Sunday August 07, 2022

President Xi’s commitment to peace and prosperity

June 27, 2022

President Xi Jinping’s speech at the BRICS Business Forum can be summarised as a sincere proposal and commitment to sustainable peace and prosperity.

It is not for the first time that President Xi urged the world to work for peace and prosperity. It is a constant feature of President Xi’s talks and actions. He never let any moment to slip away without highlighting the importance of peace and prosperity for people and nations. It does not matter, where he is talking, his focus is always on peace and prosperity.

The world has seen him talking at UN’s platform, regional associations and forums, bilateral forums and national forums with the same message. He believes that without ensuring peace and prosperity, the world cannot achieve the goal of shared future.

The analysis of historical data shows it was cooperation which helped the world grow and overcome challenges. World Bank has pointed out the world GDP grew by 25-folds in the aftermath of globalisation. In monetary terms, it increased from $2.96 trillion in 1970 to $74 trillion in 2015. The world was also able to halve poverty (1.9 billion people in 1990 to 689 million in 2019). Despite of huge benefits of cooperation and economic linkages, the world is moving in other direction.

President Xi rightly identified the problems and their causes. He said, World is facing contradictions between 1) - peace or war? 2) - progress or regression? 3) - openness or isolation? 4) - cooperation or confrontation? There is no denying the fact that these contradictions are haunting humanity for a long time. But, in recent times the situation has aggravated. Trade war, economic isolation and confrontation in the name of so-called human rights and democracy have become new normal. Hegemonic aspirations are igniting the flames of new conflicts and crises. Ukraine problem is the latest example.

Ukraine crisis is an interesting case to understand the Western mentality and preferences. The analysis of this crisis tells us it was designed and fuelled to achieve three specific objectives; to weaken Russia by engaging it in conflict and depriving it of economic opportunities by imposing sanctions; to create law and order situation around the BRI corridors and undermine economic interests of China; to push Ukraine in western bloc and target Chinese investments in Ukraine.

However, a vast majority of experts believe the West is adopting such tactics out of fear of losing hegemony and economic power. Since the rise of China, efforts have been accelerated to undermine global system. Rather, Western countries, in the leadership of US, are hell bent to dent the global system without realising that fall of this system will be a disaster and no one will be the winner.

We have seen worst impacts of such mentality during the last century in the form of two world wars which engulfed millions of human beings in addition to destruction of resources.

In this context, President Xi’s advice has rational with emphasis on abandoning the hegemonic mentality and aspirations. He asked the world to say goodbye to this mentality as it cannot afford a new world war. He also urged the powerful countries to depart from the philosophy of “position of strength” as it will not serve the purpose of peace and prosperity.

By citing historical lessons, he urged all to pursue and defend peace, at all costs. It is the only way to secure sustainable prosperity. He reiterated the importance of Global Security Initiative and its four pillars, common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security for securing sustainable peace.

He proposed that we must try to forge partnerships based on principles of win-win cooperation. We must create a new World Order with core values of justices, fairness and respect for everyone. Besides, UN must be at the centre of all international engagements and we should adhere to the core values and principles of UN. It is not a choice but need of the hour. It is required to combat multifaceted challenges like food insecurity, energy security, health, COVID-19 and existential threat of climate change. By keeping in mind these huge challenges, China proposed Global Development Initiative.

However, the challenges are so huge that no single country or region can handle them alone. Thus, there is need to strengthen cooperation and avoid isolation or compartmentalisation. We should understand that small courts with high fences will not serve the purpose. The world should promote trade, economic linkages, technology development and investment through the WTO-based system. It will be a win-win proposition for everyone. It is essential to benefit from the real potential of the world. It will also give boost to innovation and creativity which would be a good news for global growth and development.

In nutshell, it was a good speech, especially in the prevailing global situation. However, BRICS can contribute and spearhead global changes by making it inclusive through expansion of its membership. It is suggested that countries like Pakistan, Indonesia, Gulf and other should be offered membership in first phase. It will give hope to developing countries and build positive image of BRICS. Otherwise, BRICS will be considered as G-7 of emerging economies by low-and middle-income countries of the world.