For common development, better future for mankind -- Xi's "cloud diplomacy" in 2021
BEIJING -- The year 2021 witnessed Chinese President Xi Jinping's tight schedule of "cloud diplomacy:" he had 79 telephone calls with leaders of foreign countries and international organizations, and attended 40 major diplomatic events via video link.
These activities have strengthened the bonds between China and the rest of the world and showed that the country, with a civilization of more than 5,000 years and a population of over 1.4 billion, is making continuous efforts to seek common development and a better future for mankind.
HIGHLIGHTS OF BILATERAL ACTIVITIES
In the face of complicated international situations, China-Russia ties have become a staunch force for world peace and stability.
From major cooperation projects to the official extension of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, and to the successful conclusion of the China-Russia Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation, cooperation between the two countries has yielded fruitful results last year.
As Xi put it in December, in his second virtual meeting in 2021 and 37th meeting since 2013 with Russian President Vladimir Putin, China and Russia have actively fulfilled their responsibilities as major countries, and acted as a pillar of strength in following true multilateralism and upholding fairness and justice in the world.
About a month before this talk, Xi held a video call with his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden. The Chinese president pointed out that the most important event in international relations in the coming 50 years will be for China and the United States to find the right way to get along.
He also highlighted mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation as three principles in developing China-U.S. relations in the new era.
In the month between the two meetings, Xi conducted a series of bilateral and multilateral activities, including congratulating Olaf Scholz on his election as German chancellor, addressing the opening ceremony of the China-Laos Railway via video link and sending congratulatory messages to the re-elected presidents of Vietnam and Uzbekistan.
QUOTES ON MULTILATERALISM
2021 marked the 20th anniversary of China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), the 30th anniversary of China's joining the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations (UN).
The Chinese president has expressed several times that China is determined to champion multilateralism. And new fruits of friendship are yielded thanks to candid exchanges and innovative cooperation mechanisms.
-- On the China-Central and Eastern European Countries summit in February, Xi said China intends to "import more than 170 billion U.S. dollars of goods from CEE countries" and will "work to double CEE countries' agricultural exports to China and raise two-way agricultural trade by 50 percent."
-- The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity was held in China's Kunming in October, at which Xi announced China's initiative to establish a Kunming Biodiversity Fund and take the lead by investing 1.5 billion yuan (233 million U.S. dollars) to support biodiversity protection in developing countries.
-- While addressing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations via video link in November, Xi called for fostering a closer community with a shared future for China and ASEAN, while keeping in mind people's aspirations for a better life.
HARMONIOUS RELATION WITH NATURE
The world has come to a crossroads where humanity is confronting the challenges of the times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Xi has put forward a series of new ideas and initiatives, which shows that China is a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, a defender of the international order and a provider of public goods.
China would provide an additional 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Africa, Xi announced while addressing the opening ceremony of the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation via video link.
As the first country to propose the COVID-19 vaccine as a global public good and to advocate global vaccine cooperation, China provided over 2 billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and organizations throughout 2021.
Xi said "China will do its best to help developing countries cope with the COVID-19 pandemic," in a written message to the first meeting of the International Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Cooperation in August.
In terms of climate issues, as "the first from the leader of a single country," quoting U.S. media CNBC, to speak on the Leaders' Summit on Climate in April, Xi reaffirmed that China will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
Throughout the year, China has not only pledged to achieve carbon neutrality, but also promoted the establishment of the Kunming Biodiversity Fund, issued the China-U.S. joint declaration on enhancing climate action, and participated in adopting the Glasgow Climate Pact.
In his keynote speech at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021, Xi called on countries to answer the "call of our times," defeat the pandemic through solidarity, strengthen global governance and keep pursuing a community with a shared future for mankind.
Only when countries develop together can there be true development, and only when countries prosper together can there be true prosperity, Xi said, while addressing via video link the opening ceremony of the Second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference.
The UN welcomes the China-proposed Global Development Initiative (GDI) as it will speed up implementing the 2030 Agenda, said Siddharth Chatterjee, UN development system resident coordinator in China.
The GDI proposed by Xi is an initiative to support the development of developing countries, promote global economic recovery in the post-pandemic era and strengthen international development cooperation.
China walks the talk. On Dec. 3, the first train of the China-Laos Railway left Vientiane in the afternoon after the cross-border railway was officially put into operation.
The 1,035-km electrified passenger and cargo railway, connecting Kunming in southwest China's Yunnan Province with the Lao capital, Vientiane, has fully adopted Chinese technical standards and consists of two sections. The start of its construction dates back to December 2016.
Xi said the China-Laos Railway is a landmark project of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
"China is willing to work with Laos and other countries along the route to speed up the building of a closer Belt and Road partnership and a community with a shared future for mankind," he said.
While some are seeking to stir confrontation or sow division, Xi has been proposing the promotion of humanity's common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom.
"With a strong sense of responsibility for the future of all mankind, we need to champion the common values of humanity, foster broad-minded tolerance toward the understanding of values by different civilizations, and respect the explorations of different peoples to turn values into reality," Xi said, addressing the Communist Party of China and World Political Parties Summit held in July 2021.
"By doing so, the common values of humanity will be translated into the practice of individual countries to serve the interests of their own people in a concrete and realistic way," he said.