In the first nine days of December, four international events held in China caught President Xi Jinping’s eye — he either attended or wrote congratulation letters to them.
Although the topics of the events varied from economic globalization to cooperation among political parties, the messages in Xi’s speech and letters radiated a China vision of global governance that is best summarized as “a community with a shared future for mankind.”
In his keynote speech at the opening of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting on Dec. 1, Xi described four pictures of the future: a world that is safe and free of fear, a world that is prosperous and free of poverty, a world that is open, inclusive and free of isolation, as well as a world that is environmentally clean and beautiful.
His letters, to the Fourth World Internet Conference on Dec. 3, the 2017 Fortune Global Forum on Dec. 6 and the South-South Human Rights Forum on Dec. 7, contained a common commitment to openness and cooperativeness.
Xi promoted building a community of common future in cyberspace, pledged to push for economic globalization that is “more open and inclusive, more balanced, more equitable and beneficial to all,” and called on developing countries to uphold both the universality and particularity of human rights and steadily raise the level of human rights protection.
“China has been more willing and confident in proposing ideas and solutions to problems facing all mankind,” said Zhang Shuhua, head of the Institute of Information Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Since first raised by Xi in 2013, the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind has been gradually crystallized, supported by practical initiatives and concrete actions.
In his Dec. 1 speech, Xi defined “building a community with a shared future for mankind” as, in essence, connecting the prospects and destinies of every nation and country closely together, sharing good days and bad, and turning Earth into a harmonious family.
“The concept of a community with a shared future for mankind overrides differences of ideologies, values, civilization models and political systems, while offering an alternative for realizing fair and reasonable global governance,” Zhang said.
As an attempt to realize this vision, China put forward the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa via land and maritime routes.
The Belt and Road Initiative links China’s development potential with other countries and aims to maintain international order through development, which embodies a perspective different from the West, Zhang said.
When protectionism and isolationism has gained momentum in some developed countries after the 2008 global financial crisis, China reiterated its commitment to opening-up and cooperation with other countries.
In his letters to the Fourth World Internet Conference and the 2017 Fortune Global Forum, Xi promised that China’s door to the world will never close but open wider.
President Xi’s vision of an open and inclusive world is deeply rooted in China’s development trajectory, said Liu Junhong, research fellow at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.
Having benefited from opening-up and globalization, China is not only aware of the importance of sharing opportunities and drawing on each other’s merit but also the necessity of coordinated effort to cope with global challenges, such as environmental issues, Liu said.
At the 19th CPC National Congress, Xi pronounced that socialism with Chinese characteristics has now entered a “new era.”
“Since China has made remarkable progress in its own governance, it is understandable that the country would like to share its experience with others and that others are willing to listen,” said Zheng Changzhong, from School of International Relations and Public Affairs at Shanghai-based Fudan University.
The CPC set a two-step approach to realize the goal of becoming a great modern socialists country in the middle of this century, after building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020.
The country also feel the need to work with and learn from other countries when addressing challenges it faces in the course of realizing these goals, Zheng said.