The Guardian • Issue #2086

Building a community with a shared future for mankind

A Chinese proposal to solve global challenges for a better future

Chinese Consul General HE Long Dingbin delivering his speech for the Chinese New Year.

Chinese Consul General HE Long Dingbin delivering his speech for the Chinese New Year, the year of the Dragon, at the Chinese Consulate in Perth, Sunday 4 February 2024. Photo: Vinnie Molina.

The year 2023 has just passed, while the globe is gradually emerging from the haze of COVID-19 pandemic, the world is neither peaceful nor tranquil with weak economic recovery, frequent regional conflicts, intensifying climate change, and widening development gaps. Human development faces unprecedented major challenges.

As early as 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping propounded the idea of building a community with a shared future for mankind, answering a question raised by the times: “Where is humanity headed?”

The Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs held at the end of 2023 systematically elaborated and comprehensively summarised the practices of building a community with a shared future for mankind over the past 10 years, providing a more systematic and comprehensive Chinese proposal to solve global challenges and create a better future for mankind.

I had the honour of returning to China to participate in the annual work conference for overseas envoys to foreign countries in 2023, and I would like to take this opportunity to share the following views with my own experience, so as to enhance understanding of this Chinese concept, and to promote China-Australia relations for a better future.

How to understand building a community with a shared future for mankind

To build a global community with a shared future for mankind, as its name implies, all peoples, all countries, and all individuals – our destinies being interconnected – must stand together in adversity and through thick and thin, navigating towards greater harmony on this planet that we call home. We should endeavour to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity, turning people’s longing for a better life into reality.

The concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind has deep roots in China’s profound cultural heritage and its unique experience of modernisation. It carries forward the diplomatic traditions of the People’s Republic of China and draws on the outstanding achievements of all other civilisations.

To build a community with a shared future for mankind is not to replace one system or civilisation with another. Instead, it is about countries with different social systems, ideologies, histories, cultures, and levels of development coming together for shared interests, shared rights, and shared responsibilities in global affairs, and creating the greatest synergy for building a better world.

Why do we need to build a community with a shared future for mankind?

This is an era of promise, and an era of challenges. At yet another crossroads in history, we have to choose between unity and division, between opening up and closing off, between cooperation and confrontation. With the overall interests of humanity at stake, this choice tests the wisdom of all countries.

Standing at a crossroads, humanity is faced with two opposing options. One is to revert to the Cold War mentality that deepens division and antagonism and stokes confrontation between blocs. The other is to act for the common well-being of humanity, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, advocate openness and win-win results, and promote equality and respect. The tug of war between these two options will shape the future of humanity and our planet in a profound way.

It is precisely the latter path that China has chosen – joining hands to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

In the face of common challenges, no person or country can remain isolated. The only response is to work together in harmony and unity. All countries must realise that we are not steering our own small boats at sea, but rather a large ship with a common destiny. Only by joining hands to build a community with a shared future for mankind can we tide over the difficulties and create a better future together.

To build a community with a shared future for mankind, what are China’s proposals and actions?

China calls for an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalisation.

An equal and orderly multipolar world is one in which all countries, regardless of size, are treated as equals, hegemonism and power politics are rejected, democracy is truly promoted in international relations and true multilateralism must be practiced.

A universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalisation is one that meets the common needs of all countries, especially the developing countries, firmly promotes trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation and makes economic globalisation more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all.

China has not only been advocating a community with a shared future for mankind, but also put it into practice. From bilateral to multilateral and from regional to global dimensions, ground-breaking results have been achieved on every front. The Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative have taken root and borne fruit, bringing prosperity and stability to the world and creating substantive benefits for the people.

China’s GDP grew by 5.2 per cent in 2023, contributing more than 30 per cent of the world’s economic growth. China remains an important engine of global development.

Building a community with a shared future for mankind has been included in the resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly for seven consecutive years and in the resolutions or declarations of multilateral mechanisms such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the BRICS countries. The concept of a community with a shared future for mankind has become more and more influential and inspirational, forging a broad international consensus on joining hands to build a better world.

Promoting new development of China-Australia relations with the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

The Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs held at the end of 2023 has pointed out the direction for China’s diplomacy and is of great significance in guiding the healthy and stable development of China-Australia relations.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, and the development of China-Australia relation faces important opportunities. We are ready to strengthen dialogue and exchanges with all walks of life in Australia, join hands in promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and make unremitting efforts to realise common prosperity and development and promote the progress of the world.

As WA’s largest trading partner, China is the largest buyer of WA’s iron ore, gold, lithium, wheat, and mineral sands. The recent inaugural direct flight between Shanghai and Perth by China Eastern Airlines has made it even more convenient for people to travel between China and Western Australia.

My colleagues and I will do our utmost to take the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind as our guide, and the continued improvement of China-Australia relation as an opportunity to promote exchanges and cooperation between China and WA in various fields, including the economy, business, energy, tourism and people-to-people exchanges, so as to contribute to the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries towards a brighter future.

The Guardian can also be viewed/downloaded in PDF format. View More