III. The current features and future trends of multilateralism
First, despite the serious impact of unilateralism on the existing international system, multilateralism remains the call of the people and the trend of our times. In recent years, certain countries attempted to put unilateralism and bullying practices above the basic norms of international relations, including the norms of sovereign equality, peaceful resolution of disputes and non-interference in internal affairs. They also blatantly put their own interests first and seriously undermined the current international system with the UN at its core. On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of countries support the idea and practice of multilateralism, and oppose any single country’s attempt to dominate international affairs, dictate the future of others or monopolize the right to development. Multilateralism still enjoys solid foundation and strong impetus.
Second, despite the new complications facing multilateralism, cooperation still holds solid ground and broad perspective. Although countries may have different views on the meaning and priorities of multilateralism, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter remain the greatest consensus of the international community. As the raging COVID-19 pandemic poses serious challenges to all countries, the international community are more determined than ever to fight the coronavirus together. Although populism and de-globalization thoughts are rising, economic globalization remains the overriding trend, and most countries hope to achieve globalization that is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all. No country can stay immune from global challenges like the pandemic, economic recession or climate change. For the international community, cooperation is the most powerful weapon, and the path of multilateralism is the only right choice.
Third, despite a rising clamor for ideological confrontation, the global call for greater solidarity to rise above differences is even stronger. Clinging to a zero-sum mentality, some forces are obsessed with playing up differences in ideology and political system. They seek to create divisions by forming small circles and interfere in others’ internal affairs in the name of human rights or democracy. Such attempts have been widely rejected by the international community. To build a new type of international relations, we must choose mutual respect over self-conceit, fairness and justice over narrow self-interest, and win-win cooperation over a beggar-thy-neighbor approach. A prevailing view shared by the international community is that countries should pursue a development path suited to their own national conditions and run their own affairs well before anything else. No country should scapegoat others for its own malaise or draw lines on an ideological basis. It is the shared aspiration of the overwhelming majority of countries to strengthen global governance based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and to work together to reduce the serious deficit in governance, trust, peace and development and promote multilateralism and a global governance system that features greater openness and inclusiveness, fairness and justice, green and sustainable development, and cooperation for win-win results.
IV. This year, China will start a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country and will celebrate the centenary of the CPC. To conduct multilateral diplomacy, we must follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. We need to take into account both the domestic and international imperatives and work on development and security as two priorities. We need to stay focused on the overarching goal of building a community with a shared future for mankind, rally more forces for good in the international community, and contribute more to fully building a modern socialist country and to promoting world peace and development.
First, we will follow the strategic guidance of leaders’ summits and use “home-ground diplomacy” as major platforms to seek progress in both the theory and practice of multilateralism in the new era. We need to fully expound the significance to the world today of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s special address at the World Economic Forum Virtual Event of the Davos Agenda, and contribute China’s wisdom, visions and solutions in addressing the major issues of our times. Facing the major task of global economic recovery, the G20 must act as the premier platform for international economic cooperation and promote macroeconomic policy coordination among major economies to restore global growth through concerted efforts. It is important to enhance solidarity and cooperation with fellow BRICS countries and jointly support multilateralism. Taking the opportunity of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) this year, we support the SCO in continuing to play its important role in maintaining regional stability and strengthening practical cooperation. We encourage APEC to act on the vision of building an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future and work to deepen economic cooperation in the region. We are making solid preparations for hosting the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference around the time of its 20th anniversary, the COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference in a bid to expanding cooperation in relevant areas.
Second, we will hold high the banner of building a community with a shared future for mankind and firmly uphold the authority of the United Nations. To build a community with a shared future for mankind serves the interests of all countries and the well-being of humanity. With this goal in mind, we will expand and deepen cooperation with all countries in the world. In so doing, we shall follow the principles of mutual respect, equal consultation, fairness and justice, win-win cooperation and seeking common ground while shelving differences, and strive to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world of lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity. We will firmly uphold the international system centered on the UN, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic principles of international law and basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. We will vigorously promote multilateralism and greater democracy in international relations. We oppose hegemony and power politics, and oppose any practice of unilateralism in the name of multilateralism. We see all countries as equal members of the international community, regardless of their size, strength and wealth. We firmly oppose drawing ideological lines. We choose solidarity over division, cooperation over confrontation, and positive-sum over zero-sum practices. We want the world to be a big family, and not divided into small circles.
Third, we will step up coordination and cooperation with other parties within multilateral frameworks to steer forward the reform and development of the global governance system. We are prepared to deepen dialogue with other parties on supporting multilateralism, strengthening global governance and promoting international cooperation, enhance communication and collaboration on COVID-19 response, economic recovery, climate change, environmental protection, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, global security, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, law enforcement and fighting corruption, and work with other parties to promote more dialogue and cooperation within such multilateral mechanisms as the UN, the G20, the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, BRICS, the SCO and APEC. We will take an active part in the revision of existing international rules and the formulation of new ones in new frontiers. We will support the WHO in playing a leadership role and work with other countries to build a global community of health for all. We will further boost global cooperation against COVID-19, carry out effective vaccine collaboration, prioritize the needs of developing countries for vaccines, and firmly reject politicization and stigmatization of the virus. We will take an active part in the WTO reform, support the multilateral trading regime, and uphold China’s developing country status. We will encourage the IMF to complete its quota reform on schedule, and urge the World Bank to conclude a new round of shareholding review. We will support the development of the AIIB, the New Development Bank and other new institutions, and deepen practical cooperation among their members.
Fourth, we will advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation for win-win outcomes. Following the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the philosophy of open, green and clean cooperation, and a high-standard, people-centered and sustainable approach, we will continue to improve the mechanisms of Belt and Road cooperation, and advance Belt and Road cooperation through a combination of online and offline meetings and forums. We will actively develop the Silk Road for Health. We will minimize the impact of COVID-19 to keep trade unclogged for countries along the route, and join hands with them to defeat the virus and promote economic recovery.
Fifth, we will advance international cooperation through the new development paradigm we are fostering at home and pursue opening-up in a larger scope, to wider areas and at deeper levels. As China embarks on a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country, we will create much more space for global businesses to grow in our country. We will work with all parties to find new drivers of growth for the world economy and share the new opportunities emerging from China’s development. We will work with relevant parties for the ratification and entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and actively foster an East Asian economic circulation to facilitate the larger international circulation. We will favorably consider joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). We will advance China-Japan-ROK cooperation and take China-ASEAN relations to a new height. We will firmly support the greater representation and voice of developing countries in global governance, and we call on the international community to take into due account the impact of COVID-19 and economic recession on developing countries. We will strengthen South-South cooperation in the UN, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, the China-Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Forum, the Group of 77, the Non-Aligned Movement and other frameworks. We will work with the European Union on the follow-ups of the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, and deliver the agreed outcomes of cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries. And we will expand and deepen practical cooperation with the United States, Europe, Japan and other parties in such areas as new energy and new technologies.
Sixth, we will firmly safeguard China’s national interests in multilateral institutions and work for peaceful co-existence and common development of all countries. We will resolutely defend our national interests and dignity at multilateral fora when our core and major interests are at stake. We will both stand by principles and play a constructive part in the new round of reshaping of international rules. We will take greater initiative to speak up on multilateral platforms for what is right and just. We will better communicate our positions and propositions and tell a good China story. The Chinese people, closely rallied behind the CPC, are steadfast in pursuing socialism with Chinese characteristics. At the same time, we respect the choices of development path made by other people in the world. As General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out at the World Economic Forum Virtual Event of the Davos Agenda, “Each country is unique with its own history, culture and social system, and none is superior to the other. The best criteria are whether a country’s history, culture and social system fit its particular situation, enjoy people’s support, serve to deliver political stability, social progress and better lives, and contribute to human progress.” It is important that countries pursue peaceful co-existence and common development on the basis of mutual respect and expanding common ground while reserving differences. It is also important that countries promote an approach to different civilizations featuring equality, mutual learning, dialogue and mutual accommodation, and encourage more exchanges and mutual learning to inject strong impetus to the progress of human civilization.
China will continue to be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, China will firmly uphold and practice multilateralism and make new and still greater contribution to building a community with a shared future for mankind and promoting world peace and development.