With the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to convene in about two weeks, it is a good time to look back at how China interacted with the world over the past five years and predict what foreign policy the next five years may bring. [Special coverage]
The phrase "building a community of shared future for humanity," was written into the report of the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012. Five years on, the term is a now concrete plan with a clear direction and widespread approval.
Multi-polarity, globalization, cultural diversity, interdependence, scientific and industrial revolution have emerged as the key descriptors of the world.
At the same time, the people of the world find themselves in an era of multifarious challenges: global growth is lethargic and listless, the impact of the last financial crisis lingers like a cloud on the horizon, climate is changing in unforeseeable ways, the development gap yawns. The Cold War mentality and power politics still exist. Terrorism and refugee crises are spreading.
Against such a backdrop, the open, inclusive, clean world of lasting peace, common security and prosperity that President Xi Jinping envisages is a beacon to all who believe that a shared future is the only future.
What has the politics of confrontation and petty alliances given the world? The time has come for countries to form partnerships based on understanding, dialogue and respect.
Until major powers respect each other's core interests and major concerns, until they learn to keep their differences under control, they will be unable to build a new model of relations featuring cooperation instead of confrontation, respect before rivalry and win-win above acquisitiveness.
None of this can come to pass, as Xi told the world in January from Geneva, until "big countries treat smaller ones as equals instead of acting as a hegemon imposing their will on others."
Common, comprehensive, cooperative, sustainable security have been Xi's mantra for five years now.
China upholds WTO rules. China supports an open, transparent, inclusive and nondiscriminatory trade. It is China who is now champion of the open world economy, because, as Xi has said on many occasions, protectionism and isolation will benefit no one.
The Paris Agreement is the strongest bastion against climate change. China understands its obligations and is committed to fighting to save the planet and, calls for other countries to join the cause with the same enthusiasm and actions.
In February, the community of shared future for mankind was incorporated into a UN resolution for the first time. To build such a future, economic globalization must be open, inclusive, balanced and benefit all. To this end, President Xi's declared aspiration is to "both make the cake bigger and share it fairly to ensure justice and equity."
The G20 Summit, held in Hangzhou last September, adopted the Blueprint on Innovative Growth, put development at the heart of global macro policy for the first time, and formulated an action plan.
To build a community of shared future for mankind, President Xi put forward the Belt and Road Initiative. Over 100 countries and international organizations support the plan and a large number of early harvest projects are already making a difference to the lives of ordinary people.
Inclusive growth and development demand better infrastructure for all. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, for instance, already provides more public goods to the international community.
As the 19th CPC National Congress convenes and the world muses upon the possibilities for the next five years of China's foreign policy, one thing is certain.
Peace, development, partnership and multilateralism -- the community of shared future for humanity, tended and nourished by President Xi over the past five years -- will continue to be the guiding light.