By He Yin
“China calls on all countries in Asia and beyond to answer the call of the times, defeat the COVID-19 pandemic through solidarity, strengthen global governance, and keep pursuing a community with a shared future for mankind,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping in a keynote speech delivered via video link at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 on April 20.
In the speech entitled “Pulling Together Through Adversity and Toward a Shared Future for All”, the Chinese leader also elaborated upon Chinese proposals for advancing high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, pointing out the direction for surmounting the current crisis and achieving development and prosperity for Asia and the entire world.
“While we live in an age rife with challenges, it is also an age full of hope,” Xi said, noting that the combined forces of changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century have brought the world into a phase of fluidity and transformation and that instability and uncertainty are clearly on the rise.
As global challenges require responses from all countries, the call for upholding multilateralism and enhancing communication and coordination has grown stronger.
“Where should humanity go from here? What kind of future should we create for future generations,” Xi asked, considering these important questions a test of humankind’s wisdom.
China’s solution to these questions is building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Countries need consultation on an equal footing to create a future of shared benefits, openness and innovation to create a future of development and prosperity, solidarity and cooperation to create a future of health and security, as well as commitment to justice to create a future of mutual respect and mutual learning, Xi stressed.
It is generally acknowledged by the international community that China’s proposals bear great significance for guiding people through the fog blanketing humankind and helping them find the right way forward.
In response to the countercurrent of unilateralism, China proposed following the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, upholding true multilateralism, and making the global governance system fairer and more equitable.
In this age of economic globalization, openness and integration is an unstoppable historical trend. Attempts to “erect walls” or “decouple” run counter to the law of economics and market principles. They would hurt others’ interests without benefiting oneself.
To combat vaccine nationalism, China believes it important to bolster international cooperation on the R&D, production and distribution of vaccines and increase their accessibility and affordability in developing countries so that everyone in the world can access and afford the vaccines they need.
As regards the rise of a new “Cold War” and ideological confrontation, China pointed out that countries must advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are common values of humanity, and encourages exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations to promote the progress of human civilization.
China’s proposals and practices have been echoed and highly praised by politicians and officials from foreign countries during the conference.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera expressed admiration for China’s efforts to increase the production of COVID-19 vaccines so that they can benefit people in other countries while serving the Chinese people.
As long as countries adhere to the path of globalization, uphold the principles of openness, inclusiveness, mutual benefit and win-win result, and strengthen mutual trust and support, they can absolutely create a better world and a closer community with a shared future for mankind, said Thongloun Sisoulith, President of Laos.
By promoting joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China has put the idea of building a community with a shared future for mankind into practice. Amid the unstable and unbalanced world economic recovery, various parties have shown greater expectations of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
Xi said China will continue to work with countries participating in the Belt and Road construction in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and build with them a closer partnership for health cooperation, connectivity, green development, as well as openness and inclusiveness, in a bid to contribute positively to the common prosperity of humankind.
Nursultan Nazarbayev, first President of Kazakhstan, noted that the BRI has repeatedly demonstrated its viability and significance for promoting advanced cooperation concepts and globalization over the past years.
Cambodia greatly values China’s attentiveness and commitment in the implementation of the Health Silk Road under the BRI, said Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, who believes that China’s humanitarian assistance for other countries amid the pandemic bears vivid testimony of China’s global leadership.
It is crucial that countries bear in mind the shared interests of mankind and make responsible and wise choices when deciding future paths, according to Xi, noting that China will stay committed to peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, and continue to play its part in building world peace, promoting global development, and defending international order.
The country will join hands with other countries, pool efforts together and keep to the right direction so that the giant vessel of human development will stay on an even keel and sail toward a brighter future, Xi said.