Michael Beary, head of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, awards the UN Peace Medal of Honor to Huang Yun, Commander of the 16th batch of the Chinese peacekeeping force, at a ceremony in south Lebanon's Hanniyah Village on April 6
On April 17, a forum on enhancing global governance for mutual benefit and win-win cooperation was held at Peking University. The event attracted political leaders and scholars from home and abroad, with some making speeches analyzing the current global situation as well as China's engagement in international cooperation since the advent of reform and opening up in the late 1970s. Edited excerpts of selected speeches follow:
Wu Hongbo, President of the China International Public Relations Association and former UN Under Secretary General
After decades of progress, today's globalization is facing severe challenges. Multilateral mechanisms are being undermined by the unilateralism of some countries. Since the end of World War II, the UN and other multilateral organizations have played a major role in maintaining world peace and promoting development. Although some problems remain and improvements are still to be made, it is unwise to abandon these institutions altogether. Donald Trump has adopted an "America first" policy and withdrawn the United States from the Paris Agreement and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). He has also called for slashing U.S. contributions to UN peacekeeping funds, which has raised eyebrows in other countries.
In the past four decades, globalization has contributed to the surge of international trade and the accumulation of wealth, but it has also widened the gap between the rich and poor. Globalization is the inevitable result of global economic growth and cannot simply be reversed at will by one country.
China has actively facilitated the construction of a fair and reasonable international political and economic order and shared with the world its own experience of development. In the future, China will continue to contribute to the reform of the global governance system and offer the country's wisdom of economic development as a path toward progress. China will also strengthen South-South cooperation through the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative. The initiative, consisting of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes. Moreover, China will more rigorously study theoretical approaches to development and their application in international affairs. The country must propose its own theories of global governance to promote globalization in the future.
Yang Jiemian, Chairman of the Academic Affairs Council, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies
Ongoing efforts to adjust the structures of global governance are unprecedented in both depth and width and China's advancement to the forefront of global governance has tipped the balance of these structures.
While international efforts continue toward the transition of global governance, some aspects of the existing system have survived many tests and proven useful. These should therefore be given the chance to continue to play a constructive role. Indeed, in recent decades epochal changes in the international community have tried to update what already exists rather than abandoning them altogether.
The world is dynamic and so is global governance. In the face of numerous global challenges, the international community is trying hard to find new norms, institutions and solutions.
The past decade has seen a rapid increase in China's role on the international stage. The country has gradually developed a comprehensive understanding of global governance and found ways to implement these ideas.
It has stressed that the UN holds a key role in global governance. In the face of attempts by some to belittle the UN and assume the role of rule maker, China stands firm in its defense of the organization.
China endeavors to uphold international fairness and justice, and follows the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration while engaging in global governance. China stands for democracy in international relations and the equality of all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor.
China believes that global governance depends on the international configuration of powers and its reform hinges on changes to that configuration. Therefore, it must focus on economic development and domestic issues so as to enhance the country's role in international affairs.
Over the past decade, China has proposed a number of ideas related to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. It not only talks about this community of mutual interests and common responsibility, but is building a shared future with countries in Southeast Asia and Africa. Chinese President Xi Jinping has encapsulated these ideas by calling for the people of all countries to work together to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity in the pursuit of a community with a shared future for mankind.
At present, there is a large gap between what the world needs from global governance and what is being done. Thus it is in the long-term interests of the entire international community to further improve the relevant conditions, core principles, mechanisms, strategies and policies. Important as China is in this regard, it cannot do it alone. The country needs to interact more frequently and constructively with other members of the international community.
Marielza Oliveira, Director of the UNESCO Cluster Office in Beijing and UNESCO Representative to China, the DPRK, Japan, Mongolia and the ROK
In the last few decades, globalization has become more and more intense. Connections now span the entire world, linking every country in a tremendously complex web of relationships that covers physical roads, virtual networks, financial engagements and international accords.
International communication is critical and no governance system can exist without rules. China has recently emerged as a very proactive proponent of new agreements and of innovative approaches for their implementation. UNESCO and its constituencies have benefitted from China's willingness to host, fund and contribute ideas and experiences. China's engagement has led to new declarations and recommendations, new partnerships and networks. More importantly, China's involvement has expanded the voice of the South in such dialogues.
In the institutions and systems that enable dialogue on critical issues, China has become a major player, contributing troops and funding to UN efforts in peace and security.
China is also changing the institutional landscape, having fostered the creation of new international institutions and is on the way to becoming a location-of-choice for nascent organizations. China was a driving force behind the creation of the New Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which aim to increase the flow of resources toward infrastructure to spur the development of member states.
With regards to mutual understanding, China is making more efforts to foster, support and engage with platforms and networks that promote friendly ties among nations and peoples. China is a major participant in UNESCO platforms such as the Creative Cities and Learning Cities networks.
Our interconnected world demands that we not only have an understanding of our own country, but of nations, cultures, languages and religions around the globe. China has prioritized education in its international cooperation. UNESCO has seen an increase in Chinese support for basic education and the training of young people and technical workers in Africa and in other countries along the Belt and Road routes.
Through the Belt and Road Initiative, China has unleashed vast investments to strengthen connectivity, inter-linkages and coordination with other economies, increasing joint access to critical services such as transportation and renewable energy. The aim is to catalyze and leverage growth and prosperity for all. China is also investing heavily in science, technology and innovation, with 20 percent of all global investments in research and development happening in China, behind only the United States.
With this extensive list of achievements already accomplished, it is no wonder that at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018, President Xi declared that "the Chinese people can say with great pride that reform and opening up, China's second revolution if you like, has not only profoundly changed the country but also greatly influenced the whole world."
Copyedited by Laurence Coulton
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