China leads with wisdom for addressing global pandemic, development challenges

(Xinhua) 14:02, January 23, 2022

BRUSSELS, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- "Small boats may not survive a storm, but a giant ship is strong enough to brave a storm," Chinese President Xi Jinping has said during a special address to the 2022 World Economic Forum (WEF) virtual session.

As global leaders from political, business and academic circles explored new driving forces for economic growth, new models for social life, and new paths for personnel exchanges during the five-day session that ended on Friday, Xi's remarks have once again demonstrated China's wisdom for addressing the pressing challenges facing mankind.

The proposals China made during the event -- to uphold multilateralism, promote win-win cooperation and share development opportunities -- have offered fresh hope for the world out of the global pandemic and economic woes.


The number of global infections had exceeded 320 million by Monday, with several countries registering a new record high of daily cases, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The World Bank's latest "Global Economic Prospects" report noted that due to such factors as the pandemic, inflation, debt and income inequality, global growth is expected to "decelerate markedly" in 2022 and 2023.

"Only 16 percent of respondents feel positive and optimistic about the outlook for the world, and just 11 percent believe the global recovery will accelerate," said the WEF's Global Risks Report 2022 published on Jan. 11.

"Recovery remains fragile and uneven amid the lingering pandemic, persistent labor market challenges, ongoing supply chain disruptions, rising inflation and looming debt traps," United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the forum on Monday.

Stressing that "the climate crisis remains the biggest long-term threat facing humanity," Zurich Insurance Group's Chief Risk Officer Peter Giger said that "failure to act on climate change could shrink global GDP (gross domestic product) by one-sixth."

"Everyone hopes that in 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the crises that accompanied it, will finally begin to recede. But major global challenges await us, from climate change to rebuilding trust and social cohesion," said WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab.

"To address them, leaders will need to adopt new models, look long-term, renew cooperation and act systemically," he said.


Against the backdrop of the pandemic woes, many participants of the event reiterated the urgent need for global solidarity, equality and cooperation.

While more than half of the world's population having been fully vaccinated, the rate is only 7 percent in Africa.

"Being able to use those vaccines equitably is not only a fair and important humanitarian objective, it's the best way for us all to get out of the pandemic phase that we're currently in right now," said Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Program.

Anthony Fauci, the U.S. top infectious disease expert, noted Monday during the event that inequality in public health is an important reason for the severe pandemic situation in the United States.

"We should have had a much more coordinated global response, as I've said so many times. A global pandemic requires a global response, and we have to keep in mind the issue of equity all the time because you can't have a situation where you have the virus circulating freely in one part of the world," Fauci said.

"Collaboration within societies and among the international community will be fundamental to ensure a more even and rapid global recovery," said Saadia Zahidi, the WEF's managing director.

"Global leaders must come together and adopt a coordinated multi-stakeholder approach to tackle unrelenting global challenges and build resilience ahead of the next crisis," she stressed.

"We will no longer wait for the slowest and least ambitious," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, adding, "we need a paradigm shift in global climate policy."


To shed new light on addressing the challenges of the times, Xi stressed "the need to foster new opportunities amidst crises, open up new horizons on a shifting landscape, and pool great strength to go through difficulties and challenges" during his special address on Monday.

Xi called on the international community to embrace cooperation and jointly defeat the pandemic, resolve various risks and promote a steady recovery of the world economy, bridge the development divide and revitalize global development, and discard Cold War mentality and seek peaceful coexistence and win-win outcomes.

Former Prime Minister of Croatia Jadranka Kosor said Xi's remarks show the path of win-win cooperation for the benefit of people around the world.

Xi's words constituted an "important milestone" in promoting global cooperation following the COVID-19 pandemic, said Schwab.

Dialogue and cooperation leading to joint solutions is "the only key" for humanity to live in peace and prosperity, he said, echoing Xi's remarks in 2017 on building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Schwab also thanked China for its active role in the global effort to combat common challenges.

Indeed, China has been actively contributing to the global anti-pandemic fight as well as the world economic recovery. In an effort to make COVID-19 vaccines a global public good, China has donated and delivered billions of doses to countries in need.

According to a release on Jan. 17 by the country's National Bureau of Statistics, China's GDP is estimated to account for more than 18 percent of the global total and contribute to some 25 percent of global GDP growth.

Michael Schumann, chairman of Germany's Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade, said China's growth is especially respectable amid the pandemic, and could inspire other countries to follow and intensify efforts to revive their economies.

"China has always been ready to work with the international community to restore confidence in multilateralism and globalization, build an open and pluralistic world economy, and blaze a new trail in inclusive growth and sustainable development, so as to shape a brighter shared future," said Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia.

(Web editor: Wu Chaolan, Bianji)


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