BEIJING, Sept. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — This is an opinion piece by Josef Gregory Mahoney, a professor of politics and international relations at East China Normal University, for Beijing Review:
We’ve reached the first anniversary of the China-led Global Development Initiative (GDI), a platform launched by China at the UN for sharing experiences, enhancing cooperation and promoting multilateral synergies for development. More than 60 countries have joined the Group of Friends of the GDI, with over 100 countries and international organizations offering support.
The GDI was proposed on September 21 last year by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the General Debate of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, with the aim of supporting the development of other developing countries, promoting a global economic recovery and strengthening international development cooperation, particularly given the growing intersection of global crises—i.e., the pandemic, climate change and growing international tensions—that increasingly threaten to derail goals sought by the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
According to the Global Development Report by the Center for International Knowledge on Development, a leading Chinese government think tank tasked with studying and exchanging with other countries development theories and practices, the principles underpinning the GDI include: prioritizing development and innovation-driven approaches; insisting no country or person should be left behind; promoting harmony between man and nature; and advancing through true multilateralism, and emphasizing openness and inclusiveness as cornerstones.
What’s most compelling about the GDI is its foundation in the UN itself, and the clear priority of supporting vital UN development goals. Though the GDI intersects positively with other Chinese global development efforts, including the Belt and Road Initiative, a China-proposed initiative that aims to boost connectivity along and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes, it better exemplifies the sort of multilateralism that runs contrary to hegemony-seeking tactics.
Additionally, the GDI advances on the world stage the Chinese principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries along with China’s assertion that human rights begin with a right to subsistence. At the same time, it’s non-exclusive, it’s not bloc-building, and it focuses on vulnerable parts of the Global South.
The GDI also emphasizes green development. China, for its part, has been a consistent signatory to international treaties like the Paris Agreement and has emerged as the global leader in renewable energy and associated technologies. Indeed, the Chinese Government has a very sober understanding of this fast emerging crisis as well as the opportunities that exist for new industries and development strategies, and this kind of thinking is in line with both sides of the win-win equation.
Additionally, some anticipate the GDI increasingly intersecting with the China-proposed Global Security Initiative (GSI), which asserts the commonsensical thesis that security is a precondition for development. China has proposed the GSI globally but more practically has started by calling for Asia to lead the way by creating better regional security, with the idea that similar cultural values can be leveraged to resolve conflicts within the region.
But what this emphasis on security as well as the other principles noted above indicate is an increasingly comprehensive program for advancing Xi’s call for building a community with a shared future for humanity, one in which people will be able to withstand pandemics, climate change, food and water insecurity, and war by emphasizing win-win solutions and cooperation over competition.
SOURCE Beijing Review