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A Global Consensus
Common values bring China closer to the world
By Wang Yiwei | NO. 6 FEBRUARY 8, 2018

The China Pavilion at the 23rd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany, showcases China's contribution toward mitigating the effects of global warming (XINHUA)
Historians of the future will probably define the year 2017 as a watershed moment in the development of globalization and the first year in the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. At the beginning of the year, when Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening session of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, he suggested that "we should adapt to and guide economic globalization." In his speech at the United Nations Office at Geneva, he thoroughly explained the definition and purpose of a community with a shared future for mankind. At the Communist Party of China in Dialogue With World Political Parties High-Level Meeting at the end of the year, Xi further elaborated on how to build this community.

In 2017, the 55th Session of the UN Commission for Social Development adopted by consensus the resolution on the social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa's Development. The vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind was written into a UN resolution for the first time. On November 1 of the same year, the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly approved two draft resolutions on Further Practical Measures for the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space and No First Placement of Weapons in Outer Space. This Chinese vision was again included in the UN resolutions.

UN Secretary General António Guterres commented, "China has become an important pillar of multilateralism, while the purpose of multilateralism is to build a community with a shared future for mankind."

Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, observed, "From my perspective, this is the only prospect for mankind on this planet."

Why is the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind welcomed by the world?

Inheritance and transcendence. In Geneva, Xi said, "From the principles of equality and sovereignty established in the Peace of Westphalia over 360 years ago to international humanitarianism affirmed in the Geneva Convention 150-plus years ago; from the four purposes and seven principles enshrined in the UN Charter more than 70 years ago to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence championed by the Bandung Conference over 60 years ago, many principles have emerged in the evolution of international relations and become widely accepted. These principles should guide us in building a community with a shared future for mankind." The vision transcends traditional thinking. The keywords are mankind, shared future and community. "Mankind" transcends national identity, embodying the responsibility of the world. Shared future upgrades win-win cooperation to embody closely interconnected interests. Community goes beyond the concept of a global village to embody the awareness of an extended collective with a common identity.

Interconnectedness and inclusiveness. There are differences among countries, and the world is diverse, but our common history, common situation and common pursuits keep countries closely linked, shaping common identities for a shared future. There is a saying in the West, "One for all, and all for one. In the East, there's the philosophy that "one should value not only one's own interest, but also the interest of others, and this will contribute to the interest of all." As the inclusion and integration of human thoughts, "a community with a shared future for mankind" seeks to expand common ground and narrow differences for a new human consensus. At the general debate of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly, Xi pointed out that "the greatest ideal is to create a world truly shared by all. Peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom are the common values of all mankind and the goals of the United Nations." The ideal of a community with a shared future for mankind is to seek the convergence of human values for a common human value.

Pragmatism and vision. The Belt and Road Initiative is a key driver in building a community with a shared future for mankind. While the vision contributes Chinese wisdom in solving the problems facing mankind, the Belt and Road offers a Chinese approach to doing so. A community with a shared future is the further development of a community of shared interests and responsibility, originally a vision for China's immediate neighborhood where the country thrives. Later, the vision was applied to developing countries, the highest realm being a community with a shared future for mankind. The vision has extended from the real world to cyberspace, from the traditional domain to the global commons, to make the deep sea, polar regions, outer space, the Internet and other fields into a new field of cooperation among all parties. With a common identity, we can strive to benefit from common development in a secure environment.

The vision of a community with a shared future for mankind is the extension of China's path to peaceful development and mutually beneficial cooperation, in the belief that the world is a commonwealth. The world shares the common need to reform global governance and build a new model of international relations as well as a new international order. Peaceful development is what the people of every country long for. It is also the responsibility of all statesmen. China's proposal is to build a community with a shared future for mankind and achieve shared and mutually beneficial development.

All in all, the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind carries on the purpose and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. It's the core of the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits for global governance, and the soul of the Belt and Road Initiative. It transcends the traditional saying that "mankind has only one earth, and it is home to all countries" to form a positive value that "we have a stake in each other's success and our future is closely connected." As members of a global human community with a shared future, we have come together to build a new human civilization—a world truly shared by everyone and for the benefit of all. The community with a shared future transcends the narrow perspective of nation states and different interests. For the lasting and sustainable development of human civilization, it pushes for a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation and a more just and equitable international order. This is the valuable inspiration we have drawn from the vision of a community with a shared future from the height of human civilization.

In the world today, the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind conforms to the universal aspiration of all countries to be at the helm of their own future, and to follow the path of development in accordance with their own national conditions. That is a fundamental cause to be embraced by the whole world.

The author is vice dean of the Institute of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era at Renmin University of China

This article was originally published on China Report

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