BOAO, Hainan, April 21 – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday advocated a more fair and equitable global governance system while opposing unilateralism, hegemony and “Cold War” mentality.
Xi underscored the trend toward a multi-polar world, resilience in economic globalization, and the need to uphold multilateralism and enhance communication and coordination, striking the right chord at a time when the world is marred by rising instability and uncertainty.
“While we live in an age rife with challenges, it is also an age full of hope,” Xi said in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2021 via video.
CHINESE VISION ON GLOBAL GOVERNANCE
Xi said that the world needs consultation on an equal footing to create a future of shared benefits.
“Global governance should reflect the evolving political and economic landscape in the world, conform to the historical trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation, and meet the practical needs in addressing global challenges,” he said.
“What we need in today’s world is justice, not hegemony,” Xi said. “Big countries should behave in a manner befitting their status and with a greater sense of responsibility.”
Calling for the building of an open world economy, Xi said the world needs to “promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, deepen regional economic integration, and enhance supply, industrial, data and human resources chains.”
In the age of economic globalization, attempts to “erect walls” or “decouple” run counter to the law of economics and market principles, and would hurt others’ interests without benefiting oneself, he noted.
Xi added that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it all the more clear to people around the world that “we must reject the cold-war and zero-sum mentality.”
Xi’s vision for global cooperation on issues such as public health security and climate change was echoed by world leaders who attended the conference.
The issues of the pandemic, economic recovery, poverty and climate change call for leaders to stand out in a challenging time and lead with insights and solutions, said former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a video speech at the opening ceremony of the conference.
“We must join hands and stand as one, improving global governance, enhancing international cooperation and moving the world closer to the 2030 sustainable development goals through innovative initiatives such as the Belt and Road,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said that more countries should commit to supporting an open, non-discriminatory and rule-based trade system worldwide particularly during these trying times.
Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo hailed China for sharing its COVID-19 vaccines with the rest of the world, especially developing countries.
“We appreciate that China considers its vaccine against the coronavirus a global public good,” she said.
HIGH-QUALITY BELT AND ROAD COOPERATION
Reiterating that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a public road open to all, Xi said all interested countries are welcome aboard to take part in the cooperation and share in its benefits.
Going forward, China will continue to work with other parties in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, said Xi, adding that efforts will be made to build a closer partnership for health cooperation, connectivity, green development, and openness and inclusiveness.
China will work with all sides to promote “hard connectivity” of infrastructure and “soft connectivity” of rules and standards, ensure unimpeded channels for trade and investment cooperation, and actively develop Silk Road e-commerce, Xi said.
As for cooperation in the health sector, Chinese businesses have already started joint vaccine production in BRI participating countries such as Indonesia, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.
Xi also called for strengthening cooperation on green infrastructure, green energy and green finance, and making green a defining feature of Belt and Road cooperation.
The BRI, proposed by Xi in 2013, was hailed by conference participants for opening up possibilities and sharing opportunities among countries and regions.
Former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said the BRI could be a laboratory of initiatives that are good for the health and the sustainable future of the planet.
“The BRI is about connectivity. Over the years, we saw how China has gone out and focused on creating connectivity through building highways and container ports, said Jens Eskelund, managing director of Maersk China Ltd.
Going out and creating the right infrastructure can be a powerful enabler of trade and bring countries together, Eskelund added.