China remains firm in supporting multilateralism

Chinese and foreign students from Nantong Vocational College of Science & Technology, east China's Jiangsu province showcase their works to mark United Nations Day, Oct. 24, 2019. Photo by Xu Peiqin, People's Daily Online

A series of activities were held recently to remark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) with the theme of “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism”.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, at invitation, attended high-level meetings to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN via videoconference and delivered important remarks.

Major changes unseen in a century, plus the global COVID-19 pandemic, are posing barriers for international exchanges and cooperation. Meanwhile, certain countries are taking faster steps of unilateralism and protectionism. At such a special moment of history, the world must contemplate what a future it wants and what a UN it needs.

The international community has to see humanity as one community with a shared future, look out for one another, and join hands to tackle risks and challenges and build a beautiful planet, said Xi in a phone call with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier this year. Noting that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN, the Chinese President said China supports the international community in taking that as an opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to multilateralism, and reinforce and improve the global governance system with the UN at the core.

Today’s world is still composed of sovereign countries. As long as countries adhere to the principle of sovereign equality, international order can enjoy a solid foundation. However, certain countries going against this principle are making troubles for the world. They made frequent movements to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, bully other countries and neglect rules. Their practices made many doubt that whether economic globalization has come to an end, whether multilateralism has become invalid, and whether a new round of Cold War is emerging.

Professor Graham Allison from Harvard University warned the possibility of a failing international order, saying no country is able to detach itself from the interconnected world, which has been proved by the COVID-19 pandemic. The world needs to understand that “we have shared interest as well as competing interest,” he added. Professor John Ikenberry from Princeton University noted that infrastructure for global multilateral cooperation must be established to maintain the operation of the post-war order.

Multilateralism is an important principle that the UN relies on. It represents the due rights enjoyed by countries to participate in global governance equally and pursue the democratization of international relations. In the era of globalization, no one shall dominate or oppose others. On the contrary, everyone shall benefit the others. Volkan Bozkir, who has just been elected as the president of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly noted that unilateralism will move us further away from our shared goal, and “it is our responsibility to strengthen people’s faith in multilateral cooperation and international institutions, with the UN at their center.”

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a tragedy, said Jared Diamond, author of the book Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. But the crisis also offers an opportunity for the world to get better, a start for countries to cooperate and solve global issues.

How to turn crises into opportunities tests the wisdom and capability of politicians. At the critical moment of history, and with the special international situation, the meetings to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN received global attention. ” It is time for unity. Member States have never had a more compelling reason to work closely together for the common good,” said Bozkir.

“The world today is undergoing unprecedented changes unseen in the past century. We must see the essence clearly from each kind of chaos, and grasp the rule from the historical dimension. The trend of economic globalization is irreversible, and win-win cooperation is the right path for the world. China firmly upholds multilateralism, the international system with the UN at its core, and the international order based on international law, and promotes the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.” Xi’s remarks well explained China’s attitude and stance.

To support the UN and multilateralism conforms to the value that the Chinese have inherited for thousands of years. The Chinese civilization has always championed harmony with other countries, and such philosophy is flowing in the blood of the Chinese nation and infused in the DNA of the Chinese people. After over 40 years of reform and opening-up, such global view and great mind have become a pursuit of the major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

So far, China has joined almost all universal international inter-governmental organizations and more than 500 international treaties. It has faithfully fulfilled its international obligations and kept its promises made to the international community.

As the world is entering a period of turbulence and change, China will continue to place its own development in the coordinate system of human development, seeing that its future is closely connected with that of the rest of the world and the interests of the Chinese people are integrated with the common interests of the peoples of other countries. China is always a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a guardian of global order

It is expected that the UN will gather a magnificent strength to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind and write a brighter chapter for human society.

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