It did not cause a sensation in the world, but in the West it was perceived as another propaganda move by Beijing. Meanwhile, this document summarizes the realization of a whole range of China’s global ideas in the sphere of international politics, security and human development.
To begin with, China at this stage is the only major power in the world that offers a comprehensive ideological and practical concept of human development, alternative to the Western vision of “rules-based” relations between states and peoples.
It is based on the following principles. The rejection of politics from the position of force and of imposing one’s will on states and peoples. The Chinese concept of «zero-sum game» means the futility of interaction without taking into account the interests of each and every person, and the necessity of reaching consensus. Building a global community of shared future means striving for openness, inclusiveness, mutual benefit, equality and justice, the White Paper says. The goal is not to replace one system or civilization with another. Instead, it is about countries with different social systems, ideologies, histories, common rights and responsibilities in global affairs.
As written in the preamble of the report, it reflects «China’s contribution to global efforts to protect our common home (i.e. planet Earth — Auth.) and create a better future and prosperity for all…. The global community’s vision of a shared future takes into account the well-being of all humanity. It is based on both observation of the present and visionary planning for the future. It sets out goals, outlines a path and proposes plans of action to achieve them. It concerns the future of humanity and the destiny of each person».
The meaning is reduced to taking into account, among other things, the interests of all people, regardless of country, nationality, religion and each person individually. This is in direct contrast to the bellicose imposition of so-called democratic values and contempt for the interests and sovereignty of countries and peoples in the name of these «values». China professes and offers the world a completely different path of development and says that under no circumstances it will not resemble the West and teach peoples and countries how to live. On the contrary, it proposes to benefit from China’s own development and is ready to share its advantages without any need to imitate itself.
This report is released on the 10th anniversary of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s promotion of the idea of building a community of humanity of common destiny. It is this idea that is key to China’s overall concept of building a new world order and international relations based on universal consensus. The essence of the concept of «community of shared destiny of mankind» is to create a world of universal security, shared prosperity, openness and tolerance, purity and beauty». In the world of globalization, all peoples and countries are connected. Any contradiction, conflict entails a chain of irreversible consequences for humanity. And all this must be avoided.
China assumes that all people on the planet are one big family, their interests are intertwined, and the future is interconnected. This vision is in direct opposition to bloc politics, the concepts of «might makes right» and “universal values» and leads to the realization of the need for a more just international order. China sees the Earth not as an arena for struggle between countries, but as a platform for human coexistence. Despite their differences and peculiarities, countries can develop together in harmony and unity, and it is this diversity that gives strength to global development … No country should open a Pandora’s box by deliberately provoking unrest and armed conflict or undermining the rule of law. Countries should respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, respect each other’s indigenous interests and primary concerns, and respect the development path and social system chosen by other peoples. These ideas are further emphasized in the report.
This vision of the world and view of international politics is consonant with traditional Chinese philosophy and culture.
Take for example the concept of «He (和)», the most important concept in confucianism, which means peace, harmony and concord. According to Confucius, «noble people are in harmony with other people with different views». «Harmony in the presence of differences» denotes recognizing cultural differences and individualities, affirming the characteristics and values of different nations, regions and national cultures on the basis of mutual understanding. Another thesis of Confucianism is «Harmonize ten thousand neighboring countries». Following this principle, China since ancient times has tried to settle relations between peoples in a peaceful way.
Ancient Chinese philosophy attached greater importance to the need to achieve harmony between man and nature. This idea is embodied not only in the concept of “the common destiny of mankind” and the need to treat the wealth given by nature with care, but is also realized in China’s environmental policy. As is known, China is the fastest country in the world to switch to renewable energy sources. China is also ahead of the rest of the world in terms of planting new forests, thus making a great contribution to the fight against climate change.
All these ideas may seem (especially to Westerners) somewhat idealistic and impractical. Nevertheless, the idea of the common destiny of mankind is included in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, the CPC Charter and is fundamental to the foreign policy of the People’s Republic of China, which is pursued by the CPC Central Committee and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. The realization of the concept is carried out in various directions — in politics, economy, culture and ecology. In all these spheres there are relevant global development programs in which China invests considerable funds. The global project «One Belt, One Road» is just a practical embodiment of the idea of the community of the common destiny of mankind and a real contribution to its realization. And whatever the West may say about it, thanks to it, trillions of US dollars have been invested in infrastructure and other projects around the world, including humanitarian projects. This is China’s real contribution to global development.
In practice in international politics, this means, for example, that China strongly opposed the escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and called on the parties to stop. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the top priority is to ensure the safety of civilians and open corridors for aid deliveries to avoid a serious humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
Wang Yi drew attention to the fact that the Palestinian issue is the core of the Middle East settlement. According to him, the core of the problem is that justice for the Palestinian people has never been restored. The conflict has once again tragically proved that the way to resolve the Palestinian issue is to resume genuine peace talks as soon as possible and to realize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian nation, he added. Wang Yi called for the holding of the most authoritative and influential international peace conference as soon as possible to push the international community to forge a broader consensus based on the principle of «two states for two peoples» and formulate a timetable and roadmap for its realization. This is precisely where the principle of taking into account the interests of all parties comes into play.