Commentary RESEARCH

China increases hope for 2024


2024-01-09 09:29

China Daily

The year 2023 was, by all accounts, a very eventful one. While we saw great prospects for the future advancement of humankind, at the same time there were great challenges and dangers that threaten our own destruction.

It was against this backdrop that China urged countries to act on the Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative that it has proposed.

The Global Development Initiative calls for an action-oriented approach that closely addresses the most pressing livelihood needs of developing countries and promotes practical cooperation in key areas such as poverty reduction, food security, industrialization and connectivity. The initiative has received positive reactions from the international community.

The Global Security Initiative aims to work with the international community to carry forward the spirit of the United Nations Charter, advocate the spirit of solidarity to adapt to the profoundly changing international landscape and adopt a win-win approach to traditional and non-traditional security risks and challenges, so as to find a new security path featuring dialogue rather than confrontation, partnership rather than alliance, and win-win results rather than zero-sum outcomes.

The Global Civilization Initiative reflects China's specific vision and future direction in addressing global challenges. China stands for promoting the common values of all humankind and advocating the inheritance of civilizations. At the same time, China pays attention to the modernization of civilizations, and takes people-to-people exchanges and cooperation between countries as the means to learn from each other.

The three initiatives have captured the imagination of the world. They particularly take into consideration the specific circumstances of each country. This is brought out strongly in the Global Civilization Initiative, which was able to show the interconnections between world peace, socioeconomic development and national security.

China was heavily involved in making efforts at the diplomatic level to solve several serious and knotty problems of our time in 2023.

In early 2023, China proposed a 12-point measure to resolve the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Those measures captured some very important aspects of the crisis and principles — such as territorial integrity; mutual security in which no country should seek greater security at the expense of another; and no use of nuclear weapons (indeed China insists on the principle that nuclear weapons should never be used, and a nuclear war never fought) — that could be applied generally for their resolution.

However, as the Ukraine crisis drags on, we are beginning to witness some realism on the part of the Western powers. China's proposal is a good basis to begin talks.

The most burning issue in the international arena at present is the devastation of Gaza and the slaughter of the people there, including a large amount of children and babies. Here, too, China has made very sound proposals to end the offensive launched by the Israeli forces against the people of Palestine.

At the UN Security Council, China called for an immediate ceasefire, as an indispensable step toward resolving the tragic killings in Gaza. To find a permanent settlement to the conflict, China emphasized on the two-state solution, with a viable Palestinian state being created taking into consideration its borders in 1967.

Unfortunately, the United States used its veto powers at the Security Council and the General Assembly of the UN to allow Israel to continue its carpet bombing of Gaza. In addition, it has supplied Israel with the most sophisticated weapons for use against the Palestinians.

In recent times, we saw many countries calling for a cease-fire and a two-state solution. Millions on the streets are calling for this demand. We are thus optimistic that a permanent solution in line with China's proposal will emerge.

China has been working tirelessly to ease the tension in the Middle East, which is one of the most volatile regions in the world.

Its endeavors have met with much success. The most notable was its mediation that led Iran and Saudi Arabia to resume diplomatic relations. Already the two countries have assigned ambassadors to each other's capital cities. This would bring great benefits to the people of the two countries and to the region as a whole. The role of China in facilitating this has been welcomed and lauded.

China has displayed remarkable restraint in the face of the provocations by the US in relation to its internal affairs, especially on the Taiwan question.

The US has been encouraging separatist forces on the island to seek independence. It has even been arming the island and taken several provocative steps against the mainland. These included the visit by the speaker of the US congress.

However, China has stood firm in frustrating those measures. It continues to work for the reunification of the Chinese mainland and Taiwan in a peaceful manner. It encourages dialogue and had long ago made one of the most creative proposals, of "one country, two systems". That will prove to be a viable path.

The world is a much safer place because of the work that China has been pursuing over the years, and particularly in 2023. We are certain that 2024 will bring even greater successes.

The author is a former president of Guyana. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily.



2024-01-09 05:29
Food facilitator