by: Muhammad Asif Noor
President Xi Jinping delivered a virtual keynote address at World Economic Forum (WEF) 2022 as his first multilateral event of the New Year. This was the third time that President Xi made an important contribution towards an overall global dialogue on multilateralism. Earlier in 2017, President spoke about China’s vision and policy towards globalization. Then in 2021, about the Chinese model of multilateralism and how it is practiced globally, and this year, the focus was on how the world can deal with the challenges of the post-COVID-19 world. The speech came from the backdrop of the world battling with the politicization of sports, pandemic, vaccine financing and distribution, and challenges of governance mounting with each passing day. The so-called leaders of the first world are busy dividing the world rather than uniting it for a better and shared future.
While lamenting the forces of unilateralism and protectionism, President Xi delicately touched upon the significant development issues, economic challenges, and pandemic consequences to create a joint force for countering multifaceted challenges at WEF. The meeting brought states, international organizations, businessmen, civil society leaders, and NGOs at a single forum to deliberate on the pandemic, climate, and technologies of the fourth industrial revolution.
Global cooperation is necessary for vaccinations and development but he lamented that major states like the USA exhibited protectionism and unilateralism to keep the world divided. The primary argument has remained to avoid the old cold war mentality and shun all differences to help the world, with its immediate challenges especially in the post-pandemic new normal. President Xi appreciated the international community for standing against the pandemic as it has fought a “tenacious battle” against the coronavirus. It was also urged that there should be equality and support towards the global vaccination program against the virus.
Change is permanent, which keeps this world either progressing or regressing whereby the covid-19 takes progression away and pushes the world into regression. The world is always functioning to overcome challenges but the nature of present-day challenges calls for joint action. Unity has been the core argument of President Xi where he insists that the world should “wing the tiger,” a Chinese proverb of agility to take on challenges.
In his President Xi systematically offered a roadmap that the world can follow and set practical goals to achieve socio-economic development and the future of humanity by proposing that the world should take measures to liquefy the clouds of pandemics and usher in a new era of development, social recovery, and economic growth for the shared future of mankind.
The world needs to transform its approach towards building and promoting a people-centric approach where people hold importance. There is a need for a world where synergy amongst the mechanisms of development globally is the order of the day so that the maximum level of support can be offered to people to fight the challenges of poverty and pandemic. There is a need for the world to seek peaceful coexistence, non-interference in the internal matters of the other countries.
The proceedings of the WEF brought China as an emerging leader of the world where a vision and subsequent resources as China advocates multilateralism, unlike the US-led protectionism and unilateralism. In this regard, President Xi expressed the need for economic liberalism and political multilateralism for the world to combat future challenges. Since China is the custodian of the open and free world, the states must not fall into the trap of hearsay and mere words rather than actions. China seeks equitable global development and aspires to enlarge the pie of global growth for fair and just distribution through the institutional arrangement.
As a responsible state, China is firm in its commitment towards global development by taking all measures that are based on equality and fairness. China has always committed to development, reform, and opening up through valid and sincere contributions towards climate conservation. The address has in fact boosted the confidence of the global community especially with the fact that China as a responsible state will continue supporting the world’s challenges despite all hurdles.
The resilience of the nation can be gauged from the fact that it was the first country to be able to fight pandemic back with nearly zero transmission rates. Amid moral crisis amongst global leadership, through this speech, China’s has appeared to be a ray of hope for developing countries with a firm belief that there is a constant strive to forge the community with a shared future for mankind.
The writer is Founder (Friends of Belt and Road Initiative).
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