed that the BRI, GDI, GSI and GCI are important global initiatives aiming at safeguarding the common interests of all mankind and are fully in line with international laws. He told Xi these initiatives have received extensive support and positive response from the international community and that Vietnam firmly supports and stands ready to actively join them.

More just, equitable

The flag of a global community of shared future should be upheld to help make the global governance system fairer and more reasonable, President Xi has pointed out. This is also why China has been working relentlessly with other countries, notably the developing world, to this end.

From the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to BRICS, China has actively promoted the establishment of a number of international organizations and cooperation mechanism for emerging markets and developing countries.

The SCO is the world's largest and most populous regional organization, and the BRICS members represent a quarter of the global GDP and account for 16 percent of world trade.

Maya Majueran, director of Belt and Road Initiative Sri Lanka, an independent and pioneering Sri Lanka-led think tank, said that the U.S. and its Western allies should listen to the Global South's concerns and build a global governance system and international financial architecture that benefit all. "If not, the Global South, with the help of BRICS and the SCO, will lead that change and build a world order that is fair, just and equitable."

Sheriff Ghali Ibrahim, head of the department of political science and international relations at the University of Abuja, believes that with the rise of emerging economies, developing countries have become more vocal in global governance and have begun to push the globalization process toward a fairer and more inclusive direction through various multilateral cooperation mechanisms and platforms.

China has proven to be a pioneer since its concept of globalization has largely promoted a shared future for mankind with no discrimination, segregation or exclusion, the Nigerian expert said.

In his speech to BRICS Business Forum 2023, Xi noted that, as a developing country and a member of the Global South, China breathes the same breath as other developing countries and pursues a shared future with them, adding that it has resolutely upheld the common interests of developing countries and worked to increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries in global affairs.

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