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Yearender: Xinhua's top 10 world news events in 2020

(Xinhua)    08:41, December 30, 2020

BEIJING, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Xinhua chronicle of the top 10 world news events in the year of 2020 is as follows:

COVID-19 pandemic rages across globe

On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the COVID-19 outbreak can be characterized as a "pandemic." As of Dec. 30, Beijing Time, there were over 80 million confirmed cases and more than 1.77 million relevant deaths, according to WHO data. The wide impact and great loss it caused, as well as the difficulty in prevention and control have all made the pandemic a global public health crisis rarely seen in human history.

In the face of the worst global public health crisis in the post-WWII era, countries worldwide are joining their hands in the fight against the outbreak. China has launched the largest global emergency humanitarian action since the founding of the People's Republic of China, winning broad international recognition.

However, some self-dealing U.S. politicians strived to politicize the pandemic, seeking to stigmatize others and shift their due responsibilities as well as jeopardize international cooperation to beat the virus. They have become the stumbling block in humanity's battle against the pandemic.

Notion of building community with shared future for mankind enjoys growing popularity

Chinese President Xi Jinping first proposed the idea of building a global community of health for all in March.

From building a global community of health for all, to building a shared future for all life on Earth, and to the four communities of health, security, development and cultural exchanges at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind has been constantly enriched.

The building of a community with a shared future for mankind is also making continuous progress as China is working with more and more partners to build bilateral communities with a shared future.

China is reaching further consensus on building communities with a shared future with neighboring, Asia-Pacific, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), African, Arab and Latin American countries.

The global fight against the pandemic has further underlined the fact that the human race shares one common future, and the notion of building a community with a shared future for mankind has become ever more popular globally.

Chinese head of state promotes solidarity, cooperation through "cloud diplomacy"

On March 26, Xi attended the Group of 20 (G20) Extraordinary Virtual Leaders' Summit on COVID-19 via video link and called for a collective response against the pandemic in his speech.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Xi has carried out "telephone diplomacy" and "letter diplomacy," attended or chaired virtual meetings including the World Health Assembly (WHA), the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit On Solidarity Against COVID-19, a series of high-level meetings marking the United Nations (UN)' 75th anniversary, the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO, the BRICS meeting, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting and the G20 summit. During these meetings, Xi put forward China's solutions to promoting anti-COVID-19 cooperation, boosting economic recovery, and improving global governance.

Under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era between China and Russia remains stable and strong, showing great vitality and resilience.

Adhering to the principle of solidarity and cooperation, China has made important contributions to the health and welfare of the human race as well as world peace and development.

Racial conflicts expose U.S. malady of human rights

On May 25, African-American George Floyd died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death has triggered prolonged, large-scale protests against racism and police brutality across the United States.

Since then, with cases about African-Americans violently treated by white police officers continuously being exposed, the protests against racism have been further escalated. "Black Lives Matter" has now become one of the most well-known slogans in 2020.

Facts have shown that over the years, in the United States, white supremacy has prevailed, racial conflicts have been difficult to reconcile, and social divisions have widened, all of which laid bare the U.S. human rights malady of systemic racism.

Abe resigns as Japanese prime minister and his policies largely stay

On Aug. 28, Japan's then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that he would resign over health concerns. On Sept. 14, the then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was elected as the new president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and succeeded Abe as the new prime minister on Sept. 16, officially capping the Abe era that lasted for more than seven years, the longest of any Japanese prime minister.

Suga has made it clear that he would "carry forward what has been done under Prime Minister Abe." And his policies in the fields of diplomacy and security have also shown much consistency with the Abe administration.

United Nations champions multilateralism at 75th anniversary

On Sept. 21, the UN held a high-level meeting to commemorate its 75th anniversary, during which its members adopted a declaration to stress the significance of multilateralism and international cooperation, and reaffirm its commitment to sustainable development, environmental protection, peace, justice, gender equality, etc.

Leaders and representatives of participating countries said that in a world facing a host of threats and challenges, especially the ruthless COVID-19 pandemic, the international community felt more urgency to uphold multilateralism and enhance global collaboration. Noting the international community's need for more efficient multilateralism, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged countries around the world to work together and improve global governance.

The opinions demonstrated by various sides at the meeting reflected an international consensus on deepening the reform of the global governance system.

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict poses threat to regional security

Armed conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh region flared up on Sept. 27. Despite three cease-fire deals in October brokered by countries like Russia and the United States, the violent clashes saw no stop.

In November, leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia struck a peace deal, declaring a complete end to the conflict. Later, Russia and Turkey signed a memorandum to establish a joint center to monitor the Nagorno-Karabakh truce.

Nagorno-Karabakh was called a powder barrel in the Caucasus, and the latest rounds of attacks only further upset the already delicate geopolitical balance in the Caucasus region and the neighboring areas.

Hard-hit global economy plunges into deep recession

Hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and other negative factors, the global economy was projected to contract by 4.4 percent in 2020, said a World Economic Outlook report issued by the International Monetary Fund on Oct. 13.

Amid the raging pandemic, the world has undergone the worst recession since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Currently, the global economy is facing grave challenges posed by various pandemic-induced risks, while a stable and balanced global recovery is far-flung.

In the meantime, new technologies have sprung up, including 5G, artificial intelligence as well as smart city solutions, and the rapid growth of touchless economy, such as online shopping and education as well as telemedicine, has blazed a trail for economic development.

Signing of RCEP bolsters multilateral cooperation

On Nov. 15, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement was signed among its 15 participating countries, namely the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, and set up a free trade bloc with the largest participating population in the world, the most diverse membership, and the greatest development potential.

This is a monumental achievement in East Asian regional cooperation, which will help realize a high-level opening-up for trade in goods and services, as well as investments, among regional countries, greatly lift the level of regional trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and strengthen the attractiveness and competitiveness of the region. The signing of the pact will not only further promote regional development and prosperity, but also add fresh impetus to global growth.

Hard-won post-Brexit trade deal averts lose-lose situation

Following nine months of protracted tortuous negotiations, Britain and the European Union (EU) on Dec. 24 finally secured a free trade deal, which will govern the EU-UK trade and security relationship starting from Jan. 1, 2021.

The agreement will inject certainty into future cooperation between Britain and the EU so as to avoid a lose-lose scenario brought about by a no-deal Brexit.

Brexit has brought about changes in Europe's landscape, and will exert a profound impact on the world politics and economy. Also, how Britain-EU relations in the post-Brexit era are going to evolve will capture special international attention.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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