World
A Swiss army knife to fix global problems
  ·  2021-01-18  ·   Source: Xinhua News Agency


Volkan Bozkir, president of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), addresses a high-level meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN at the UN headquarters in New York, September 21, 2020 (XINHUA) 

"I cannot help thinking how wonderful it would be if an exquisite Swiss army knife could be made for our world affairs. When there is a problem, we can use the knife to fix it."

When Chinese President Xi Jinping presented that analogy in his keynote speech at the United Nations Office at Geneva in 2017, the world was facing a fork in the road between multilateralism and isolationism, openness and protectionism.

Xi, in the speech, also elaborated on his vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, pointing to the direction in which China was determined to work with the rest of the international community to forge a more prosperous future for all.

Four years later, Xi's penetrating vision is more relevant for today's highly interconnected and deeply troubled world. The gravity of choosing between the notion of a shared future and the zero-sum Cold-War mentality has grown all the more apparent. And the world's need for a multi-functional tool to tackle daunting global problems has turned ever more urgent.

The revelation of the COVID-19 pandemic is as clear as it is compelling. In face of the attack by an unknown virus, the inevitable reality that the fate of all countries on this planet is bundled together can speak for itself.

A real Swiss knife demands true craftsmanship to make. To forge such an instrument of common good for humanity's better and shared future, the world should come together in the first place.

As pressing problems like the pandemic, climate change and terrorism are global in nature, turning inward and hiding behind ideological entrenchment will only allow the deadly pathogen to kill more people, melting glacier to vanish at a faster pace and terrorists to stage more attacks against innocent civilians.

Therefore, nations of the world should foster even stronger networks of partnership for the long-term security and general welfare of the people on this planet.

Pursuing win-win cooperation instead of zero-sum confrontation is equally essential.

In this age of globalization, no country can either preserve or promote its own interests without considering those of others. Win-win cooperation for shared benefits is the only viable solution.

To be more specific, dialogue and consultations between different countries can avoid conflicts; dynamic global free trade without barriers can spur economic growth; exuberant cultural exchanges can bridge misunderstandings; low-carbon and green growth can re-balance the relationship between the environment and the human society.

Democratizing international relations and improving global governance is also imperative.


Chinese medical team experts and Italian doctors pose for a photo during the COVID-19 pandemic in Padua, Italy, March 18, 2020 (XINHUA) 

Modern history has witnessed mankind's progressive pursuit for a fair and equitable international order. That relentless odyssey has been coded in the texts of the Peace of Westphalia, the Geneva Convention, and the landmark UN Charter.

To carry this task forward, countries around the world, big or small, should manage global affairs collectively and write the world's rules of the road together so as to avoid the dominance of the globe by just one or several major powers.

Over the years, to turn the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind into reality, China is not only an advocate, but also a practitioner.

It has been a keeper of the spirit of international solidarity. To beat the roaring outbreak, China cares about more than itself. It has provided anti-pandemic aid to over 150 countries and 10 international organizations, and sent medical expert teams to 34 countries, the largest humanitarian operation China has carried out since 1949.

China has also been a champion for shared benefits and win-win cooperation. Its flagship Belt and Road Initiative has over the years brought real benefits like jobs to people and investment for economies in those countries.

In addition, China has long been a staunch supporter for multilateralism and the international system with the UN at its core.

It is the largest troop contributor to UN peacekeeping operations among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. It has eliminated extreme poverty across the country, well implementing the top goal in the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda ahead of time.

China has also pledged to strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, a boldly responsible move to curb global warming.

In some ways, a multi-functional Swiss army knife solution mirrors the complexity of the problems it is designed for. As the world is undergoing transformations rarely seen in a century, the human race needs to have such a tool in its hand.

By rallying global solidarity, stimulating cooperation and revamping global governance, China's vision to build a community with a shared future for mankind will be proved equal to the convoluted tests of the times.

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