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Dec 26 2016
The Contexts of and Roads towards the Community of Mankind’s Shared Future
By Yang Jiemian

Jiemian YANG’s Talk at the Plenary Session of Opening Up the New Era of Building Jointly Community of Common Human Destiny, the Fourth Annual Conference of World Cultural Forum (Taihu, China) in Macao on June 8, 2016

The present world is witnessing a dichotomy of developments. On the one hand, globalization, information age and advancement of science and technology have enhanced the global awareness of the governments and people throughout the world: they have increased their understanding of tackling with global issues by their joint efforts. In recent years global governance and the re-building of the international system have increasingly become the top priorities of the international community. On the basic achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for 2000-2015, all the UN members have defined their new targets between 2016 and 2030 in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The success of the UN Climate Change Paris Summit is another proof of the joint efforts of the entire international communities. On September 4 and 5, China will host the G-20’s 11th Summit in Hangzhou which stresses “4-I”, i.e., innovation, invigoration, inclusiveness and interconnection. Besides, the G-20 Hangzhou Summit will make a G-20 history record by promoting the development issue in the interests of all the developing countries.

On the other hand, anarchy and disorder are still the prevailing problems of the world today. While traditional security issues remain as unresolved, non-traditional security issues have become even more prominent and difficult to cope with. Terrorism, extremism, inflows of enormous refugees into Europe and outbreaks of massive epidemics, among other things, are threatening the peace and stability of the mankind all the time. Compared with the magnitudes of these threats, the relevant countering strategies, policies and mechanisms are obviously insufficient in quantity and ineffective in quality.

Against these backgrounds, China has initiated the Community of Common Interests, Community of Common Responsibility and Community of Shared Future. In my opinion, these three communities are closely related and mutually reinforcing ones.

The Community of Common Interests is the foundation. All of our blueprints and goals should be material and tangible first so as to win the trusts and supports of various countries and peoples. Developing world’s overall strength has greatly enhanced thanks to Asian Newly Industrializing Economies (NIEs), BRICS collective rise and African constant progresses. China now ranks the world’s second largest economy in terms of aggregated GDP. These have greatly contributed to the enhancement of the entire developing countries and laid a solid foundation of relatively equal partners between the developing and developed countries for the Community of Common Interests. For instance, for the first time in the modern history the developed and developing countries sit at the same table on equal footing to discuss the major economic issues of the world at the G-20.

The Community of Common Responsibilities is the commitment. First of all, common responsibilities are principles that govern the ways and roads of development. The relevant principles should be reached and abided by both by the state actors and non-state actors. For instance, peaceful co-existence in state-to-state relations and common but differentiated responsibilities in climate change are good cases in points. Furthermore, responsibilities should be defined by all the members of the international community in their building and preserving of international institutions and international mechanisms. This explains why the developing countries are trying hard to enhance their representation and voices in the existent international organizations and create new ones such as the BRICS New Development Bank and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and the like.

The Community of Shared Future is the targeted goal. When we are talking about this goal, we are at least discussing the following four dimensions of the goal.

Firstly, it is a worthy goal. The international community has all along been striving for a world of materially rich, socially fair and culturally advanced. At the present stage of developments, we are in a better position to strive for holistic goals more than material and partial ones. Therefore, a shared future deserves our joint dreaming and chasing.

Secondly, it is a shared goal. The term of a Community of Shared Future is both generic and inclusive one, thus transcending the barriers of cultures, stages of developments and social spectrums. The obvious advantage is that all the members of the international community can contribute their bit to this great course of the mankind. Only when the goal of the Community of Shared Future is widely shared, this goal can be truly and eventually realized.

Thirdly, it is a step-by-step goal. Here I would like to quote the famous saying of Lao Zi, the great Chinese philosopher who lived about 2,500 years ago. He said that a thousand-mile’s journey begins at the first step. When we are longing for the Community of Shared Future, we are talking about China’s Thirteenth Five Year Program, Europe 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, the African Union’s 2063 Vision, etc. In a word, we must pay pains-taking efforts and persist in relentless efforts. Empty talks will never lead us to the targeted goal.

Finally, it is a difficult goal. On the one hand, desirable as this goal is, it is full of difficulties and challenges. Surely as this goal represents the trends of our times, it cannot avoid twists, turns and reversions. Therefore, we must be fully prepared to meet any foreseeable and unforeseeable difficulties.  We must be well prepared materially, culturally and institutionally. On the other hand, so long as we integrate all of our efforts, we can certainly move closer and closer to the goal while overcoming the difficulties.

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