Endeavor to Shape the Future of Humanity*
March 26, 2019
In my speech at the United Nations Office at Geneva two years ago, I raised a question: "What is happening to the world and how should we respond?" The world today is undergoing momentous changes unseen in a century. Peace and development remain the underlying trend of our time, yet humanity is faced with many common challenges, particularly mounting instability and uncertainty.
As a French proverb goes, every man is the architect of his own fate. All countries need to demonstrate a strong commitment to their global responsibilities in the face of daunting global challenges. Indeed, they need to determine a decisive direction for humanity at this juncture. We must take action instead of simply watching as bystanders, and endeavor to shape the future of humanity.
First, we need to address the governance deficit in a fair and equitable way. Across the globe, flashpoints keep emerging. Non-conventional security threats, such as climate change, cybersecurity, and the refugee crisis, are spreading. Protectionism and unilateralism are mounting. The global governance system and the multilateral system are under assault. It is therefore important that we promote global governance that is based on consultation and cooperation and will benefit all. We should ensure that global affairs are managed by all the people through consultation; and we should work together to see that rule-making in global governance is more democratic. We should uphold multilateralism as represented by the United Nations, give full play to the constructive role of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Group of 20, the European Union and other international and regional multilateral mechanisms, and work together to build a global community of shared future.
Second, we need to strengthen consultation and mutual understanding to address the trust deficit. Trust is the best adhesive to bring countries together. We are seeing more competition and friction, and more geopolitical rivalry, which have eroded international trust and cooperation. We need to enhance mutual trust and respect, make full use of dialogue and consultation, and seek common ground while shelving and reducing differences. We need to engage in candid and in-depth dialogue to enhance strategic mutual trust and reduce misgivings. We need to pursue the greater public good and shared interests and build global partnerships for a shared future for all countries. We also need to promote dialogue between different civilizations so as to increase mutual understanding and appreciation, and ensure that peoples of all countries have understanding, respect and trust of each other and are close to each other. In current China-EU relations, cooperation far outweighs competition, and even such competition is benign in nature. We should trust each other and forge ahead together.
Third, we need to enhance solidarity to address the peace deficit. The current global security environment is still a source of concern. Local wars and conflicts continue, and some parts of the world are plagued by terrorism, devastating the lives of many, particularly children. We should take a new approach towards security and pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. We must reject the Cold War mentality, the zero-sum game mindset, and the law of the jungle, and promote peace and security through cooperation. We should resolve disputes through peaceful means, oppose the arbitrary use or threat of force, oppose any provocation and escalation of tensions for self-interest, and reject the practice of shifting trouble onto neighbors and seeking gain at the expense of others. All countries should pursue peaceful development in a common endeavor to achieve enduring global peace.
Fourth, we need to pursue mutually beneficial cooperation to address the development deficit. Economic globalization is an engine of global growth. However, a trend against globalization is emerging, and the harm of protectionism is all too visible. Income disparity and the imbalance in development among regions are growing. They have become the most pressing issues to tackle when it comes to world economic governance. We need to pursue innovation-driven development to foster dynamic growth. We need to take a well-coordinated and interconnected approach to enhance open and win-win cooperation. We need to uphold equity and inclusiveness to promote balanced and inclusive development so that people across the world can all benefit from economic globalization. China supports efforts to carry out necessary reform of the WTO, to make the world economy more open, and to safeguard the multilateral trading system, thus enabling economic globalization to advance in the right direction. The Belt and Road Initiative enriches international economic cooperation and multilateralism; and it offers an important way of achieving global growth and common development. China welcomes France and other countries to take part in the Belt and Road Initiative.
* Part of the speech at the closing ceremony of the Seminar on Global Governance co-hosted by China and France in Paris.
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)