On 22 August 2023, the Chinese Embassy in the UK held a symposium themed The Communist Party of China and the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind, to which a range of political parties, organisations and individuals were invited. Three people attended the symposium on behalf of Friends of Socialist China, at which Ambassador Zheng Zeguang, Minister Zhao Fei, Minister Wang Qi and other senior diplomats introduced Xi Jinping’s concepts in relation to building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Ambassador Zheng and the ministers from the Chinese Embassy provided valuable reports on China’s major foreign policy initiatives directed at supporting global peace, prosperity and friendship: the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilisation Initiative. The presentations were followed by contributions from Robert Griffiths of the Communist Party of Britain; Ella Rule of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist Leninist); Andy Brooks of the New Communist Party; Keith Bennett of Friends of Socialist China; and British scholars Martin Albrow, Frances Wood and Martin Jacques. The event concluded with a wide-ranging discussion, to which Carlos Martinez and Francisco Dominguez both contributed on behalf of Friends of Socialist China.
We publish below the report of the syposium from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the UK, along with Keith Bennett’s speech and Carlos Martinez’s remarks.
The Chinese Embassy in the UK Holds a Symposium on “The Communist Party of China and the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind”
On 22 August 2023, the Chinese Embassy in the UK held a symposium themed “The Communist Party of China and the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind”, which was attended by representatives of various political parties and people from different sectors in the UK. At the symposium, H.E. Ambassador Zheng Zeguang, Minister Zhao Fei, Minister Wang Qi and other senior diplomats at the Embassy introduced the important thought of General Secretary Xi Jinping on Party building and the important contributions made by the CPC to building a community with a shared future for mankind. Participants from the British side made remarks respectively, sharing their understanding of the tenets and significance of the relevant philosophies of the CPC.
Ambassador Zheng pointed out that to understand China, one must understand the CPC. The key to China’s great achievements to date lies fundamentally in the strong leadership of the CPC and its Party building. Since the 18th Party Congress, the Chinese communists with General Secretary Xi Jinping as their chief representative, have attached great importance to the innovation of Party building on practical, theoretical, institutional and other aspects, and formed the important thought of General Secretary Xi Jinping on Party building.
This important thought is a scientific summary of the theoretical development and practical experience of Party building in the new era. It represents a major theoretical innovation that answers the call for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. It has given sensible answers to what kind of Marxist party exercising long-term governance we should develop in the new era, and how we should go about achieving it. This innovation has enabled the CPC to always remain at the forefront of the times, brimming with vigour and vitality.
Ambassador Zheng said that the CPC has led the Chinese people in a concerted effort to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, thus completing the First Centenary Goal, to embark on a new journey to build China into a modern socialist country in all respects and advance towards the Second Centenary Goal, and to promote the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernisation.
In the first half of this year, in the face of a sluggish global economy and turbulence in the international situation, China’s economy has overcome pressure and challenges and as a whole showed a positive trend of recovery. China’s GDP increased by 5.5% year on year, and the country remains an important engine for global economic recovery and growth. The fundamentals underpinning China’s sound economic growth in the long run will not change.
Ambassador Zheng noted that the CPC is dedicated to pursuing happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. It is also dedicated to human progress and world harmony. Ten years ago in March 2013, with great foresight, President Xi Jinping made the proposition of building a community with a shared future for mankind, pointing the direction for coping with global challenges and creating a better future for humanity.
This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by President Xi. After 10 years, the BRI is playing a more prominent role as a broad platform for international cooperation and a practical path for building a community with a shared future for mankind. China has signed more than 200 Belt and Road cooperation documents with 152 countries and 32 international organisations, and cooperation under the BRI has galvanised nearly 1 trillion US dollars of investment globally and created more than 3,000 cooperation projects and 420,000 jobs for partner countries.
Faced with a world of change and turbulence, as well as accelerating transformation, in the past two years, President Xi put forward the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilisation Initiative, providing China’s solutions for promoting global development, advancing common security, and strengthening exchanges and mutual learning among civilisations. These initiatives have injected new impetus into the cause of peace and development and resonated well with the international community.
China stands ready to strengthen dialogue with foreign political parties and organisations including those from the UK, work with them to build a community with a shared future for mankind, and make unremitting efforts for common prosperity and development, and human progress.
Participants from the British side said that the symposium deepened their understanding of the important thought of General Secretary Xi Jinping on Party building as well as the CPC. As the world’s largest Marxist governing party, the CPC has led the Chinese people to make great achievements. The experience and theories of the CPC are worth learning from for political parties from other countries. The proposition of building a community with a shared future for mankind and the major initiatives put forward by the CPC have given a strong boost to world peace, stability, and development. The participants expressed their readiness to strengthen exchanges and dialogue with the CPC, and contribute to enhanced mutual understanding between the Chinese and British people and the steady development of China-UK relations.
Keith Bennett: Chinese socialism offers a profound guideline as to how diverse countries might open the road to socialism
Your Excellency Ambassador Zheng Zeguang
First, on behalf of Friends of Socialist China, and the three of us attending today, allow me to thank you and the other comrades from the Chinese Embassy for your presentations and remarks, as well as for your invitation and kind hospitality, along with our best wishes to all friends of China here today.
Allow me also to take this opportunity to pay tribute to and remember our dear friend and comrade Isabel Crook, who passed away in Beijing on Sunday at the remarkable age of 107. Personally honoured by President Xi Jinping in September 2019 with China’s highest award for foreign citizens, Isabel devoted her life to China’s revolution and socialist construction, to the development of China’s foreign language teaching in particular, and to the cause of the international communist movement. We have lost a truly remarkable person.
Following as it does our recent visit to China at the invitation of the party International Department, today’s symposium is another step in deepening our understanding and appreciation of the great strides being made in Chinese socialism under the banner of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era and with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core of the Central Committee and the entire party.
Delivering the report to the 19th National Congress of the Party on October 18, 2017, Comrade Xi pointed out:
“China champions the development of a community with a shared future for humanity and has encouraged the evolution of the global governance system. With this we have seen a further rise in China’s international influence, ability to inspire, and power to shape; and China has made great new contributions to global peace and development.”
On October 16, 2022, delivering the report to the 20th Congress, he noted:
“We have taken a clear-cut stance against hegemonism and power politics in all their forms, and we have never wavered in our opposition to unilateralism, protectionism, and bullying of any kind. We have improved China’s overall diplomatic agenda and worked actively to build a global network of partnerships and foster a new type of international relations… All this has seen us win widespread international recognition. China’s international influence, appeal, and power to shape have risen markedly.”
The successive development of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative are the building blocks and manifestation of this approach. They embody and represent the building of the party as the world’s leading force for peace and progress, remaining true to its original aspiration, summing up both theory and practice, and forging ahead in the new era.
Indeed, there is one leader and one statesman in the contemporary world who is clearly advocating a comprehensive and holistic programme embodying such common human values as peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom.
On March 15 this year, I, along with other comrades here, was privileged to participate in the online ‘CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting’ and to hear President Xi Jinping unveil the Global Civilization Initiative, the latest of his programmatic initiatives designed to realize a community of shared future for humanity.
As President Xi noted:
“All civilizations created by human society are splendid. They are where each country’s modernization drive draws its strength and where its unique features come from. They, transcending time and space, have jointly made important contributions to humanity’s modernization process. Chinese modernization, as a new form of human advancement, will draw upon the merits of other civilizations and make the garden of world civilizations more vibrant.”
Countries, the Chinese President explains, need to keep an open mind in appreciating the values of different civilizations and they should refrain from imposing their own values or models on others and from stoking ideological confrontation.
This represents a fundamentally different concept and approach from that practiced by the various colonial and now neocolonial powers for the last more than 500 years, up to and including the present. However, it fully accords with the sentiments and interests of the vast mass of developing countries and their peoples, who constitute the overwhelming majority of humanity, and who are the inheritors of great, ancient and time-honoured civilizations.
Moreover, it also accords with the objective interests of the great majority of the population in every country, including our own, whether developing or developed.
Such existential threats to humanity as impending climate catastrophe, zoonotic pandemics, and nuclear annihilation, along with numerous other challenges cannot be solved simply behind national barriers or with a ‘beggar my neighbor’, ‘winner takes all’ or ‘zero sum’ mentality. Nor can all peoples’ need for peace and development be realised in this way.
As Comrade Xi Jinping pointed out, from the 19th party congress onwards, socialism with Chinese characteristics offers a new option for those countries that wish to rapidly develop their economies while maintaining their independence. This is an important example of the contribution of Chinese wisdom and Chinese experience to the quest for sustainable solutions to the problems facing humanity and it offers a profound guideline as to how diverse countries might open the road to socialism.
Thank you for your attention.
Carlos Martinez: Two major trends in global politics – hegemonism and multipolarity
Thank you very much to Ambassador Zheng Zeguang and to all our hosts for their highly informative and interesting presentations.
One thing I will take away in particular is the relationship between the three initiatives that have been announced in the last two years. The Global Development Initiative is all about development, but you can’t have development without security, peace and stability. Hence the Global Security Initiative. But you can’t have security, peace and stability without mutual respect, mutual learning, cooperation and people-to-people relations. Hence the Global Civilization Initiative.
It’s very helpful that our comrades from the Embassy have joined the dots between these three initiatives, so that we have a more cohesive and holistic understanding of China’s foreign policy.
Listening to the presentations today, I’m reminded that there are two major trends in global politics and international relations today.
The first trend is that of the New Cold War, of bloc confrontation, of unilateralism, of hegemony, of imperialism. This trend is represented organisationally by NATO, the G7, AUKUS, the Quad and other bodies – including the recent Camp David agreement between the US, Japan and South Korea. This trend is characterised by war, conflict, escalation, decoupling and inequality, and it benefits only a small handful of people and countries.
The other trend is that of multipolarity, multilateralism, respect for international law, cooperation and development. This trend is represented organisationally by BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the G77 plus China, the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation, the China-CELAC Forum, the Belt and Road Initiative, the GDI, GSI and GCI. Such a trend is one of peace, dialogue, development, friendship and progress. It benefits the masses of the world.
This dichotomy is becoming increasingly clear to the people of the whole world, particularly the Global South. That’s why more than 20 countries have applied to join BRICS, and more than 20 more have registered an interest in doing so.
Even in the West, in spite of the relentless anti-China propaganda, people are beginning to understand the reality of the situation and to appreciate China’s role in international relations and geopolitics.
For example, look at the Middle East. With the assistance of China, Iran and Saudi Arabia have been able to achieve a rapprochement, and this in turn brings about the possibility of an end to the terrible war in Yemen. For decades, meanwhile, the US and its allies have created conflict, division and hostility in the Middle East. Hence the popular saying in Iraq: the US bombs, while China builds.
Or look at Ukraine. While the US and its allies continue to escalate the conflict, waging a proxy war and hoping to “fight Russia to the last Ukrainian”, China has been working with all parties towards a peaceful, negotiated solution to the crisis.
So people can see with their own eyes the real dynamics of international relations; the difference between these two major trends. Increasingly they are coming to understand China’s profoundly progressive role.