|Ambassador Zhang Zuo Contributes a Signed Article to North Macedonia Media|
On 20 November 2021, the website of Media Information Agency of North Macedonia carried a signed article by Ambassador Zhang Zuo entitled “China promotes common values of humanity to jointly advance the development of human civilization”. The full text is as follows:
President Xi Jinping pointed out that “We need to advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity, and reject the practice of forming small circles or zero-sum games.” when he attended the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. He stressed that advocating the common values of humanity is in line with the common pursuit of people all over the world, and he advocated exchanges and mutual learning among different civilizations to jointly promote the development of human civilization.
First, China upholds the common values of humanity. The Chinese nation has always sought coexistence of all in harmony and support that we are of one family. Since its founding 100 years ago, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has held a strong sense of responsibility for the future of all mankind, focused on combing the value pursuit of Chinese civilization and other human civilization,and actively promoted exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations. The CPC has championed internationalism and has been standing on the right side of history and the side of human progress. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, especially since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC has expanded its sharing of experience with political parties from other countries, fostered broad-minded tolerance toward the understanding of values by different civilizations, and respected the explorations of different peoples to turn values into reality. President Xi raised the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind for the first time in 2013. Now the concept becomes the hallmark of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era, and finds the greatest common ground to build a better world.
Diversity is what defines our world and makes human civilization fascinating. The attempt and practice of packaging self-centered value into “universal value”, forcing people from other countries and nations to comply through military intervention or using values as a political tool is unpopular and doomed to fail. At the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly in 2015, President Xi pointed out for the first time that “Peace, development, equality, justice, democracy and freedom are common values of all mankind.” Since then, he has made in-depth explanations about this in many international activities, reflecting China’s commitment to and practice of the common values of all mankind.
At present, the world has entered a period of new turbulence and transformation, COVID-19 is still raging in the world. In some places, wars and conflicts are still raging, and estrangement and confrontation grow even deeper. With a strong sense of responsibility for the future of all mankind, we need to champion the common values of humanity. We must transcend the East-West divergence and the North-South divide. We must go beyond the ideological gap of “new cold war” and accommodate historical and cultural differences to build a beautiful homeland. The CPC is an open-minded party. Proceeding from China's realities, the Party absorbs and draws on all the excellent achievements of human civilization. China is willing to join hands with all peace-loving countries and people in the world, translating the common values of humanity into the practice of individual countries to serve the interests of their own people in a concrete and realistic way, and promoting the wheel of world history toward a bright goal.
Second, China unswervingly upholds peaceful development. The Communist Party of China not only made a solemn commitment to safeguard world peace, but also took practical actions to uphold world peace. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, it pursues a national defense policy which is defensive in nature. China never provoked any war or conflict and never occupied an inch of other country’s territory and is committed to promoting the peaceful settlement of many regional hotspot issues. Since the reform and opening up, China has been committed to promoting world peace and has taken the initiative to reduce the number of military personnel by more than 4 million. President Xi Jinping emphasized that a world of peace and development should embrace civilizations of various forms, and must accommodate diverse paths to modernization. China has explored a path of peaceful development that is different from the rise of traditional powers, forging ahead with benign interaction and mutual benefit between China and other countries in the world, making smooth progress with the dialectical unity of safeguarding national interests and promoting world peace and development.
No one will be the winner in a cold war, and the whole world will suffer from it. And there is no best and universally applicable path for development. What is worrying is that the cold war mentality has emerged, and power politics is rampant. Some countries have tried to draw lines with ideology to create a small circle of geographical competition, interfere in other countries’ internal affairs under the guise of democracy and human rights, and obstruct the development of other countries. Democracy is not a special right reserved to an individual country, but a right for the people of all countries to enjoy. The examples of foreign intervention in Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela and Afghanistan has proved that external military intervention, “Western-style democratic” transformation, unilateral sanctions, political persecution, and arbitrary detention will only disrupt the international order.
Viewed from the perspective of “my own country first”, the world is a cramped and crowded place perpetuated in fierce competition. Viewed from the perspective of “a global community with a shared future”, the world is a vast and broad place full of cooperation opportunities. The Chinese people have always celebrated and striven to pursue the vision of peace, amity and harmony. Since the very first day when it came into possession of nuclear weapons, the Chinese government has advocated the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. China has been committed to its promise that it would not be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstance. China now is the second largest contributor to United Nations regular budget and peacekeeping budget, the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the permanent members of Security Council of the UN and is hailed by the UN as a “key force in peacekeeping operations”.China is committed to the strategic choice of peaceful development and focuses on developing global partnerships to pursue a new path of dialogue instead of confrontation and pursue partnerships rather than alliances.
Third, China firmly defends fairness and justice. Born in resistance against foreign aggression, the CPC has an innate opposition to hegemony and power politics. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, China has stood for sovereign equality and non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, while opposing power politics and hegemony. It has adhered to equity and impartiality, and opposed geopolitical rivalry and exclusive blocs. China has established partnerships with 108 countries and 4 international organizations in the world and created a security pattern featuring fairness, justice, and joint participation and shared benefits. The Communist Party of China led the Chinese people to bring about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China and China contributes over 70% of world poverty alleviation efforts. China focuses on deepening South-South cooperation and provides various types of assistance to more than 160 developing countries. China initiated the largest global humanitarian efforts in its history during the global fight against COVID-19, making great contributions to building a global community of health for all.
To resolve international issues, we cannot proceed from the so-called “power status” to promote hegemony and bullying. At present, some countries frequently claim that they are committed to the “rule-based international order”, but they are actually imposing their own will and standards on others. Some countries initiated trade wars, promoted industry and technology “decoupling”, and took advantage of the COVID-19 epidemic to advocate “de-globalization”and protectionism. Some countries formed cliques to suppress other countries, imposed unilateral sanctions, conducted practices of arbitrary detentions of citizens of other countries such as the Meng Wanzhou case and long-arm jurisdiction, political framing and pressured many small and medium-sized countries. All these practices are blatant challenges to international rules and human conscience.
The rights to subsistence and development are the basic human rights. People in all countries have the right to pursue a happy life, and no country has the right to interfere with the development path of other countries. We should advocate and practice true multilateralism, and promote equal rights, equal opportunities, and equal rules for all countries. China practices global governance guided by the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits as well as takes an active part in leading the reform of the global governance system. China opposes any practice of seeking technology blockade and divide as well as development decoupling, and promotes development by bringing greater benefits to all peoples in a fairer manner. China has been the largest contributor to world economic growth for 15 consecutive years. The joint building of Belt and Road has become the world’s widest and largest international cooperation platform. China is embarking on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in a comprehensive way and China's development will bring new opportunities to the world.
Fourth, China adheres to the pursuit of democracy and freedom. The CPC is faithful, active, and exemplary in pursuing, exploring, and practicing democracy. It has implemented democracy within the Party and throughout China, and vigorously promotes democracy in international relations. Shortly after the founding of the PRC, the CPC proposed the five principles of peaceful coexistence as the norms for countries to follow when establishing and building relations with each other. China has applied these principles in its bilateral relations with many countries. Under the CPC’s leadership, China achieved national independence and realized the broadest possible people's democracy. The Chinese people became the real master of their country, their society and their own life. Respecting and protecting human rights has been written into the Constitution and has now become the will of the nation.
“Totalitarianism” is a stigmatizing tool exploited by some countries to maintain hegemony and suppress other countries. “Authoritarianism” is a false proposition utilized by some countries to divide dissidents and suppress their opponents. “Totalitarian Regime” is the penetrant for demonizing different political models and provoking color revolutions. Some countries applied double or even multiple standards on democracy, by which democracy is used as a tool to impose one’s values and political model on others. To contain others and interfere in their internal affairs under the pretext of democracy is the very opposite of democracy and will only bring chaos and turmoil, and undermine the fundamental interests of people concerned around the world. Democracy is not a special right reserved to an individual country, but a holy right for the people of all countries to enjoy.
It will not make the world more peaceful to divide the world into so-called “democracy”and “dictatorship”, “authoritarianism”and “liberal democracy”in an attempt to divide dissidents, suppress opponents, and maintain hegemony. And it is impossible for us to go back to the Cold War. Facts are the most convincing criteria for judging whether a governing party is progressive and qualified to rule, and whether a political system is viable, efficient and effective. The people should have the biggest say in making such judgments. China has taken an active part in global human rights governance and has ratified or joined 26 international human rights instruments. China has actively participated in international human rights mechanisms and the development of international human rights norms, contributed Chinese wisdom and solutions to global human rights governance, and advanced political democracy in a way that suits its national conditions.
President Xi Jinping highlighted China’s commitment to peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are common values of humanity during a virtual meeting with US President Joe Biden on 16 November. He stressed that drawing ideological lines or dividing the world into different camps or rival groups will only make the world suffer. This important announcement by President Xi Jinping demonstrates the responsibility of a responsible great power, standing on the side of human progress and working jointly with countries around the world, which will surely build global consensus and synergy for the advancement of human civilization.