Build up Consensus, Pool Strength and Create a Better Future
Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Zheng Zeguang at the Launch of the New Book by Professor Martin Albrow
6 April 2022
Ms Violeta Bulc,
Professor Martin Albrow,
Secretary General Zhao Qi,
Mr Liu Bogen,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a real delight to join you at the launch of the English edition of Professor Albrow’s new book China and the Shared Human Future: Exploring Common Values and Goals. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, I would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Professor Albrow!
Professor Albrow is a world-renowned sociologist. His book The Global Age: State and Society Beyond Modernity published in the 1990s established him as a pioneer in the study on globalisation. The ensuing globalisation process was evidence for his profound vision. In 2016, Professor Albrow was invited to the Sinology and Contemporary China Symposium held in China, and after that, he began to focus on studying China’s governance model and using sociological theories to interpret President Xi Jinping’s thought on governance and the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind. His study has made important contribution to helping the British public and the international community better understand China’s development path.
Not long after arriving in London, I read Professor Albrow’s book China’s Role in a Shared Human Future, and I has since invited him to speak at several events hosted by the Chinese Embassy. My colleagues and myself have benefited immensely from his insights.
As one human community, we are living at a time that is full of hopes as well as challenges. What does the future hold for us? This is the question of our times, and in answering it President Xi Jinping has proposed the important concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind. This concept proceeds from the fundamental interests of the people of China and the world, and displays strategic and profound vision. It is China’s proposal for addressing the major challenges facing the world. It also pointed the way towards peace and prosperity for mankind.
Now, at the launch of the second book of Professor Albrow on a community with a shared future for mankind, I want to share with you my three thoughts on this vision:
First, to build a community with a shared future for mankind, countries of the world should have a reasonable strategic mutual perception. In recent years, some Western politicians, took the theory of Thucydides Trap as the standard rules of state-to-state relations, believing that an increasingly developed China will harm the interests of Western countries headed by the United States. However, this “zero-sum” thinking is a strategic misjudgment. China always believes that countries should engage in dialogue, not confrontation, and build partnerships, not alliances; Rather than undercutting each other’s efforts, countries should lend a helping hand and join hands to make common progress. And China has lived up to its words. For a country of over 1.4 billion people, doing a good job at home and making progress for its own people is in itself a major contribution to mankind. China has achieved this, and more. We have actively shared opportunities for development with the rest of the world by opening our market wider and promoting international cooperation. China’s development has always been an opportunity for the common development of all countries, and has never posed threats to any country.
Second, to build a community with a shared future for mankind, we should follow the right way of coexistence. Democracy and freedom are the common pursuit of mankind, but they take different forms in countries with different national conditions. Countries have the right to choose the development paths that suit their national conditions. This is the meaning of democracy in international relations. It is up to the people of a country to decide whether their system is good or not. Some Western countries are keen on exporting their model to other countries. However, the results are not true democracy for the countries concerned, but endless turbulence and deep suffering. There are plenty of examples, in Middle East countries and in Afghanistan. The Chinese people are fully confident in their own choice of socialist system with Chinese characteristics. At the same time, we respect the people of other countries in their choice of development paths. China does not “import” models from other countries; nor does it “export” its own model. We are all for pursuing mutual learning and common development. It is important that in handling relations with others, countries should show respect, seek common ground despite differences and learn from one another with a view to building a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation.
Third, to build a community with a shared future for mankind, we should promote global cooperation and development. Today’s world faces multiple and severe challenges from pandemics, climate change, economic inequality and regional conflicts. Once again, globalisation has come to a crossroads. What is the right thing to do in our world today? Not “beggar thy neighbour”. Not exporting crisis or creating confrontation. Such actions are immoral and against the trend of times. They are unsustainable. The right thing to do is to manage and control differences and frictions, seek dialogue, engage in cooperation, and promote common development. Countries should join hands to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity. China has made tremendous efforts and played a constructive role in leading the world economic recovery, fighting Covid-19, responding to climate change and promoting conflict settlement. We will continue to do so.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of ambassadorial diplomatic relations between China and the UK. In his telephone conversation with Prime Minister Boris Johnson last month, President Xi Jinping pointed out that despite twists and turns, the China-UK relationship has on the whole kept growing for over half a century. Now, the two sides are standing at a new historical starting point. We need to take a strategic and long-term perspective, uphold mutual respect, keep an open and inclusive mindset, increase dialogue and exchange, and expand mutually beneficial cooperation. It is my hope that our two sides will follow up on the common understanding between our leaders, promote the continued development of the China-UK relationship, and make greater contribution to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
The whole world is one family where the Great Way is never short of followers. The vision of a community with a shared future is in line with the fundamental interests of the people of the whole world, and shows the right direction for the development of globalisation in the future. It has won the recognition and support from more and more countries and peoples. And this could not have been achieved without the continuous and persistent study, exploration and promotion by visionary people like Professor Albrow. I would like to, once again, extend my sincere thanks to Professor Albrow and other scholars and experts who have contributed to the editing of the book, including Professor Chang Xiangqun! Let’s join hands, build up consensus, pool our strengths and create a better future.