Community Of Shared Future For Mankind
It was in Moscow, Russia’s capital city, on March 23, 2013 when Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward for the first time the concept of building a community with shared future for mankind. He was talking about China’s focus on global governance and bases for international relations. Since then, this concept has been received very well around the globe. Now, with its inclusion in China’s constitution through the recently held first session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NC), China’s legislative body, it has obviously become China’s foreign policy vision. This is the first amendment on China’s foreign policy since the 1982 constitution amendment. And this signifies a clear shift in China’s foreign policy thrust as it indicates that China, as a major country in the global affairs, will endevour for development of humanity at large while maintaining its policy of peaceful co-existence, non-interference in internal affairs of the other countries. Thus China’s diplomacy outlook has now become humankind focused, and it has risen above nation-oriented. It is noteworthy that this concept has already been endorsed by the UN General Assembly, Security Council and special committees in their resolutions.
No doubt, to think of the nation states around the world as community of shared future and stress on cooperation among them for building a community with common destiny is a grand vision. It highlights how countries have now become interdependent and how they should cooperate. Undoubtedly, this concept tries to push forward globalisation but in a refined way, with the best motive. However, materialising this vision may at times require China to rise above national interest. China, which has been seeking to change the current form of globalisation that for many is based on exploitation of the poor by the rich countries, will have to play greater role to put its vision into action. And this is the right time as many countries in the world are lagged far behind in terms of development.
According to Professor Wang Yiwei of Renmin University of China, there are three major policy implications for a community of shared future for mankind, namely mutual benefit and mutual respect, continuity and creativity and common identity and common destiny. Explaining mutual benefit and mutual respect, he says, “Developing countries, particularly China’s neighbours, are natural partners to build such a community under the Belt and Road Initiative. In the meantime China will also seek win-win cooperation and peaceful coexistence with Western countries, despite our differences in national system.”
For Prof. Wang, continuity and creativity means to keep following international principles and laws since the modern international system was established, encourage every country to hold its own fate while building a new type of international relation with win-win cooperation at the core. He says that the common identity and common destiny will be achieved as, for socialist countries, the goal is to build a community with shared future with strategic purpose while for emerging powers, the common destiny is to work together to reform the international system to make it more inclusive, balanced and sustainable.
Clearly, by means of BRICS (a cooperation forum of emerging economic powers such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and other global as well regional forums, China has been pushing forward for greater cooperation among the developing countries and shaping a new global governance. The second largest economy wants the present world order refined. In this context, the concept of community of shared future for mankind points out the direction and draws a blueprint for the international community to achieve enduring peace, common development and sustained prosperity. It also represents China’s global vision of pursuing both its own development and the development of the world. No doubt, China has been highlighting that it will endevour to foster a neighbourly environment that enhances mutual trust and common development between China and its neighbours.
With the signing of the trade and transit agreement in 2015 and MoU on Belt and Road cooperation framework in 2017, among other recent agreements and MoUs singed between Nepal and China, the relations between the two neighbours is said to have entered a new era. Chinese ambassador to Nepal, Yu Hong, confirmed to this as she said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the National Academy of Armed Policy Force, which was built as a China-Aid project, a few days back that “it was new era of China-Nepal relations moving forward to a new height. China and Nepal are linked by mountains and rivers. In recent years, China-Nepal practical cooperation in all areas has developed steadily.”
Yes, Nepal-China relations have been growing fast and stronger. China has always been supportive of Nepal’s development endevours. Araniko Highway, Kathmandu Ring Road, Prithvi Highway and Narayangadh-Mugling road are some of the symbols of China’s development assistance to Nepal. Thousands of Nepalese remember this while traveling through these roads. Yet, Nepal has lagged far behind in all fronts of development. It has remained a least developed country. And Nepal is China’s neighbour. Maybe, Nepal could not reap benefits of China’s astonishing development, and because of poverty and lack of development in Nepal, people of China and Nepal do not have the common destiny. But, now, it is hoped both the neighbours will enlarge cooperation. And the new era of Nepal-China relations will be characterised by trans-Himalaya railways and growth in trade volume (but not charaterised by huge trade deficit on the part of Nepal), mobility of people and greater Chinese investment in Nepal.