China will always keep in mind the interests of the world, take an active part in global governance and contribute more to world peace, development and human progress, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said Tuesday at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual sessions of China’s top legislature and political advisory body.
As the second-largest economy and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, China’s foreign policy draws much global attention. And the ongoing “two sessions” provide a window.
Observers in many countries said that with an independent foreign policy of peace and a mutually beneficial strategy of opening-up, China has always contributed to world peace and development.
FOR WORLD PEACE
“Peaceful development as emblematic of China’s international cooperation has seen Beijing welcomed in many countries around the world,” said Cavince Adhere, a Kenya-based international relations scholar.
Currently, a myriad of factors, including geopolitical conflicts, bloc confrontation and terrorism, are posing challenges to global peace and stability. The world pays more attention to China’s insights into how to stave off security dilemmas and achieve lasting peace.
“China’s commitment to peace is historic since the appearance of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence,” said Eduardo Regalado, senior researcher at the International Policy Research Center of Cuba.
China has always been for peace and dialogue. As a major contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget and the largest troop-contributing country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, China has sent more than 50,000 personnel on peacekeeping missions over the last three decades.
“We are very grateful to Chinese peacekeepers. They offer us the most realistic help when we face the hardest time,” a resident of Mali’s Gao region told Xinhua.
Last month, China released The Global Security Initiative (GSI) Concept Paper, demonstrating the country’s responsibility to safeguard world peace and its resolve to defend global security.
“Through the GSI, China commits itself to bringing about security through political dialogue and peaceful negotiation, as well as resolving conflicts through development,” said Keith Bennett, a long-term China specialist and vice chair of Britain’s 48 Group Club.
Earlier last month, China released a paper stating its position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis, emphasizing that dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the crisis.
“China believes in a ‘Let’s grow together’ policy, a policy of peace, equality and friendship,” said Mohammad Reza Manafi, editor-in-chief for the Asia-Pacific news desk of Iran’s official news agency IRNA.
If such a policy becomes popular worldwide, it would end unhealthy competition and deadly wars, Manafi said.
FOR COMMON PROSPERITY
In China’s view, development holds the key to fixing many of the world’s daunting problems. Over the years, the country has been committed to joining hands with the rest of the world to spur common growth.
Amadou Diop, a Senegalese expert on China, has visited many Chinese cities where he saw firsthand China’s achievements in poverty reduction and green development.
“China offers a great opportunity for the rest of the world to commit together towards a community with a shared future and common prosperity,” Diop said. “Chinese modernization and high-quality development will continue to inspire the world, including Senegal.”
Meanwhile, China has promoted common development through infrastructure connectivity in the past decade by advancing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The BRI has attracted more than three-quarters of the world’s countries and 32 international organizations. Over the past decade, the initiative has galvanized nearly one trillion dollars of investment, established more than 3,000 cooperation projects, created 420,000 local jobs and helped lift almost 40 million people out of poverty.
“African countries, including Nigeria, have benefited greatly from win-win cooperation with China … Infrastructure projects covering roads, railways, ports and airports built by Chinese enterprises have strengthened the interconnection within the African continent and promoted the integration process,” said Charles Onunaiju, director of the Center for China Studies in Nigeria.
“Only a few years ago, Africa was described as a continent without hope. Today we speak of the African common market,” he said.
African countries are hopeful for the Chinese government’s commitment to continue opening up and high-quality BRI cooperation because it means more cooperation opportunities between China and Africa, Onunaiju said.
In addition to the BRI, China on its path towards modernization has been sharing opportunities with the world through the China International Import Expo, establishing pilot zones for Silk Road e-commerce cooperation, bringing into force the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and applying for membership in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
China’s proposals for common development illustrate a solid understanding of global issues and a focus on collective progress, said Farhad Javanbakht Kheirabadi, a China scholar at Shahid Beheshti University in Iran.
FOR A SHARED FUTURE
In the face of rapid changes rarely seen in a century, China has always championed multilateralism with the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, promoting democracy in international relations and making global governance fairer and more equitable.
“Unilateralism and willfully wielding the baton of hegemony are important reasons for the persistent geopolitical tensions in the world today,” said Ang Teck Sin, a political commentator in Singapore.
“Only when countries develop a healthy partnership can they achieve sound interactions, which will promote cooperation and development and serve the well-being of the people,” Ang added.
As a major country, China believes that the correct way out of international crises lies in strengthening unity and cooperation under the banner of multilateralism, said Abu Bakr al-Deeb, advisor to the Cairo-based Arab Center for Research and Studies.
China’s vision is “based on the desire for broad, inclusive international cooperation,” said Oleg Timofeev, associate professor with the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia.
The notion aims to facilitate interactions among countries with different civilizations and cultures, different socio-economic systems and different paths of development, he said.
Hailing that the idea has won increasing support in many countries over the past 10 years, Timofeev said it has injected stability into international affairs.