China’s developmental peace initiative

S Qamar A Rizvi

LAST month, the Chinese concept of building ‘a human community with shared destiny’ was incorporated into a UN Security Council resolution for the first time, mirroring the global recognition of China’s great contributions to global governance. Also included in the newly adopted council resolution was China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes, the diplomats in the UN said. The Beijing peace initiative via development intrinsically gravitates the global attention towards human community.
In a unanimously adopted resolution to renew the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for one year, the 15-nation UN body urged to promote security and stability in Afghanistan and the region to create a community of shared future for mankind. Meanwhile, the latest council resolution also urged further international efforts to strengthen regional cooperation and implement the Belt and Road Initiative. The Security Council stressed “the crucial importance of advancing regional cooperation in the spirit of win-win cooperation as an effective means to promote security, stability and economic and social development in Afghanistan and the region to create a community of shared future for mankind,” the resolution said.
Since China first proposed the concept in late 2012, it has gone on to shape China’s approach to global governance, giving rise to proposals and measures to support growth for all.In the same resolution, the council “welcomes and urges further efforts to strengthen the process of regional economic cooperation, including measures to facilitate regional connectivity, trade and transit, including through regional development initiatives such as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (the Belt and Road) Initiative, and regional development projects.”
China’s “One Belt, One Road” project that includes the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) has received backing by being mentioned in a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution, likely raising voices in the Indian held Kashmir (IHK) have also expressed strong desire for participation in the plan. The initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes. As the largest developing country in the world, China has always given top priority to development. In the coming years, China will seek coordinated development in the economic, political, cultural, social and ecological fields guided by the development concept featuring innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development, in order to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects in due time. China will pursue innovative development by adopting an innovation-driven strategy and improving the quality and efficiency of development.
China has launched all-round implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As the current president of the G20, China is pushing for the formulation of the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to inject strong impetus to the global implementation process via these noteworthy principles: First, principle of peaceful development. Countries should safeguard the purposes and principles of the UN Charter through commitment to peaceful coexistence, build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation, and foster peaceful, stable and harmonious regional and international environment enabling for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda via following governed principles. Second, principle of win-win cooperation. Governments, private sectors, civil society and international organizations should foster a sense of community of shared interests and establish all-round partnership in playing respective role in global development cooperation. Countries should jointly participate in global development progress and development rules making, share development gains on an equal footing.
Third, principle of integration and coordination. It is essential to make development serve the people and put people first. Countries should give priority to poverty eradication and people’s livelihood, safeguard social equity and justice and firmly implement the concept of sustainable development, so as to achieve economic, social and environmental development in a balanced way, as well as harmony between individuals and the society and between man and nature. Fourth, principle of inclusiveness and openness. Countries should commit to achieving inclusive economic growth and building an inclusive society, where development gains are shared by all and no one is left behind. Concerted efforts should be made to build an open world economy and increase the representation and voice of developing countries in global economic governance.
Fifth, principle of sovereignty and voluntary action. Reaffirming that every country has full sovereignty over its own economic development and implementation of the 2030 Agenda, countries should be encouraged to formulate their domestic development strategies and take measures to implement the 2030 Agenda in accordance with their national conditions and respective characteristics. It is important to respect every country’s choice for development path and draw on experience of each other. Sixth, principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The implementation of the 2030 Agenda is a common objective, while the means of implementation should be allowed to be differentiated, due to diversified national conditions and respective capabilities, so that all countries would be able to make their own contributions to the global implementation.
The philosophy behind these working principles has been that coordinated development could be achieved through regional cooperation, urban and rural integration, parallel development of material wealth and spiritual enrichment and integration of economic development with national defence, which will form a balanced structure of development. China will pursue green development by promoting a green and low-carbon development model and lifestyle, actively addressing the climate change and protecting ecological system.
China is affirmed to deepen opening-up and promote strategic mutual trust, economic and trade cooperation, and people to people exchange, thus realizing win-win cooperation. Shared development should be pursued by highlighting equal opportunity, ensuring basic livelihood and improving people’s well- being. It is in this backdrop, the international community should make efforts to improve development partnership, take the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” as the guide, keep to the main channel of North-South cooperation, continuously deepen South-South cooperation and tripartite cooperation, and firmly support the UN in playing its coordinating role in the implementation process.
— The writer, an independent ‘IR’ researcher-cum-analyst based in Karachi, is a member of European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on IR, Critical Peace & Conflict Studies.
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