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Community with a shared future

Shakeel Ahmad Ramay
Monday, Feb 26, 2024

To understand the philosophy behind the vision of a Community with a Shared Future, one has to comprehend “Xi Jinping's Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”. Thought has been constructed to contribute to building a fair, rule-based, corruption-free, secure and prosperous society with the goal of creating peaceful living conditions. Thought also recognised the goals cannot be achieved without sharing prosperity with other countries. The distinguishing characteristic of President Xi’s thought is it furthers the idea of cosmopolitanism.

President Xi applied a scientific approach and traditional Chinese wisdom to construct the vision of a Community with a Shared Future. It is dubbed as a coherent analysis of global affairs as a Chinese solution to the global problems. It was required to negate trends of clash of civilisations, the end of history, etc.

These theories triggered conflicts and disturbed world peace. They portrayed the West as the ultimate winner and superior culture and civilisation. The fall of the USSR further strengthened their belief.

The West drafted the world agenda per their ideology and needs. They were pushing countries to imitate their governance, development, culture and economic models. If anyone refused, the West sanctioned that country and killed the investment and economic opportunities. They also waged senseless wars in the name of liberal democracy.

Against this backdrop, China came up with the vision of the Community with a Shared Future.

It refuted the idea of superiority and presented the vision of equality and equity, built on respect for diversity and cultures. It emphasised importance of diversity and its role in the development. There is no insistence on imitation of models of governance, democracy or economy. Rather, a community with a shared future furthers the role of an indigenised economy, governance and development model. It promotes the idea of resolving conflicts or disputes through dialogue and development.

President Xi supported the initiative with the Five-Pillar Policy by applying the Chinese philosophy of “theory-practice-action-knowledge”. The five pillars are the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Global Development Initiative (GDI), Global Security Initiative (GSI), Global Civilisation Initiative (GCI) and Ecological Civilisations. The pillars have all the ingredients that can assist the world in solving contemporary challenges and chart a way for peaceful and cooperative coexistence.

First, China launched BRI by adhering to the Chinese philosophy of shared growth through discussion and collaboration. The initiative is delivering and contributing to building a community with a shared future.

During the last 10 years, 152 countries and 32 international organisations have signed cooperation agreements with BRI. China has invested almost $1 trillion in BRI. Chinese investment mobilised $2.49 trillion from partner countries implementing 3,220 joint projects. The trade between China and BRI countries increased from $1.03 trillion to $2.07 trillion. BRI also contributed to bringing millions of people out of poverty.

However, the biggest contribution of BRI is that it narrowed the investment gap, enhanced equality, shielded countries from Western exploitation and acted as debt relief by building their economies and financial resources.

Second, the GDI was introduced in accordance with the vision of shared prosperity. President Xi realised being a major power, it is China's responsibility to contribute to tackling global problems. There is a need for initiatives to help the world, especially less developed countries. The initiative must contribute to mitigating inequality and assist in realising the dream of sustainable development by adhering to the principles of ecological civilisation.

President Xi Jinping introduced the GDI while speaking at the 76th session of UN General Assembly to contribute to the global development agenda in 2030 and beyond. China is delivering in accordance with its commitments. It has upgraded the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund into a Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund. It contributed $1 billion in addition to a prior commitment of $3 billion to the Fund.

China also established platforms, built partnerships and organised conferences like the International NGOs Network for Poverty Reduction Cooperation, Global Alliance for Poverty Reduction and Development, International Vaccines Research, Development, Innovation Alliance, the World TVET League and Global Knowledge Network for Development, World Conference on Globally Important Agriculture Heritage Systems (GIAHS), World Vocational and Technical Education Development Conference, Digital Cooperation Forum, UN World Data Forum 2023, Digital Literacy, World Youth Development Forum, Global Clean Energy Cooperation Partnership, Blue Partnership, Partnership for New Industrial Revolution, Plan for Global Youth Development, etc.

Third, GSI, which has been built on four pillars—common, comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable security—was presented. Under the initiative, China is making efforts to resolve conflicts by applying the principles of dialogue, development and non-interference. The policy is working, and the KSA-Iran agreement is one of the most prominent success stories. This agreement has been a big event, considering the history of conflict and KSA-Iran importance in the region and among Muslims.

Fourth, the GCI talked about harmony in diversity and negating the clash of civilisations. It prioritises dialogue over confrontation and win-win cooperation over zero-sum game.

It gives due importance to principles of equity and equality without any prejudices. It aims to establish networks of inter-civilisation dialogue for enhancing mutual learning and finding new ways of cooperation. China is ready to share its experience, prosperity and cultural products to create a harmonious world. It believes every civilisation has contributed to development and modernisation of the world. Thus, every civilisation must be respected.

Fifth, the vision of ecological civilisation is being derived from the philosophy of harmony between the planet and humans and among humans. It is a priority for President Xi Jinping, who is a staunch advocate of ecological civilisation. He is leading a campaign at the national level to make it part and parcel of all policies and implementation frameworks. China has also launched a good number of initiatives to achieve its goals and targets, including Dual Circulation Model, New Philosophy of Development, Three-Dimensional Transport Network, High-quality Development, etc.

He has launched many programes, such as Global Development Initiative, Green BRI Forum, etc., to make it a global agenda. China also played a prominent role in finalisation of Paris Climate Change Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals and Biodiversity agenda. Now China is putting efforts to implement these agreements in true spirit.

In conclusion, it can be inferred China believes in a human-centric, fair, peaceful, prosperous and cooperative co-existence. It is hoped a Community with a Shared Future will help build a human-centric, rule-based and cooperative society: a society where everyone will have equal rights to development, enjoy the dividend of peace and live a free life without any discrimination and fear.