Why China is a force for global peace and harmony as a full UN member
October 25, 1971, went down in the history of China’s diplomacy and the United Nations as a watershed moment. The UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758 at its 26th session to restore all lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China in the UN, a victory for the Chinese people and the people of the world.
China has since fully engaged in and supported the UN as a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order.
In the past half a century, China has stayed the course amid fluid circumstances. It has attained the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society and prevailed over absolute poverty. We are now on a new journey towards building a modern socialist country with bright prospects for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
More than managing our own affairs well, we have worked for better global governance through the UN system. China has championed the purposes and principles of the UN Charter with practical actions in the past five decades, joining almost all universal intergovernmental organisations and signing more than 600 international conventions.
China is the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the permanent members of the Security Council and the second-largest funder of peacekeeping operations. It has also taken an active part in the political settlement of international hotspots, provided global public goods such as the Belt and Road Initiative, helped developing countries protect their interests and economies and stood against hegemony and power politics.
Since the onset of Covid-19, we have worked together to stop the virus’ spread by sharing containment experience, supporting science-based origin tracing and acting on the pledge of making Chinese vaccines public goods.
The world is at a fork in the road where the combined impact of global changes and a pandemic unseen in a century necessitate a strong sense of responsibility and pioneering efforts.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China, President Xi Jinping declared that China will continue to pursue peaceful development, reform and opening up and multilateralism. It is the keystone for China’s role in the UN and global governance, as well as a commitment to world peace, development and a community with a shared future for mankind.
At this historical juncture, China has answers to three key questions.
First, how can we build an ideal global village? China’s recipe is making international relations more democratic and rules-based. To this end, we will work with all parties to uphold the international system with the UN at its core, the international order underpinned by international law and the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
In the face of emerging global challenges, all countries need to advance peace, development and win-win cooperation under the UN framework, practise true multilateralism and maintain the tenet of addressing global issues through consultation by all.
Second, how can we pursue long-term prosperity? Our solution is making development more balanced, coordinated and inclusive. Not long ago, Xi proposed a Global Development Initiative to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and build a global community of development with a shared future.
It is high on our priority list to join hands with all countries to build an open world economy, oppose unilateralism and protectionism, scale up global cooperation against epidemics, poverty and climate change and promote high-quality cooperation for the greater benefit of the people.
Third, how can we advance human civilisation? We believe the right way is strengthening equal-footed exchanges and mutual learning. Chinese civilization values inclusiveness, harmony without uniformity and mutual respect between civilisations.
China adheres to the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but rejects criticism in the name of “universal values”. We should advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity.
Democracy and human rights are not a monopoly of any individual country or countries but a right for all people to enjoy. All countries should choose development paths and models suited to their national conditions. No one civilisation is superior to another, and a country’s path should be judged by whether it can improve people’s livelihoods and gain public support.
As long as the path is correct, the destination will eventually be reached. Let’s move forward on the right track, with the UN playing a central role in international affairs and everyone pitching in for world peace and development. The time to act is now.