With the world finding itself in a time of many challenges, China has pledged to promote peace and development and to build a human community with a shared future.
This message was conveyed to the world when the Communist Party of China (CPC) convened its 20th National Congress in October. The commitment was reaffirmed this week by Chinese President Xi Jinping at two important platforms that gathered leaders from around the globe.
It was Xi's first foreign trip after the conclusion of the Party congress last month. Xi attended the 17th Group of 20 (G20) Summit in Indonesia and is now in Thailand to attend the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting.
He called for enhancing solidarity and cooperation to jointly boost global development, demonstrating China's sense of responsibility as a major country in the world.
"All countries should replace division with unity, confrontation with cooperation, and exclusion with inclusiveness," Xi said.
All countries should join hands together to answer the question of our times -- "what is wrong with this world; what we should do about it," Xi said.
FOCUS ON DEVELOPMENT
The world faces challenges posed by a lingering pandemic, fragile economy, geopolitical tensions, and food and energy crises. The IMF has downgraded its global growth forecast for 2023 to 2.7 percent.
Xi said it is "imperative" to place development at the center of the international agenda.
Promoting development is a mission for the G20 as the grouping is composed of the world's major industrial and emerging economies and represents more than 80 percent of the world's gross domestic product.
Xi mentioned "development" and "cooperation" scores of times in his speech delivered at the first session of the G20 summit, as he called for global development to be "more inclusive," "beneficial to all," and "more resilient."
These keywords point to the prominent and imminent problems facing global development. Xi identified food and energy security as the most pressing challenge in global development, and highlighted global trade, digital economy, green transition and fighting corruption as key factors driving global development.
Observers said the focus on development is in line with what Xi has been emphasizing over the years. When China hosted the G20 summit in 2016, development was made a priority on the global macro policy agenda.
Last year, Xi proposed the Global Development Initiative to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic overlapping with changes unseen in a century. China is now working with 100-plus countries and international organizations on the initiative.
Keith Bennett, a long-term China specialist and vice chair of Britain's 48 Group Club, said Xi's ideas of putting people first, making global development fairer and more inclusive, and striving to leave no country behind, are not only practical but also a vital necessity.
Selcuk Colakoglu, director of the Turkish Center of Asia Pacific Studies, said high inflation, rising food and energy prices and disrupted supply chains all posed threats to global development, with developing countries bearing the brunt.
Xi's remarks provided China's solutions for resolving the tough issues in global development and boosting common development, according to Colakoglu.
FROM WORDS TO ACTIONS
At the G20 summit, Xi said no one should engage in beggar-thy-neighbor practices, building "a small yard with high fences," or creating closed and exclusive clubs.
"Only solidarity and common development is the right choice to make," he said.
And it was more than just words. Cooperation delivered progress during Xi's trip to Indonesia. Via video link, he and Indonesian President Joko Widodo jointly witnessed the trial operation of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway.
The railway, a landmark project under the Belt and Road Initiative, is the first high-speed line in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. When in full operation, it will cut travel time between Jakarta and Bandung to 40 minutes from more than three hours.
The railway is also expected to facilitate transportation and logistics, and boost trade, tourism and many other spheres of the economy. During its construction, the project already produced notable benefits for locals with thousands of jobs created and local specialists and technicians trained.
"Cooperation, innovation and mutual benefits are the essence of the successful practice and spirit of the construction of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway," said Dwiyana Slamet Riyadi, president director of the joint venture consortium that runs the line.
The railway is just part of the action. This year, China has proposed, together with six partners including Indonesia and Serbia, the Initiative of International Cooperation on Resilient and Stable Industrial and Supply Chains, joined other countries in calling for the establishment of the Global Clean Energy Cooperation Partnership, and put forward the International Cooperation Initiative on Global Food Security in the G20.
China is also implementing the G20's Debt Service Suspension Initiative in all respects, and has suspended the largest amount of debt service payment among all G20 members.
On the sidelines of the G20 and APEC events, Xi engaged in a flurry of face-to-face bilateral meetings, in which cooperation was a keyword. Xi told Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni that China welcomes Italy to be the guest of honor of the 2023 China International Consumer Products Expo. Meeting Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, Xi said China is ready to import more quality products from Argentina.
"When it comes to helping developing countries realize common development, China's efforts have been unmatched," said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, hailing China's endeavor to strengthen global cooperation.
NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR WORLD
In both Bali and Bangkok, Xi elaborated on the concept of Chinese modernization and its significance to the world.
A China marching toward modernization will bring more opportunities to the world, inject stronger momentum for international cooperation, and make a greater contribution to human progress, Xi said.
Such an understanding of China's relations with the world is an echo of Xi's speech when he led the new CPC leadership to meet the press last month. "Just as China cannot develop in isolation from the world, the world needs China for its development," Xi said.
In a written speech at the APEC CEO Summit, Xi said in pursuing Chinese modernization on all fronts, China will promote the sustained growth of its super-sized market. China stands ready to provide more resources for global development cooperation and calls upon all countries to hold dear humanity's common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom.
China will also follow a new path of maintaining harmony between humanity and nature, which Xi said is a responsibility "not only for ourselves, but for the world as well."
"We will make greater contribution to world peace and development through our own development," he added.
In his meeting with Guterres in Bali, the Chinese president said as the world is undergoing momentous changes, it is imperative to put the future of humanity front and center and work in solidarity to tide over the difficulties.
"Major countries, in particular, need to set a good example and play a leading role so as to bring more confidence and strength to the world," Xi underlined.