Answer the questions of the times and make historical choice with confidence, courage and sense of mission

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the 13th BRICS summit via video link in Beijing and delivers an important speech, Sept 9, 2021. (Photo by Huang Jingwen/Xinhua)
Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the 13th BRICS summit via video link in Beijing and delivers an important speech, Sept 9, 2021. (Photo by Huang Jingwen/Xinhua)

By He Yin

Faced with the combined impacts of changes unseen in a century and the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is once again at a historical crossroads. How to beat the virus? How to revitalize the global economy as early as possible? Can countries, especially major countries, coexist peacefully with each other? How should the UN play its central role in international affairs? Chinese President Xi Jinping recently gave answers to these questions of the times that concern the future of humanity.

On Sept. 21, Xi attended and delivered a speech titled “Bolstering Confidence and Jointly Overcoming Difficulties to Build a Better World” at the general debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly via video link. In his speech, Xi made suggestions on jointly addressing global threats and challenges and proposed a Global Development Initiative.

At the critical moment when the COVID-19 pandemic has brought profound changes to human society and the world has entered a period of new turbulence and transformation, Xi’s suggestions and initiative have injected confidence into global solidarity against the pandemic, pointed the way to the common development of the world, drawn a blueprint for tackling global changes, and fully demonstrated the considerable insight of the leader of a major country and his solicitude for the wellbeing of humanity.

“It falls on each and every responsible statesman to answer the questions of our times and make a historical choice with confidence, courage and a sense of mission,” Xi said in his speech.

Countries must beat COVID-19 and win this decisive fight crucial to the future of humanity, revitalize the economy and pursue more robust, greener and more balanced global development, strengthen solidarity and promote mutual respect and win-win cooperation in conducting international relations, and improve global governance and practice true multilateralism, Xi pointed out clearly in his speech.

Responding to the ardent aspiration of peoples around the world for peace and development, and their call for equity and justice and pursuit of win-win cooperation, Xi’s suggestions have been widely echoed by the international community.

Political leaders of many countries have called for cooperation and solidarity to create a better world at the general debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

To build a better world, countries must overcome global challenges and achieve common development.

As the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging across the world, winning the battle against the virus is the most urgent task for countries at present.

“We should always put people and their lives first, and care about the life, value and dignity of every individual. We need to respect science, take a science-based approach, and follow the laws of science. We need to both follow routine, targeted COVID-19 protocols and take emergency response measures, and both carry out epidemic control and promote economic and social development. We need to enhance coordinated global COVID-19 response and minimize the risk of cross-border virus transmission,” Xi said.

His remarks clearly manifested China’s firm will to pull through the hard times and defeat the pandemic with other countries and promoted the idea of building a global community of health for all, to which China has long been committed.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously shaken the results of global poverty reduction and posed severe challenges to sustainable development of the world, Xi proposed the Global Development Initiative, which stresses staying committed to development as a priority, a people-centered approach, benefits for all, innovation-driven development, harmony between man and nature, results-oriented actions and advocates the idea of building a global community of development with a shared future.

The initiative has provided countries with guidelines and spiritual driving force for focusing efforts on development, joining hands with each other for development, and pursuing common development.

To build a better world, countries must adhere to solidarity and cooperation and improve global governance.

Clinging to the antiquated Cold War mentality and zero-sum game mindset, certain countries have attempted to draw ideological lines to create small circles for geopolitical competition, leading to worse trust and governance deficit in the international community.

“Democracy is not a special right reserved to an individual country, but a right for the people of all countries to enjoy…One country’s success does not have to mean another country’s failure, and the world is big enough to accommodate common development and progress of all countries,” Xi said.

By making such forceful remarks, Xi showed the right path to peaceful coexistence between countries, especially major countries, and reiterated the significance of building a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness and justice, and cooperation and win-win results, injecting stability into international relations troubled by growing uncertainties.

“In the world, there is only one international system, i.e. the international system with the UN at its core. There is only one international order, i.e. the international order underpinned by international law. And there is only one set of rules, i.e. the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter,” Xi pointed out.

The UN should hold high the banner of true multilateralism and serve as the central platform for countries to jointly safeguard universal security, share development achievements and chart the course for the future of the world, he continued.

Xi’s statements have reflected the shared ideas of the majority of countries in the world, represented China’s solemn promise to adhere to true multilateralism and shown the country’s sense of responsibility as a major country for making the global governance system more fair and equitable.

By safeguarding and practicing multilateralism and promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, countries can pass on the torch of peace, sustain development and make civilization flourish. Long and arduous as the journey may be, countries will surely reach the destination through sustained actions.

China will stride ahead together with all the progressive forces of the world on the great journey to a community with a shared future for mankind, and always be a builder of world peace, contributor to global development, defender of the international order, and provider of public goods.

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