China points the way for global peace

By Cao Desheng (China Daily) 08:36, December 25, 2023


Mediation success, promotion of justice key to past year's diplomatic endeavors

Editor's note: Head-of-state diplomacy leads the way in which China pursues peaceful development and advances the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. China Daily presents a series of stories about interactions between China and the rest of the world, recollecting the country's diplomatic endeavors led by President Xi Jinping over the year.

Looking back on China's diplomatic endeavors over the past year, no one could overlook its successful mediation in the Saudi Arabia-Iran deal to restore diplomatic ties, or its consistent efforts to de-escalate the Ukraine crisis and promote a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.

Led by President Xi Jinping, China has been a promoter of regional and global peace and development and a contributor of international fairness and justice, while working to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests.

Initiatives proposed by Xi on global development, security and civilization exchanges have become the country's guideline to fix the growing deficits of peace, development and governance in the world, and to advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

In contributing to global peace and development, China walks the talk.

One of the highlights of its diplomatic efforts occurred in March, when Saudi Arabia and Iran decided to resume diplomatic ties after five days of talks in Beijing.

China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, who is now foreign minister, hailed the decision as "a victory for peace", and international media highlighted China's role in contributing to peace in the Middle East.

The talks between Riyadh and Teheran in Beijing came months after Xi's separate meetings with leaders of the two countries. In December last year, Xi made a state visit to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.

In February, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi made a three-day state visit to China at the invitation of Xi.

The Beijing dialogue had been advanced on the basis of the consensus reached among the leaders of China, Saudi Arabia and Iran, Wang told the media after the meeting. "From the very beginning, President Xi Jinping has given clear-cut support for the talks," he said.

As the Russia-Ukraine conflict became protracted, China issued a paper in February stating its position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. Then, in April, Xi held telephone talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. While reiterating that dialogue is the only viable way out of the Ukraine crisis, Xi underlined China's commitment and fresh plans for facilitating peace talks.

Parties including Kyiv, Moscow, Washington and Brussels spoke positively of the phone conversation between the two presidents, highlighting China's role as a peacemaker.

When the new round of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict erupted in October, China took an active part in promoting peace talks and a cease-fire, easing the humanitarian plight in Gaza, and working toward an early solution to the Palestine issue that is comprehensive, just and sustainable.

While addressing the extraordinary joint meeting of BRICS leaders and leaders of invited BRICS members on the situation in the Middle East and Gaza in particular on Nov 21, Xi called for the international community to act with practical measures to prevent the conflict from spilling over and endangering stability in the Middle East as a whole.

China, which held the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council in November, has taken steps to mend the rifts and build consensus. As a result, the Security Council, 40 days after the outbreak of the new round of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, adopted its first resolution focusing on humanitarian concerns, which observers said demonstrated the international recognition of China's role in the matter.

Ebrahim Hashem, an Emirati strategist and Asia Global Fellow at Hong Kong University's Asia Global Institute, said that in the case of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the West has lost credibility in the Middle East, but China offers a balanced approach.

"China has been doing a good job trying to put an end to the conflict in Gaza," he said. "China has been contributing positively to the region, not only economically and politically, but also diplomatically."

Meanwhile, amid rising geopolitical competitions, rampant unilateral and bullying practices, frequently emerging regional conflicts and widening development gaps, China unveiled its proposal on the reform and development of global governance in September, and called for global efforts to address the problems and challenges that the world is facing.

It underlined the need to enhance global security governance to safeguard world peace and stability, saying that the international community needs peace, trust, solidarity and cooperation, rather than war, suspicion, division and confrontation.

The paper called for improving global development governance and keeping development front and center on the global agenda, in order to jointly pursue global sustainable development.

It also emphasized advancing global human rights and social governance and jointly promoting civilization exchanges and progress.

China's proposals and initiatives are gaining more extensive support and positive response from the international community.

When Xi was on a state visit to Vietnam on Dec 12 and 13, Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, told him that the important global initiatives that Xi proposed aim to uphold the common interests of humanity and are fully consistent with international law. Vietnam firmly supports those initiatives and would like to actively take part, Trong said.

Sean Cleary, executive vice-chair of the Future World Foundation, said that the world is now much more closely connected, and the only way to meet challenges is for countries to work together.

"What China has put on the table — the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative — is a vision of how a system of multilateral or global governance ought to function to create a shared future for humankind," he said.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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