Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary has, with a keen appreciation of the future of mankind and the trend of the times and an accurate grasp of the strategic direction of China’s relationship with the rest of the world, put forward the important vision of creating a community of shared future for mankind on a number of international occasions. This vision has received warm response from the wider international community and is exerting positive and far-reaching influence on contemporary international relations. Under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee and holding high the banner of creating a community of shared future for mankind, China is making great strides in its diplomacy to uphold world peace and promote common development and is writing another splendid chapter in its journey toward the great renewal of the Chinese nation.
A Major Innovation in the Theory of Major-country Diplomacy with Chinese Features
The vision of a community of shared future for mankind is rooted in the time-honored Chinese civilization and the great conduct of China’s diplomacy. It also meets the sincere wishes and lofty aspirations of all countries for peace, development, cooperation and progress. This vision, therefore, has profound and rich theoretical meaning. In the past three years and more, President Xi Jinping has expounded on this important vision on numerous international occasions. In September 2015, at the summits commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, President Xi Jinping fully elaborated on the vision, laying emphasis on the need to forge partnerships in which countries treat each other as equals, engage in mutual consultation and show mutual understanding, create a security architecture featuring fairness, justice, joint contribution and shared benefits, promote open, innovative and inclusive development that benefits all, increase inter-civilization exchanges to enhance harmony, inclusiveness and respect for differences, and build an eco-system that puts mother nature and green development first. These five aspects, taken together, constitute the overall approach to create a community of shared future for mankind, depict a bright future for progress of international relations and represent a major innovation in the theory of major-country diplomacy with Chinese features. Each presenting the community of shared future for mankind from a different perspective, the five aspects are mutually reinforcing and indispensable parts of an integral whole.
Building partnerships is a major pathway. It is where we should start if we are to create a community of shared future for mankind. Comrade Xi Jinping has stressed that we need to build global partnerships at regional and international levels and find a new path for state-to-state interactions featuring dialogue and partnership rather than confrontation and alliance. To create a community of shared future for mankind calls on all countries to abandon the outdated mindset of seeking alliance or confrontation, act along the trend of the times, treat each other as equals, value consultation and mutual understanding, and explore partnerships that are inclusive and constructive instead of targeting at an imagined enemy or any third party. This has made the direction and route clear for countries to properly handle their relations.
Realizing security for all is an important guarantee. Today, security of all countries is inter-related and will affect each other. Without genuine security, it would be impossible to create a community of shared future for mankind. Comrade Xi Jinping has pointed out that it is important to establish a new vision for common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, address traditional and non-traditional security threats in a coordinated manner, and ensure that security is upheld and shared by all. A positive contribution to global peace and security, the new security vision will help enhance mutual trust and coordination among countries and enable them to work together to address security challenges and maintain world and regional peace.
Win-win cooperation is the fundamental principle. New era calls for new mentality. Comrade Xi Jinping has pointed out that it is important to build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation, replace the old mindset of zero-sum game with a new thinking for win-win and all-win progress, accommodate others’ interests while pursuing one’s own and promote common development while striving for one’s own. China is a strong advocate for win-win cooperation, which should take the place of confrontation and exclusiveness. This fundamentally rejects the law of the jungle under which the weak is bullied by the strong and will help open up a new era of joint progress and common development for all countries.
Promoting inter-civilization exchanges is a strong bond. It is an important aspect of the endeavor to build a community of shared future for mankind. Comrade Xi Jinping has stressed that each nation and civilization have its distinct features, and no one can claim to be superior to others. Diverse civilizations, through harmonious coexistence and mutual learning, may become a bridge of friendship among peoples, a driving force for social progress and a bond for world peace. Only with such attitude toward civilization can different civilizations flourish together and jointly promote harmony and progress of human society. Any rhetoric to stir up “clash of civilizations” or trumpet the superiority of a certain civilization runs counter to the endeavor to create a community of shared future for mankind.
Promoting sustainable development is an important precondition. Comrade Xi Jinping has made it clear that the international community should work together to raise the awareness of the need to respect, accommodate and protect nature, adhere to the path of green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable development, and realize sustainable development of the world and all-round development of human being. The history of human society shows that only in this way can countries effectively address challenges brought by industrial civilization, work for harmony between man and nature, and jointly build and protect our shared planet.
China Element in the Cause of Human Development and World Peace
The vision of a community of shared future for mankind charts the course for human development and progress, and aims to promote world peace and prosperity. It is a vision with distinct Chinese features.
It is a vision of justice. In a community of shared future for mankind, all countries, irrespective of their size, strength and wealth, are equal, and all are entitled to enjoy dignity, development benefits and security guarantee due to them; all observe the basic norms governing international relations centering around the purposes and principles of the UN Charter as well as the basic principles of international law, and all work to uphold the universal values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom. The vision is based on a moral high ground and leads the trend of development of the times.
It is a vision of peace. The fundamental nature of China’s diplomacy is for peace, and peace constitutes the nature and a prerequisite of the vision of a community of shared future for mankind. To build such a community, all countries are called upon to adhere to the path of peaceful development, oppose the use or threat of force, be resolute in upholding the sovereignty and legitimate rights and interests of a nation, and stay committed to peaceful settlement of international disputes through dialogue and negotiation. The purpose is to bring about harmony and amity among nations as well as peaceful development for all.
Community of shared future for mankind is in itself an open and inclusive system that holds bright prospects. It brings countries together, however different they may be in geographical location, history, culture, social system, size of economy or development stage. As a core concept of such a community, countries come together in a common cause to foster common ground and harmonious coexistence by shelving their differences, and all work to strengthen win-win cooperation, uphold and expand legitimate national interests, and each contribute their fair share to human development and progress.
The vision is an integrated one. The community of shared future for mankind is a multi-dimensional concept. In terms of geographical scope, China has called for building communities of shared future at the bilateral, regional and global levels. In terms of content, the community of shared future covers the political field, as well as security, development, culture and the environment. The evolution of the vision has gone through three stages: a community of shared interests, a community of shared responsibilities and a community of shared future. Shared interests and shared responsibilities constituted the foundation and due path for building a community of shared future, which is an elevated integration of the community of shared interests and the community of shared responsibilities.
The vision is a scientific one. It is a forward-looking idea regarding the trend of development in the world. It represents a common aspiration and common goal of human development and requires long-term efforts of all countries in the world. At the same time, it represents the common value, code of conduct and pathway that countries need to embrace to jointly tackle the current development and security challenges and properly handle state-to-state relations. The vision originates from the practice of international relations and keeps moving forward with the development in the real world. It shines as the crystallization of dialectical materialism and historical materialism.
A China Solution Regarding the Changing International Order and International System
The vision of a community of shared future for mankind charts the course and draws the blueprint for human development and progress. Changes of a historic nature are taking place in the world, and the international order and the global landscape as well as the global governance system are in a process of profound and complex evolution. Countries are eagerly looking for solutions to such question as how to uphold the post-war international order with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter at the core? How to promote democracy, the rule of law and proper balance in international relations? How could countries work together for a better future at a time of growing economic globalization, multi-polarization, cultural diversity and in an information era? China’s solution to these significant questions is to build a community of shared future for mankind. The China solution is put forward to help address the changing international order and system. What it points to is a bright future where all are free from want, all have access to development and enjoy dignity, and all live in a beautiful world of harmony and mutual respect.
The initiative of building a community of shared future for mankind has broken new ground for the great renewal of the Chinese nation and lent it fresh impetus. China today is moving closer to the center of the world stage and to realizing the goal of national renewal than ever before. As China enters the critical stage of the great national renewal, its future and destiny are ever more closely connected with that of the world. As part of advocating and advancing the building of a community of shared future for mankind, China will promote the interests of its own people in conjunction with the common interests of people all over the world and pursue the Chinese dream in the course of attaining the dream of the whole world, thus adding a more profound global significance to the great renewal of the Chinese nation. This demonstrates the global vision of China as a responsible major country to synergize its own development with the common development of the world. In building a community of shared future for mankind, China encourages all countries to coexist peacefully, engage in sound interaction and seek win-win cooperation. This in turn will create a favorable environment for the great renewal of the Chinese nation.
The initiative of building a community of shared future for mankind is a key component in China’s innovation in the theory and practice of major-country diplomacy with Chinese features and enriched the national governance approaches and strategies of the Party Central Committee. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary, on the basis of overall continuity in major foreign policies, has pioneered new theories and practices of Chinese foreign policy and set China on a new journey of major-country diplomacy with Chinese features. As the core outcome of these pioneering efforts, the building of a community of shared future for mankind, together with the realization of the great renewal of the Chinese nation, has been held up as twin goals of major-country diplomacy with Chinese features. It is under the guidance of this vision that we have established the theoretical framework of major-country diplomacy with Chinese features, with peaceful development as the strategic choice, win-win cooperation as the basic principle, partnership-building as the main pathway, and balanced approach to friendship and interests as the overarching principle. This has enriched the national governance approaches and strategies of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary and become an important component of the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The initiative of building a community of shared future for mankind has drawn on the culture and wisdom of both China and other countries and enhanced the communication and understanding between China and the world. The concept of community of shared future for mankind carries forward traditional Chinese philosophical beliefs such as “harmony is of paramount value”, “achieve universal prosperity in the whole world” and “unity of man and nature”. It is in line with the diplomatic traditions of New China, including the independent foreign policy of peace, Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, win-win strategy of opening up and the building of a harmonious world. It also reflects the common aspiration of people all over the world for development and progress and the beneficial experience of some regions and countries in building communities. Embodying both salient Chinese features and common values of all mankind, it has won the support of countries all over the world, particularly developing ones. This concept is aimed to seek the broadest common interests of countries in building a better future for mankind, and will be conducive to enhancing heart-to-heart communication between people in China and other countries and the mutual understanding between China and the rest of the world.
“A time will come to ride the wind and cleave the waves, I’ll set my cloud-like sail to cross the sea which raves.” China is not only an advocate for the building of a community of shared future, but also a practitioner, contributor and pioneer. On this journey, Chinese diplomacy will continue to uphold the themes of peaceful development and win-win cooperation, foster a more favorable international environment for the realization of the two centenary goals and the Chinese dream of great national renewal, and make new and even greater contribution to peace, development and progress of mankind.The vision is an inclusive one.