Multilateralism more crucial than ever with world at a crossroads, experts say
With a global vision, President Xi Jinping has strategically steered the course of the giant ship of the nation in actively participating in and guiding the reform of global governance, to make the system fairer and more equitable amid the speedy evolution of the international landscape.
Over the past decade, Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, has proposed a number of initiatives on global governance as part of Chinese solutions to the mounting problems confronting humanity.
Analyzing the drastic changes of the international situation in a keynote speech at the BRICS Business Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa, four years ago, Xi said that the next decade will see a profound reshaping of the global governance system.
"The international community has reached a new crossroads, and we are facing a choice between cooperation and confrontation, between opening-up and a closed-door policy, and between mutual benefit and a beggar-thy-neighbor approach," Xi said.
Thus, the evolution of the global governance system will have a profound impact on the development of all countries, particularly emerging markets and developing countries, and indeed on the prosperity and stability of the whole world, Xi said.
Guo Shuyong, head of Shanghai International Studies University's School of International Relations and Public Affairs, said that the reform of the global governance system is at a historical juncture, as the world faces profound changes unseen in a century and is in a crucial period of new transformations.
Led by Xi, China has been actively involved in global governance reforms with an emphasis on upholding the international system with the United Nations at the core, demonstrating China's assumption of responsibility as a major country, and contributing to the nation's reform and development as well as world peace and development, Guo said.
When delivering a keynote speech via video at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021, Xi said that global governance should reflect the world's evolving political and economic landscape, conform to the historical trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation, and meet practical needs in addressing global challenges.
All countries should follow the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, uphold true multilateralism and make the global governance system fairer and more equitable, Xi said.
Former Belgian prime minister Yves Leterme said that Xi has time and again underlined the urgency and importance of strengthening multilateral cooperation in coping with global crises and challenges.
China is playing an increasingly important and indispensable role in boosting global cooperation, especially in the context of rising protectionism and unilateralism, Leterme wrote in an article published by the People's Daily.
He emphasized the need to readjust the international cooperation framework, saying that countries around the world should jointly work for a fairer, more equitable, more inclusive and more efficient global governance system.
A community with a shared future for mankind that President Xi has been advocating for will help advance the building of such a new global governance system, he added.
Since Xi proposed in 2013 the Belt and Road Initiative, an international public good to advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, the platform for win-win cooperation for countries involved in the initiative has delivered substantial benefits to them. These include infrastructural connectivity, facilitated trade and investment, policy coordination, financing support and stronger people-to-people bonds.
By the end of March, 149 countries and 32 international organizations had signed cooperation documents with China on jointly building the Belt and Road. As of June, the volume of trade in goods between China and countries involved in the BRI amounted to around $12 trillion, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
As the global development process hit major roadblocks, Xi proposed the Global Development Initiative last year, calling for forging a united, equal, balanced and inclusive global development partnership. The initiative has won support from many countries.
After the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out, Xi put forward the Global Security Initiative in April, calling on all countries to stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. He urged the international community to reject zero-sum games and jointly oppose hegemony and power politics, and called for building a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation.
Joseph Matthews, a senior professor at BELTEI International University in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, said that the Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative are crucial to building a more equitable global governance system toward a community with a shared future for mankind.
"The two initiatives are also the key to reinforced multilateralism, international cooperation and solidarity in order to address global challenges and concerns. Both initiatives are public goods that China provides to the rest of the world in addition to the BRI," Matthews told Xinhua News Agency.
China has always played a leading role in safeguarding global peace and security, he said, and the Global Development Initiative will foster a new type of security to replace the confrontation, alliance and zero-sum approach with dialogue, partnership and win-win results.