Honorable Foreign Minister Lavrov,
Honorable [Russian International Affairs Council] Chairman Ivanov, [Chinese Academy of Social Sciences] President Shi Taifeng,
Colleagues and Experts,
It is a great pleasure to get together with our old friend Foreign Minister Lavrov and distinguished guests at the China-Russia High-level Think Tank Forum again after one year. The focus of this year’s forum is global governance. In addressing this major topic that concerns the future fate of humankind, China and Russia, as two world major countries and United Nations Security Council members, should continue to make important contributions in thought as well as in action.
At present, the world, the times, and history are changing in ways never seen before. With complex factors such as the global pandemic, regional conflicts, great power games, and reverse-globalization becoming intertwined, the peace deficit, security deficit, trust deficit, and governance deficit growing unabated, and global systemic risks continuing to accumulate, the global governance system faces unprecedented challenges.
As a responsible major country, China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, a supporter of the international order, and a provider of public goods. In the past year, having taken the pulse of the times, and echoing the voices of people from all countries, Chairman Xi Jinping proposed first a Global Development Initiative (全球发展倡议) and then a Global Security Initiative (全球安全倡议), contributing Chinese wisdom to putting an end to the “four deficits,” and receiving a positive response from the international community.
Development and security are the common concerns of all nations, as well as the top priorities in global governance. The Global Development Initiative upholds the notion of the people as central, and is dedicated to joining hands in building a global development community. Its aim is to inject important impetus into accelerating implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and promoting the sustainable growth of the global economy. The Global Security Initiative is guided by a concept of security that is shared, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable, with mutual respect as the basic precept, the indivisibility of security as an important principle, and building a security community as the long-term goal. It points to a new type of security path of dialogue rather than conflict, forming partnerships rather than alliances, and win-win rather than zero-sum outcomes. Each of these two initiatives has its own focus and promotes the other. Security is a prerequisite for development, development is the basis for security, and integrating development and security is the only way to achieve lasting peace and common prosperity.
There is a Russian proverb that says, “When streams combine they become a river, and when people gather they become a force.” The Chinese also like to say that “when many people gather wood, the fire blazes high.” Building and improving global governance depends on joint consultations, joint contributions, and shared benefits. Under the leadership and guidance of Chairman Xi Jinping and President Putin, China and Russia have continuously deepened their comprehensive strategic cooperation, constantly promoted practical cooperation in various fields, and propelled the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation for a new era to new heights, establishing a model for relations between today’s major countries, and also safeguarding international fairness and justice. China is willing to work together with the Russian side to continue implementing the important consensus of their two heads of state, and push the development of the global governance system in a fairer, more just and more reasonable direction in four areas.
The first is to promote a concept of democracy that puts the people first and is open and inclusive. Democracy is a common value of all humankind, not the exclusive preserve of a few countries. Nowhere in the world is there a universally applicable democratic formula, nor is there a model of democracy that is superior to others. Monopolizing the definition of democracy, imposing one’s values, and interfering in the internal affairs of other countries under the guise of democracy and human rights, are unpopular and will not succeed. China is ready to work with the Russian side and the international community to promote true democracy that is in line with the national conditions and popular will of each country.
The second is to adhere to a concept of development that is balanced and coordinated, inclusive and win-win. We should work with emerging market countries and the numerous developing countries to jointly safeguard the legitimate development rights of all countries. We should continue to expand cooperation in key areas such as poverty reduction, food security, anti-epidemic measures, development financing, climate change, green and sustainable development, industrialization, the digital economy, and connectivity, and build a broad development partnership to help the global post-pandemic recovery and achieve stronger, greener, and healthier development.
The third is to uphold a concept of security that is shared, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable. The human community shares a common destiny, and global security is indivisible. No country can or should seek its own absolute security at the expense of harming the security of other countries. International and regional security cannot and should not be assured by strengthening military groups, manufacturing ideological iron curtains, or cutting production chain supply chains. Only by steadfastly pursuing the notions of both-win and win-win, and taking into account the security of other countries when pursuing one’s own security can we forge a path of mutually beneficial win-win security and truly form a security community for humankind.
The fourth is to put into practice the concept of an order based on equality and respect, solidarity and cooperation. Chairman Xi Jinping has pointed out that the world’s many countries are all on board a great ship with a common destiny. In the context of changes unseen in a century and a once-in-a-century pandemic, the world’s affairs ought to be jointly discussed by all countries, international rules ought to be jointly written by all countries, and recognized international law, international mechanisms, and international justice ought to be jointly maintained by all countries. The global governance system should be a more balanced reflection of the will and interests of the majority of countries, especially emerging market countries and developing countries in general. Russia and China should continue to work together with peace-loving and development-oriented countries; resolutely uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core and the international order based on international law; continuously promote the democratization of international relations; and contribute to the common development, sustainable prosperity, and long-term peace and security of human society.
Thought points the direction, and actions create the future. Improving the global governance system requires up-to-date ideas and courageous and firm actions. Chinese and Russian academics must be both thinkers and doers. Last year, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Russian International Affairs Council launched the “China-Russia Think Tank Exchange Mechanism,” creating a first-class platform for policy consultation and theoretical innovation, and the research results of Global Governance in the New Era are about to be released. I hope that experts and scholars from both sides will communicate deeply and contribute valuable wisdom to help China-Russia relations flourish and make the world more peaceful, secure, and prosperous.
I wish the forum complete success!