Rising to Challenges and Building a Bright Future Through Cooperation
– Keynote Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022
H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
Beijing, 21 April 2022
Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government,
Your Excellencies Heads of International Organizations,
Your Excellencies Members of the Board of Directors of the Boao Forum for Asia,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to once again join friends old and new online for the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022. I want to begin by extending, on behalf of the Chinese government and people and also in my own name, hearty welcome to all participating guests and warm congratulations on the convening of the Annual Conference.
Right now, changes of the world, of our times and of history are unfolding in ways like never before. These changes are posing challenges that must be taken seriously by humanity. We have yet to walk from the shadow of a once-in-a-century pandemic, but new traditional security risks are already emerging. The weak and faltering global economic recovery is compounded by a widening development gap. While governance deficit in areas like climate change has hardly been addressed, new issues such as digital governance are also vying for attention. Viewed in such a context, the theme of this year’s Annual Conference “The World in COVID-19 & Beyond: Working Together for Global Development and Shared Future” cannot be more relevant.
As an ancient Chinese adage goes, “One must not change his commitment or give up his pursuit even in the face of danger and risk.” A review of human history teaches us that the more difficult things get, the greater the need grows to stay confident. Problems are not to be afraid of, as it is one problem after another that have driven the progress of human society. No difficulties could ever stop the wheel of history. Faced with the many challenges, we must not lose confidence, hesitate or flinch. Instead, we must firm up confidence and press ahead against all odds.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
For us to break through the mist and embrace a bright future, the biggest strength comes from cooperation and the most effective way is through solidarity. Over the past two years and more, the international community has been working extremely hard to respond to the COVID-19 challenge and boost global recovery and development. The hardships and challenges are yet another reminder that humanity is a community with a shared future where all people rise and fall together, and that all countries need to follow the trend of the times featuring peace, development and win-win cooperation, move in the direction of building a community with a shared future for mankind, and rise to challenges and build a bright future through cooperation.
– We need to work together to defend people’s lives and health. Safety and health are the prerequisite for human development and progress. For humanity to clinch a final victory against the COVID-19 pandemic, more hard efforts are needed. It is essential that countries support each other, better coordinate response measures and improve global public health governance, so as to form strong international synergy against the pandemic. We must keep COVID vaccines a global public good and ensure their accessibility and affordability in developing countries. China has provided over 2.1 billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations. Be it in delivering vaccines abroad or producing them overseas, China has honored its commitments with concrete actions. China will follow through the pledged donation of 600 million and 150 million doses of vaccines to Africa and ASEAN countries respectively, as part of our effort to close the immunization gap.
– We need to work together to promote economic recovery. The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously eroded the gains the world has made in poverty reduction over the past decade. Uneven recovery is aggravating inequality across the world, further widening the North-South divide. We should stay committed to building an open world economy, stay on top of the dominant trend of economic globalization, increase macro policy coordination, turn to science and technology for more growth drivers, keep global industrial and supply chains stable, and prevent serious negative spillovers from policy adjustments in some countries, all in an effort to promote balanced, coordinated and inclusive global development. We should follow a people-centered approach, place development and people’s well-being high on the agenda and, when policies are implemented, measures adopted and actions taken, always give top priority to bettering people’s lives. We should pay due attention to the pressing needs of developing countries and advance practical cooperation in such key areas as poverty reduction, food security, development financing and industrialization, in a bid to address uneven and inadequate development. The Global Development Initiative (GDI) I proposed last year has been echoed and supported by the United Nations and other international organizations and nearly 100 countries. China is working with the international community on the solid implementation of the GDI.
– We need to work together to maintain peace and stability in the world. An ancient Chinese philosopher observed, “Stability brings a country prosperity while instability leads a country to poverty.” Security is the precondition for development. We humanity are living in an indivisible security community. It has been proven time and again that the Cold War mentality would only wreck the global peace framework, that hegemonism and power politics would only endanger world peace, and that bloc confrontation would only exacerbate security challenges in the 21st century. To promote security for all in the world, China would like to propose a Global Security Initiative as follows:
It is important that we stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and work together to maintain world peace and security; stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, uphold non-interference in internal affairs, and respect the independent choices of development paths and social systems made by people in different countries; stay committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, reject the Cold War mentality, oppose unilateralism, and say no to group politics and bloc confrontation; stay committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously, uphold the principle of indivisible security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security; stay committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation, support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises, reject double standards, and oppose the wanton use of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction; stay committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains, and work together on regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity.
– We need to work together to tackle global governance challenges. Countries around the world are like passengers aboard the same ship who share the same destiny. For the ship to navigate the storm and sail toward a bright future, all passengers must pull together. The thought of throwing anyone overboard is simply not acceptable. In this day and age, the international community has evolved so much that it has become a sophisticated and integrated apparatus. Acts to remove any single part will cause serious problems to its operation. When that happens, both the victims and the initiators of such acts will stand to lose. In today’s world, unilateralism and excessive pursuit of self-interest are doomed to fail; so are the practices of decoupling, supply disruption and maximum pressure; so are the attempts to forge “small circles” or to stoke conflict and confrontation along ideological lines. Instead, we need to embrace a global governance philosophy that emphasizes extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, promote the common values of humanity, and advocate exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations. We need to uphold true multilateralism, and firmly safeguard the international system with the UN at its core and the international order underpinned by international law. It is particularly important for major countries to lead by example in honoring equality, cooperation, good faith and the rule of law, and act in a way befitting their status.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Having been through hot and cold wars, hardships and tribulations, people in Asia deeply cherish the value of peace and understand that development gains do not come easily. Over the past decades, Asia has enjoyed overall stability and sustained rapid growth, making possible the Asian Miracle. When Asia fares well, the whole world benefits. Therefore, we need to continue developing and strengthening Asia, demonstrate Asia’s resilience, wisdom and strength, and make Asia an anchor for world peace, a powerhouse for global growth and a new pacesetter for international cooperation.
First, we should resolutely safeguard peace in Asia. Peace and stability in our region does not fall into our lap automatically or come as charity from any country. Rather, it is the result of the joint efforts of countries in the region. The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the Bandung Spirit, first advocated by Asia, are all the more relevant today. We should honor such principles as mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence, follow a policy of good-neighborliness and friendship, and make sure that we always keep our future in our own hands.
Second, we should vigorously advance Asian cooperation. Many Asian proverbs describe the value of solidarity and cooperation, such as “climb the hill together and go down the ravine together” and “sugarcane and lemongrass grow in dense clumps”. Win-win cooperation is a sure path to Asian development. The entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the opening to traffic of the China-Laos railway have effectively boosted institutional and physical connectivity in our region. We should seize these opportunities to foster a more open Asia-wide market and make new strides in mutually beneficial cooperation.
Third, we should jointly promote Asian unity. Choosing dialogue and cooperation over zero-sum games, openness and inclusiveness over a closed-door and exclusive approach, and exchanges and mutual learning over a sense of superiority: this is the only choice worthy of the broad-mindedness of Asians. We should cement ASEAN centrality in the regional architecture, and uphold a regional order that balances the aspirations and accommodates the interests of all parties. Countries, no matter their size and strength, and both in and outside the region, should all add splendor rather than trouble to Asia. All should follow the path of peace and development, seek win-win cooperation, and contribute to an Asian family of unity and progress together.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Two months ago, China presented to the world a streamlined, safe and splendid Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, bringing warmth and hope to people across the globe. In the second half of this year, we will convene the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which will draw the blueprint for China’s future development.
The fundamentals of the Chinese economy – strong resilience, enormous potential, vast room for maneuver and long-term sustainability – remain unchanged. They will provide great dynamism for the stability and recovery of the world economy and broader market opportunities for all countries. China will fully apply its new development philosophy, accelerate the establishment of a new development paradigm, and redouble efforts for high-quality development. No matter how the world will change, China’s faith in and its commitment to reform and opening-up will not waver. China will expand high-standard opening-up, fully implement the negative list for foreign investment, expand the encouraged catalogue for FDI, improve services for investment promotion, and add more cities to the comprehensive pilot program for service sector opening. China will take solid steps to develop its pilot free trade zones and the Hainan Free Trade Port, align with high-standard international economic and trade rules, and move ahead with institutional opening-up. China will implement the RCEP in full, seek the conclusion of high-standard FTAs with more countries and regions, and actively work for joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA). China will press ahead with high-quality Belt and Road cooperation to make it high-standard, sustainable and people-centered. China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, and always be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me conclude with an old Chinese saying, “Keep walking and one will not be daunted by a thousand miles; make constant efforts and one will not be intimidated by a thousand tasks.” As long as we join hands and never slacken in efforts, we will build great synergy through win-win cooperation, overcome the various challenges along the way, and usher in a brighter and better future for humanity.