Almost five years ago during his visit to Russia, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered for the first time before an international audience the notion of building a community with a shared future for mankind.[Special coverage]
Over the years, whether it was during his overseas visits or at key international gatherings in China, Xi has on many occasions shared with the wider world his visionary and detailed elaborations of the proposal, and has won credible recognition both at home and overseas.
At the ongoing annual session of China's top legislative body, the notion is expected to be inscribed into the Constitution, showing the country's serious pledge to join every nation in their search for a better world.
In February last year, the notion was incorporated in a UN resolution for the first time. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said his organization would join China in realizing the goal of building such a community which, according to Xi's own description, is an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.
To convince the world that the proposal is not an empty promise, Beijing has in recent years tried to reach out to countries worldwide, the developing and the underdeveloped ones in particular, where it has helped build highways and railroads, tunnels and bridges, as well as schools and hospitals under the Belt and Road Initiative and other programs that aim to lend wings for local economies to take off.
China has also tried to demonstrate its commitment by signing the landmark Paris climate accord in a bid to perform its obligations to help turn around global warming.
Also, the very logic for the growing global consensus on China's proposition is that it has been developed based on Xi's penetrating analysis of what's going on around the world.
In his speech at the UN Office at Geneva, Switzerland, last January, Xi noted that mankind is in a era of "major development as well as profound transformations and change," adding that it is also a time of "numerous challenges and increasing risks."
Around the world, globalization, powered by the miraculous power of technological progression and breathtaking industrial capacity, has helped create unprecedented wealth in the world. People have never lived such long, productive and healthy lives and countries all over the globe have never been more connected to each other.
Yet globalization is facing serious accusations in the West. Isolationists in some wealthy Western nations blame it for shifting away manufacturing jobs, widening wealth gaps and creating social inequality. In their eyes, backtracking is their new way forward.
Washington seems to be tilting increasingly toward unilateralism and protectionism on the world stage. It has grown more accustomed to imposing punitive duties than fulfilling its own duties as a major global power.
Across the Atlantic, the future of the European Union (EU) is left further in doubt. Italy's latest election results have suggested the continent still has fertile soil for populism. The country's Eurosceptic surge could throw leaders in Brussels, Berlin, Paris, as well as other pro-EU capitals a harder fight to hold the bloc together as Brexit has already been quite an ordeal for them.
While the Western world seems to be turning its back on the wider community of nations, other pressing problems are calling for concerted global efforts, like sustaining a more robust global economic recovery, saving the deteriorating environment, countering the worsening climate situation, and combating raging terrorism.
China's idea to bring all countries together is so far the most rational approach to handle these trans-border problems and to ultimately build a better world, for it seeks to put common interests ahead of self-interests.
Over the centuries, the world has seen itself bend toward a community of nations, where the weal and woe of one country impacts several others. It means that here on Earth, the only possible way to build a better home is to share both benefits and burdens together. In that case, China's proposal is indeed worth trying.