This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (UN). The past 75 years have witnessed dramatic progress in human society, profound changes in the international situation, and rapid development of multilateralism.
The international community has experienced countless tests and currently is facing major changes unseen in a century. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has swept the globe, has pushed the world to a crossroads with an accelerated pace. Countries in the world share more intertwined interests and their future more closely linked together than before.
The cause of world peace and development has encountered unprecedented trials and hardships. Solidarity or breakup, cooperation or confrontation, burden sharing or blame shifting? Humankind has to make crucial choices at this crossroads. It is against this backdrop that the 75th UN General Assembly was held. Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the High-level Meeting to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the UN, the General Debate of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly and met with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres via videolink.
In these meetings, President Xi, with a long-term strategic viewpoint and from a broad historical perspective, answered a series of important questions: What kind of world is humankind facing? What kind of UN is needed for the world? What kind of China does the world face? Only when we know what kind of world humankind is facing can we go steady and far along the right track.
The COVID-19 pandemic is like a mirror. It has not only reflected the difficulties in the world development, but shown the persistent problems in human development pattern and lifestyle, and the weak links in global governance system. By summarizing the “four reminders” brought by COVID-19 to humanity, President Xi vividly outlined the trend of the times. COVID-19 reminds us that we are living an interconnected global village with a common stake, and that to pursue a beggar-thy-neighbor policy or just watch from a safe distance when others are in danger will eventually land one in the same trouble faced by others.
Therefore, we must reject attempts to build blocs to keep others out and oppose a zero-sum approach. We must embrace the vision of a community with a shared future in which everyone is bound together. We must see each other as members of the same big family and pursue win-win cooperation. Economic globalization is an indisputable reality and a historical trend. The world will never return to isolation. No one can sever the ties between countries.
We must face up to such major issues as the wealth gap and the development divide. We must pursue open and inclusive development, remain committed to building an open world economy, and say “no” to unilateralism and protectionism. The beaten path of extracting resources without investing in conservation, pursuing development at the expense of protection, and exploiting resources without restoration is unsustainable. Humankind should launch a green revolution and move faster to create a green way of development and life.
We should make efforts to achieve a green recovery of the world economy in the post-COVID era and create a powerful force driving sustainable development. Global governance system calls for reform and improvement. We must stay true to multilateralism and safeguard the international system with the UN as its core, follow the principle of extensive consultation, joint cooperation and shared benefits, and promote reforms of the global governance system so that it can adapt itself to evolving global political and economic dynamics, meet global challenges and embrace the underlying trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation. Regarding the question “what kind of UN is needed for the world”, President Xi Jinping put forward a “fourpoint proposal”, which answered the question in a way that upholds the purposes of the UN Charter and conforms to the historical trend.
We need a UN that stands firm for justice, observes the principle of mutual respect and equality among all countries, big or small, persists in extensive consultation, joint cooperation and shared benefits, and opposes hegemony, bullying and bossing. We need a UN that upholds the rule of law, unswervingly safeguards the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and coordinates relations among countries and their interests according to rules and regulations.
Countries in the world must not be lorded over by those who wave a strong fist at others, and there must be no practice of exceptionalism and double standards. We need a UN that promotes cooperation, replaces conflict with dialogue, coercion with consultation and zero-sum with win-win, and aims to build a big global family of harmony and cooperation. We need a UN that focuses on real action, aiming at problem solving and moving toward tangible outcomes as it advances security, development and human rights in parallel. Priority should be given to addressing non-traditional security challenges such as public health, and there should be greater emphasis on the promotion and protection of the rights to subsistence and development. As to the question “what kind of China does the world face”, President Xi sent out Chinese voices and made Chinese commitments by raising a series of clear-cut policy proposals and practical measures and initiatives. As the largest developing country in the world, China is following a right path featuring peaceful, open and cooperative development.
China will never seek hegemony, expansion or sphere of influence. It has no intention to fight either a Cold War or a hot war with any country. It does not seek to develop only itself or engage in a zero-sum game. Instead of pursuing development behind closed doors, China aims to foster, over time, a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulation reinforcing each other, which will add impetus to global economic recovery and growth. Following the high-level meetings marking the 70th anniversary of the UN held in 2015, President Xi Jinping, once again, announced “four steps” at the UN General Assembly to support the UN’s central role in international affairs. China will provide another US$50 million to the UN COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan; China will provide US$50 million to the China-FAO South-South Cooperation Trust Fund (Phase III); China will extend the Peace and Development Trust Fund between the UN and China by five years after it expires in 2025; China will set up a UN Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Center and an International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals to facilitate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In addition, President Xi reiterated China’s firm resolve in actively involving itself in the international fight against COVID-19 and contributing its share to upholding global public health security. He said that China will continue to share its epidemic control practices as well as diagnostics and therapeutics with other countries, ensure stable global anti-epidemic supply chains, and actively participate in the global research on tracing the source and transmission routes of the virus. President Xi Jinping once again stressed that the COVID-19 vaccines developed by China, once available for use, will be made a global public good and they will be provided to other developing countries on a priority basis. Actions speaks louder than words. In bearing a major country’s responsibilities and improving the well-being of humankind, China is always a country of action which match words with deeds, a builder of global peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order. In the right path of defending multilateralism, China has never been a “loner”. The majority of countries in the world, including Tanzania, are China’s “fellow travelers” which practise international cooperation.
China and Tanzania always respect each other’s right to independently explore the political system and development path, and maintain close communication and collaboration in such global issues as the UN reforms, climate change, reforms of the World Trade Organization and fighting pandemics. Both China and Tanzania are committed to protecting the common interests of developing countries and fostering a more equitable and reasonable international order. Looking ahead, China will work with other friendly countries around the globe to uphold multilateralism and safeguard the multilateral system, maintain peace and promote development so as to create a better future for the world.