The CPC’s Diplomatic Initiatives and High-Quality Joint Development of the Belt and Road
Pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative in line with the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration constitutes an important part of Xi Jinping thought on foreign affairs and represents its successful implementation. At the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF), General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech, in which he proposed a detailed vision for advancing the high-quality joint development of the Belt and Road. How to implement this vision under the current circumstances has become the focus of all parties as well as the key to success of the high-quality joint development of the Belt and Road. The CPC is a political party that strives for both the wellbeing of the Chinese people and for the advancement of humankind, and to make new and greater contributions to humanity is its abiding mission. Diplomatic initiatives constitute one of the CPC’s major frontlines and are an important part of China’s overall diplomatic endeavor. As the CPC possesses the distinct advantage of being able to conduct extensive, deep, and flexible exchanges with other political parties, its diplomatic initiatives may help build up broad consensus, enhance mutual trust, and deepen cooperation through candid exchange and communication based on an understanding of the world’s major development trends and the patterns underlying the development of world politics and political parties. As such, these diplomatic initiatives play an important political guiding role in advancing high-quality joint development of the Belt and Road.
I. Guiding our endeavors in the right direction to promote a global community with a shared future
General Secretary Xi has emphasized that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a proposal to implement the concept of a global community with a shared future. Under the current circumstances, in pursuing high-quality joint development of the Belt and Road, we must firmly persist in promoting the establishment of a global community with a shared future through jointly building the Belt and Road, and we must integrate our efforts in these two areas.
Connectivity is the key to Belt and Road cooperation. The world is experiencing a scale of change unseen in a century, and joint development of the Belt and Road faces both invaluable opportunities and grave challenges. On the one hand, peace and development remain the theme of the times; the trends of multi-polarization, economic globalization, social digitalization, and cultural diversification are continuing to unfold; and the reform of global governance system as well as the international order is accelerating, while the Internet, big data, cloud computing, quantum satellite technology, and artificial intelligence are developing rapidly. Humans are more connected than ever before, and the world is moving toward harmony, which facilitates this interconnectivity. On the other hand, economic growth drivers are inadequate, the wealth gap is widening, anti-globalization, populism, protectionism, and extremism are on the rise, traditional and non-traditional security challenges have become entangled, global instability and uncertainty are more pronounced than ever, and the increasingly serious problem of the dearth of governance, trust, peace, and development has been thrust before us. Against this backdrop, a trend of division is also emerging in the world, which is not favorable to interconnectivity.
Humanity currently stands at a crossroads in history. Facing the question of how to proceed, we urgently need to develop the BRI as a major platform for our efforts to address common challenges and the looming dearth of governance, trust, peace, and development, as well as to advance the building of a global community with a shared future. As such, it is vital that we guide all parties to enhance their political stance and foster a firm awareness of this community with a shared future. Since China proposed the BRI six years ago, our Party has widely publicized the concept of a global community with a shared future through various channels of exchange, so as to help the international community understand that the destinies and futures of each and every nation and country are bound tightly together, that we should stand together through thick and thin and through the good times and the bad, and that we should strive to build this planet of ours into one large harmonious family and realize humankind’s aspiration for a better life. From November 30 to December 3 in 2017, the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting was held in Beijing with leaders in attendance from about 300 major political parties and organizations and over 120 countries. General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony entitled “Building a Better World Together.” This was the first CPC’s high-level dialogue with various political parties around the world since its establishment, and was also the first time that leaders of world political parties engaged in candid talks on building a global community with a shared future. The meeting elicited a strong response and sparked constant interpretation both at home and abroad, revealing the great appeal of this concept and deepening all parties’ understandings of building a global community with a shared future through Belt and Road cooperation. Many political parties, such as the Ak Zhol Democratic Party of Kazakhstan, the Pakistan Muslim League (QA), the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), and the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa affirmed that cooperation on the BRI is a major practical step in building a global community with a shared future; it has opened a gateway to a better world and will provide strong support for building a global community with a shared future.
At the opening ceremony of the Second BRF, General Secretary Xi declared that we should uphold the principles of mutual consultation, joint development, and shared benefits, and advocate multilateralism. Moreover, all countries should engage in collective discussion of major issues that affect the group and work for incremental progress on these issues by each exerting their respective strengths and working to the best of their abilities, so as to give full play to our advantages and potential through bilateral, trilateral, and multilateral cooperation. As the Chinese saying goes, “Stone by stone a tower rises up, and drop by drop a pool forms.” These exhortations have revealed a new direction for building a global community with a shared future and have also generated new requirements for CPC’s diplomatic initiatives.
II. Guiding our endeavors with proper principles to achieve shared growth
General Secretary Xi has stated that the purpose of jointly developing the Belt and Road is to highlight connectivity, deepen pragmatic cooperation, respond in unison to the various challenges facing humanity, and realize mutual benefit and shared development. Under these new circumstances, in order to pursue high-quality joint development of the Belt and Road, we must truly grasp this goal of shared development. This idea stems from an honest review of China’s development experience, and represents the notion of common prosperity at the international level. At the same time, it is born of an understanding of the major problems and conflicts the world is currently facing. As General Secretary Xi points out, the greatest imbalance in the world today is that of imbalanced development. This imbalance exists between the global North and South as well as on the South-South planet, and also between different regions and groups within a single country. This is the source of various issues in the world and the cause of dearth of governance, trust, peace, and development. It is also the source of problems within traditional economic globalization, which is dominated by neoliberal concepts. In view of this reality, the initiative to jointly build the Belt and Road tackles issues from a development perspective and creatively prescribes global connectivity as treatment. This solution adheres to the trend of economic globalization, the changing requirements of reforming the global economic governance system, and the strong wish of people all over the world for good quality of life. As such, joint construction of the BRI will drive economic globalization in an open, inclusive, and balanced direction so that its benefits can be shared by all, and the initiative will offer new and greater contributions toward the building of a global community with a shared future.
Principles are precursors to actions. The implementation of high-quality development initiatives mustn’t depart from proper development principles. Fundamentally speaking, it is these principles that determine the effectiveness of development and even its success or failure. In pursuing shared development through Belt and Road cooperation, we must encourage all countries to establish proper principles of development. After the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, the Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core reflected deeply on the past experiences of China and other countries, and analyzed major development trends in both domestic and international settings. On the basis of this reflection and analysis, we have introduced a people-centered concept of development and a new philosophy of innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development. These concepts have been helpful in addressing prominent issues in China’s development and have provided a meaningful reference point for the resolution of issues in world development. Therefore, over the past six years our Party has attached importance to the systematic introduction of China’s experiences and development principles to political parties of other countries. Taking full advantage of our two great resources of publicity groups and CPC delegations, we held the following events: the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting Africa Thematic Event on the topic of exploring development paths suited to the conditions of each country; a promotional conference on the Story of the CPC – Practice by Local Party Committees of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era; the China-Central and Eastern Europe Political Parties Dialogue; the China-Arab Political Parties Dialogue, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Political Parties Forum, the International Conference of Asian Political Parties, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Political Parties Joint Consultation Mechanism, and a promotional conference for the China-Japan Belt and Road Cooperation Pilot Zone. Through these events, we were able to give a comprehensive and systematic introduction to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era with particular focus on China’s new development principles, thus engaging all parties in pursuing shared development while participating in Belt and Road cooperation. The Cambodian People’s Party, Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, United Russia, and other various political parties have stated that joint construction of the Belt and Road is in line with the trend of world development, has filled a gap in the global development agenda, and has greatly boosted connectivity in both regional and global economies and trade. These parties have also opined that Belt and Road cooperation will not only help to accelerate China’s transformation and upgrading, but will also provide development opportunities for countries participating in the initiative; the BRI will contribute greatly to unlocking mutual benefits and shared development for those countries, thus fundamentally altering the pattern of imbalance in world economic development.
At the Second BRF, General Secretary Xi stated that we must uphold the principles of openness, integrity, and environmental friendliness and strive for the goals of high standards, sustainability, and the improvement of public wellbeing. We will continue to actively publicize these principles and goals through exchanges between the CPC and political parties of other nations, so that they may take root in countries along the Belt and Road in line with the national conditions and specific projects of those countries.