Members of China's 5th peacekeeping infantry battalion to South Sudan take a military exercise in South Sudan, on January 4, 2019 (XINHUA)
In his speech at the UN Office at Geneva four years ago, President Xi Jinping raised two critical questions: "What has happened to the world and how should we respond?"
To this day, these questions remain valid.
The world is undergoing a bevy of changes, many of them unseen in the past century. The novel coronavirus disease is yet to be contained and humans are standing at a crossroads, faced with some tough choices. Cooperation or confrontation? Openness or isolation? Mutual benefit or zero-sum game? How to build the global community and what kind of community is to be built to begin with? The world's population finds itself treading a fine line.
Peace and development are the aspirations held dear by all human beings. Even today, these goals are yet to be 100 percent met. Armed conflicts flare up from time to time. The Cold War mentality and power politics still exist. Nonconventional security threats, particularly terrorism, refugee crises, major communicable diseases and climate change fallouts, are rife.
It is mandatory that all nations forge ahead together.
This provides the context for Xi's proposal—a community with a shared future for humanity. In his speech on January 18, 2017, he elaborated on this notion by saying, "All countries are entitled to shape the future of the world, making international rules, managing global affairs and sharing the fruits of development."
Such a world should have lasting peace, common security for all and common prosperity. It should be open, inclusive, clean and beautiful.
Thus far, many people around the globe have embraced the concept, and they are taking tangible action. Nevertheless, this is not enough.
This great cause rests on the shoulders of humanity at large and thus demands the involvement of all. When it comes to the pursuit of common interests for future global development, we should rid ourselves of all distractions and join hands to turn this planet into one big family, transforming aspirations for a better life into a worldwide reality.