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HongKong> Opinion> Content
Monday, October 22, 2018, 15:50
Initiative to benefit everyone
By Zhou Li
Monday, October 22, 2018, 15:50 By Zhou Li

Through the Belt and Road, China seeks common development for all nations, to build a community of shared future 

Over the past four decades since the reform and opening-up policy was launched, China has made brilliant achievements in both economic development and opening-up. The country’s social productivity and comprehensive national strength have risen significantly, and its status and influence in regional and world affairs have increased remarkably.

All these achievements are based on its long-cherished philosophy of peaceful development. China has a profound historical and cultural foundation for peaceful development.

Adhering to peaceful development and opening-up for mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation has been written into China’s Constitution, and this has become an established national development principle.

Since the founding of new China, especially since the introduction of its reform and opening-up policy, Chinese leaders have solemnly declared on many occasions that China will never seek hegemony no matter how developed it becomes.

China has never asked other countries to follow or “copy” its development model or other specific practices. It is China’s belief that world peace and common development can only be based on mutual respect, mutual cooperation, mutual learning and mutual trust.

So, it upholds the right approach to justice and interests, and it is actively building a global partnership network by expanding areas of common interest with other countries and promoting the building of a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equality and win-win cooperation.

In a message for the commemoration of the International Day of Peace, which is observed on Sept 21, President Xi Jinping emphasized that China is firmly committed to peaceful development and will always be a contributor to global development and a maintainer of the international order.

Over the past five years, China has put forward the Belt and Road Initiative for greater connectivity among countries, economies and regions, and launched fruitful cooperation, with many countries effectively enhancing mutual friendship and trust, and bringing people’s hearts and minds closer.

China has actively participated in the discussion, design and reform of the global governance system involving multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, G20 economies, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS (which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). It has also handled various disputes through consultations, and tried to resolve issues through dialogue with utmost sincerity and patience. 

The fragile world economic growth needs new impetus, development needs to be more balanced, and the gap between rich and poor needs to be bridged.

However, the Donald Trump administration of the United States, with its “America first” fixation, has adopted an extremist policy in a bid to strengthen the US’ hegemony and by means of power politics is brushing aside the established rules of international cooperation and bypassing the UN and other international organizations.

Under various excuses, it has launched rounds of unilateral sanctions and containment measures upon Russia, China, and Iran — even its allies — intensifying geopolitical hot spot issues, causing disruption to the global supply, industry and value chains, and creating a severe drag on the nascent global economic recovery.

What the US government has done has interrupted economic globalization, destroyed the existing international order and governance system, tainted the international political and economic ecology, and brought about many uncertain, unstable and unpredictable factors to the whole world.

This goes against the consensus among other countries that uphold multilateralism rather than unilateralism, free trade rather than protectionism, and mutual benefits rather than beggar-thy-neighbor gains.

The Belt and Road Initiative is an effort to unite and rally the international society to build a new type of international relations and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. It is designed to not just bridge geographical space, but to be a common development platform for all countries willing to participate in the process of globalization.

The Belt and Road Initiative and the proposal that countries work together to build a community of shared future for mankind dovetail with the goals and tasks set out in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in 2015.

As a result, the two initiatives have received a positive response from the international community and have been included in some official UN documents.

China’s ongoing efforts to implement the “innovative, coordinated, green, open and sharing” development concepts, advance the supply-side structural reform, and work together with other countries to advance the Belt and Road Initiative will bring the world more opportunities, and it wishes to work together with other countries to promote peace and common development.

The author is vice-president of the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament.

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