Deepening Unity and Cooperation Among Emerging Markets and Developing Countries to Build a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind

Yang Jiechi
Changes unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace, and the world is going through a new period of instability and transformation. Amid an evolving international landscape, developing countries are confronted with growing challenges at home and abroad. They are more keen about pursuing peace, development and cooperation, and more resolved to seek strength through unity. Emerging markets and developing countries account for half of the global economy. They advocate a multi-polar world and greater democracy in international relations, and they oppose hegemonism, power politics, the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation. They are playing an increasingly important role in international affairs and representing the trend of reform in global governance and the evolving international order. China is a member of the big family of developing countries. Emerging markets and developing countries are a priority in China’s external relations. They are China’s key partners in building a community with a shared future for mankind and in fostering a new type of international relations. Over the years, China and other developing countries have supported and helped each other in the pursuit of national independence and liberation, development and rejuvenation, working for a shared future and common development in the same breath. Under the new circumstances, it is all the more important that emerging markets and developing countries enhance unity and cooperation and jointly rise to common challenges. China has always stood together with other developing countries, sharing weal and woe. We have made the pie of cooperation bigger, forged a stronger synergy for progress, and made greater contribution to world peace, stability, development and prosperity.  
Not long ago, General Secretary Xi Jinping presided over and delivered important remarks at the 14th BRICS Summit and the High-level Dialogue on Global Development in Beijing via video link. He presented China’s propositions and proposals on grasping the trend of the times, responding to challenges, strengthening BRICS cooperation, and promoting global development. With a keen understanding of the general trend in the world, General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed the way forward and drew up a blueprint for maintaining world peace and tranquility, promoting international equity and justice, and creating a new era of global development. His remarks helped set BRICS cooperation on a new journey of high-quality partnership, and boosted the confidence and strength of emerging markets and developing countries in seeking common development, demonstrating the global vision and sense of mission of the leader of a major country. These remarks have been highly commended by the international community, and warmly received by emerging markets and developing countries. They are of the view that at a critical juncture for the world, China has played an important role in upholding the common interests of emerging markets and developing countries and in making the international order more just and equitable, and China has provided stability and positive energy to an unstable world. The BRICS Summit and the High-level Dialogue on Global Development are vivid examples of China’s deepening relations with other emerging markets and developing countries in the new era, and a reflection of the shared aspirations of all parties to promote world peace and development, improve global governance, and create a better future.
Over the past two years and more, in the face of a sudden, once-in-a-century pandemic that has swept the whole world, and confronted by complex and challenging environments at home and abroad, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has taken into consideration both domestic and international imperatives, worked on development and security as two priorities, and coordinated COVID response and economic and social development, thus making an effective response to the many challenges. As a result, China has taken the lead in both pandemic control and economic recovery. Committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind, China has also stood in solidarity with other developing countries in these trying times through mutual assistance and support, and continued to increase friendship by working side by side with them through unity and coordination.
China has all along put the people and their lives first. By working to prevent both imported cases and domestic resurgences and by following a dynamic zero-COVID principle, China has been able to protect the safety and health of its people to the greatest extent possible. At the same time, China has actively sought international cooperation in fighting against COVID-19, in an effort to build a global community of health for all. On multilateral fora including the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the G20, General Secretary Xi Jinping has repeatedly emphasized the importance of making vaccines a global public good, ensuring their fair and equitable distribution worldwide, and promoting the Global Vaccine Cooperation Action. China has launched its largest global emergency humanitarian operation since the founding of the People’s Republic to provide material aid, medical support, and vaccine assistance and cooperation to many countries, especially developing countries less prepared for the pandemic, in order to help other developing countries narrow the COVID response gap. So far, China has provided more than 2.2 billion doses of vaccines to over 120 countries and international organizations, and will complete the delivery of 600 million doses to African countries and 150 million doses to ASEAN countries. This is a major contribution to the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries. China is firmly opposed to the politicization of the pandemic, a stance that has the understanding and support of the vast developing world.
China has followed the new development philosophy, accelerated the building of a new development paradigm, and promoted high-quality development, thus lending impetus to the stability and recovery of the world economy. In support of the post-COVID recovery of emerging markets and developing countries, China has advanced practical cooperation with all other parties, and explored opening fast tracks for personnel and green channels for goods to facilitate the resumption of business and production, and keep industrial and supply chains secure and unclogged. Good progress has been made in Belt and Road cooperation despite various difficulties, as evidenced by the orderly implementation of major projects overseas, the completion of the China-Laos railway, and the rapidly growing services and freight volume of the China-Europe Railway Express. The China International Import Expo offers emerging markets and developing countries and their enterprises an important platform to share in China’s market opportunities and explore more international cooperation. China has also worked to upgrade the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund to a Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, increase input in the United Nations Peace and Development Trust Fund, and improve the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement, in a bid to provide funding support to emerging markets and developing countries and uphold financial security.
China has actively conducted international development cooperation, by providing substantial material aid to developing countries, delivering complete aid projects, and strengthening technical and human resource development cooperation, thus contributing China’s strength to the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. China has called on the international community to focus on poverty reduction cooperation and to effectively address the impact of the pandemic. China has jointly hosted with the UN a high-level meeting on poverty eradication and South-South cooperation, and called at the second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference for more transport investment in impoverished regions to improve local economies and livelihoods. China has taken an active part in the formulation and full implementation of the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative, and responded to all eligible applicants, making the biggest contribution to the success of the Initiative. China has been actively engaged in cooperation on disaster prevention and mitigation. After the massive volcanic eruption in Tonga and the devastating earthquake in Afghanistan, China provided urgently needed assistance to help local people through the difficulties.
China has advocated a community of life for man and Nature. Domestically, China has been promoting a green transition in every respect of economic and social development, and has announced the goal of striving to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, in a bid to make a greater contribution to the global response to climate change. Taking seriously the concerns of developing countries over climate change, China has promoted the development of a green Silk Road, supported green and low-carbon energy development in emerging markets and developing countries, stepped up assistance for projects on green development, environmental protection and climate response, and pledged not to build new coal-fired power projects abroad, thus demonstrating China’s commitment as a responsible major country. China will set up a Kunming Biodiversity Fund and take the lead by investing 1.5 billion yuan to support biodiversity protection in developing countries, in a common endeavor for ecological conservation.
China’s friendship and cooperation with countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and the South Pacific have grown in breadth and depth. China and ASEAN have made a historic breakthrough by becoming each other’s largest trading partner, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement has come into effect, facilitating still closer cooperation among countries in the region. China and Central Asian countries have carried out vibrant cooperation in production capacity, agriculture and energy and, looking to the future, will work together to take economic and trade cooperation into a new stage of transformation and upgrade and build a cooperation belt for high-quality development. China and Africa have formulated China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035, started the implementation of nine cooperation programs (i.e. the medical and health program, the poverty reduction and agricultural development program, the trade promotion program, the investment promotion program, the digital innovation program, the green development program, the capacity building program, the cultural and people-to-people exchange program, and the peace and security program), and jointly launched at the UN an Initiative on Partnership for Africa’s Development. The China-CELAC Forum has decided on a road map for cooperation in the next three years. China has become Latin America’s second largest trading partner and third largest source of foreign investment, and two-way trade has reached a new high. China and the Gulf Cooperation Council are making more progress in negotiations on a free trade agreement aimed at greater trade liberalization and facilitation. China has issued a position paper on mutual respect and common development with Pacific Island countries containing 15 principles or initiatives and 24 specific cooperation measures, in a bid to boost the mutually beneficial and practical cooperation between the two sides.
China’s relations with fellow emerging markets and developing countries are making remarkable progress. This serves the common interests of all parties and aligns with the trend of world development. A certain country, driven by its intention to manipulate international affairs and contain China, has been co-opting its allies to try and sow discord between China and other emerging markets and developing countries, coerce and induce the relevant countries to choose sides and stoke confrontation, discredit and attack Belt and Road cooperation, and make up preposterous theories about the “Chinese debt trap”. Their despicable words and deeds have been denounced time and again by developing countries, and their scheme to contain China will never succeed. A growing number of developing countries are becoming more aware of the trend toward a multi-polar world. They see more clearly the selfish nature of a certain country hijacking the interests of other countries, and place more value on China as a true friend and good partner. The relations between China and other emerging markets and developing countries enjoy a solid foundation and broad prospects.
Since the Party’s 18th National Congress in 2012, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core and under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, we have accurately grasped the development trends of China and the world in the new era, pursued the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, firmly supported emerging markets and developing countries in playing a greater role in international affairs, and pushed major global changes in the right direction. A new historic chapter has been written of unity and cooperation between China and fellow developing countries.
First, we have followed the strategic guidance from head-of-state diplomacy.
General Secretary Xi Jinping has charted the course for the development of China’s relations with other emerging markets and developing countries, through a series of major bilateral and multilateral diplomatic activities and in-depth communication with global leaders on ways to advance cooperation, thus building strong synergy for the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. General Secretary Xi Jinping has presided over the 14th BRICS Summit and the High-level Dialogue on Global Development, the Virtual Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between China and Central Asian Countries, the Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations, and home diplomacy events held since the 18th CPC National Congress including the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the Qingdao Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). These events have set China’s development in sync with the common development of emerging markets and developing countries, built extensive international consensus, upheld and expanded common interests, addressed common challenges, and promoted international equity and justice. Under the guidance of head-of-state diplomacy, China has formed communities with a shared future at the bilateral level with Pakistan, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, and fostered closer communities with a shared future at the regional level, including in China’s neighborhood, in the Asia-Pacific, among SCO members, and with ASEAN, Africa, Arab states, Latin America and the Caribbean and Pacific Island countries. The community with a shared future for mankind has become a more established concept in emerging markets and developing countries, producing ever-growing examples of practical benefits.
Second, we have carried forward and innovated guidelines for developing friendly relations.
In response to new international and regional developments and changes, General Secretary Xi Jinping has emphasized that regardless of its development stage, China will always belong to the family of developing countries. China will always place the greater good above interests and pursue the great cause of solidarity and cooperation with fellow developing countries. Politically, China will stand for justice, uphold fairness, and prioritize moral principles; economically, China will seek mutual benefit, win-win progress and common development; in advancing cooperation, China will take into account both the greater good and interests, and put the greater good first. China’s neighbors are mostly developing countries. General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out that the basic guideline for China’s neighborhood diplomacy is to forge friendship and partnership with its neighbors, and seek an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood, with an emphasis on the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness. China will continue to carry forward its policy of good-neighborliness and friendship, treat neighbors with great sincerity, engage in cooperation based on the principle of mutual benefit, and advance regional cooperation with a more open mind and more proactive attitude. General Secretary Xi Jinping has encapsulated China’s policy toward Africa into the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith, and stressed that China will never forget the profound friendship of African countries. China will fully honor its cooperation commitments, help African countries achieve diversified, independent, and sustainable development, and carry forward the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation so that it will grow stronger from generation to generation. In diplomatic practice, the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith has become the fundamental guideline for China’s diplomacy toward developing countries. Finding their roots in traditional Chinese culture and the fine diplomatic tradition of New China, these important thoughts and principles demonstrate the value orientation and sense of moral responsibility embodied in China’s major-country diplomacy with its own characteristics in the new era, winning China wide acclaim from neighboring countries and the vast number of developing countries, and will guide China’s cooperation with emerging markets and developing countries toward new achievements.
Third, we have resolutely safeguarded shared rights and interests.
General Secretary Xi Jinping has affirmed that the Chinese people are a strong supporter of other fellow developing countries in their just struggle to safeguard sovereignty, security and development interests. China is committed to a stable international order, increased representation and voice of developing countries in international affairs, and greater democracy and the rule of law in international relations. We stand unequivocally against hegemonism and power politics, and firmly uphold the international system with the UN at its core and the international order underpinned by international law. We practice true multilateralism, speak up for developing countries on the international stage, respect one another’s core interests and major concerns, and push the global governance system in the direction of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. Together with other developing countries, we firmly oppose interference by some Western countries in other countries’ internal affairs and their imposition of unilateral sanctions and pressure in the name of human rights, democracy or other pretexts. On major issues such as those concerning China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, developing countries have on the whole taken a just position and rendered China firm support. In recent years, a number of African, South Pacific and Caribbean countries have established or resumed diplomatic relations with China. With China’s initiative and active response from various parties, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has steadily grown and further developed; the new “BRICS Plus” cooperation format has been steadily deepened and expanded; mechanisms such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank have become multilateral financial institutions with considerable influence. All these have provided emerging markets and developing countries with important platforms to seek strength through unity and deepen cooperation.
Fourth, we have promoted common development through mutually beneficial cooperation.
General Secretary Xi Jinping has proposed and continuously enriched and developed the Global Development Initiative. In view of the setbacks in the global development process and the widening North-South development gap, he has underscored the need to adhere to a people-centered development philosophy, put development and livelihood protection high on the global macro policy agenda, and fully implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, so as to jointly build a global community of development with a shared future. We have worked to promote global development partnerships, strengthen macro policy coordination, and advance balanced, coordinated and inclusive development across the globe, with a keen emphasis on addressing the issue of imbalance and inadequacy in development. We have been committed to high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and sought greater synergy with the regional development plans of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean as well as the development strategies of various countries, in an effort to achieve economic integration and coordinated development. We advocate fostering a pro-development international environment, push for an open world economy, and oppose all forms of protectionism. We support efforts to accelerate technology transfers and knowledge sharing, bridge the digital divide, transition to a low-carbon model, enhance food and energy security, and work toward stronger, greener and healthier global development. We have been unwavering in deepening South-South cooperation. Adapting to the requirement of our times, China has transformed and upgraded its foreign aid to international development cooperation. It emphasizes the importance of providing the means for self-generated development and ensuring sustainability with no political strings attached, making China’s concrete contribution to promoting common development.
Fifth, we have stood up for justice and contributed to common security.
General Secretary Xi Jinping has proposed the Global Security Initiative, stressing that security is the precondition for development and that humanity are an indivisible security community. He advocates a commitment to a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security; to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries; to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter; to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously; to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation; and to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains. The Initiative is a robust pushback to the attempts by a handful of countries to draw ideological lines, stoke bloc confrontation and create international divisions. It has pointed the way forward for resolving global security predicaments, eliminating the root causes of international conflicts, and achieving durable stability and security, and has resonated well with the international community, especially among developing countries. As a trailblazer of the Initiative, China has actively participated in UN peacekeeping operations, sending a total of over 50,000 peacekeepers to more than 20 countries and regions around the world. China has played a constructive role in the Ukraine crisis as well as in an array of international and regional hotspots such as the Middle East, the Iranian nuclear issue, Afghanistan and the Korean Peninsula. It has engaged in active cooperation with neighbors and developing countries concerned in counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, police and law enforcement, border security, among others, and has been committed to resolving disputes over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests through consultation and negotiations with countries directly concerned. All these efforts are aimed to jointly foster and maintain a secure environment for development.
Sixth, we have pursued common progress through exchanges and mutual learning.
General Secretary Xi Jinping has noted that, the world we live in is diverse and colorful, and that diversity is the charm of human civilization and the source of vitality and dynamism for world development. He has called for the promotion of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity. Whether a country’s path of development works is judged, first and foremost, by whether it fits the country’s conditions and whether it follows the development trend of the times. What has happened around the world has proved time and again that intervention from the outside and so-called democratic transformation entail nothing but harm; developing countries are more determined than ever to keep their future firmly in their own hands. China stands for mutual tolerance, exchanges and dialogue, and harmonious coexistence between civilizations and between different social systems, and advocates respecting the right of people of all countries to independently choose their development paths and social systems. On its own part, China has successfully pioneered a uniquely Chinese path to modernization, creating a new model for human advancement, demonstrating the diversity of the development of human civilization, and offering a new option for countries and nations who want to accelerate development while preserving their independence. More and more developing countries have expressed their desire to learn and draw inspiration from China’s development path. China has hosted the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, the Communist Party of China and World Political Parties Summit, as well as multilateral forums for political parties under the SCO, BRICS, China-Arab, China-CELAC, China-Central Asia and other frameworks. These gatherings serve as platforms for the participating parties to conduct equal-footed exchanges and mutual learning, jointly enhance confidence in their own civilizations and jointly improve governance capabilities.
Under the new circumstances, we must follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, grasp the prevailing trend, leverage our strengths, take the initiative, and keep forging ahead to enhance our work with emerging markets and developing countries, seek common progress with sincerity, and jointly advance the lofty cause of building a community with a shared future for mankind. Through our work, we shall actively foster a favorable external environment for the successful convocation of the Party’s 20th National Congress and make our contribution to building a modern socialist country in all respects.
First, we will strive to consolidate unity and friendship.
We must always hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and win-win progress, stick to our position as a developing country, uphold the greater good in the pursuit of shared interests, stay true to the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness and the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith, and work to take our friendship and cooperation with neighboring and other developing countries to new heights. We should give full play to the strategic guiding role of head-of-state diplomacy, and effectively utilize exchange mechanisms at all levels and in all fields to strengthen policy communication, deepen political trust, and promote greater convergence of interests with other emerging markets and developing countries, and staunchly support each other on issues concerning core and major interests. We will seize the opportunities presented by the Party’s 20th National Congress to deepen governance experience sharing, and support countries in independently exploring development paths and social systems suited to their national conditions. We will also work with other countries in jointly opposing deliberate attempts by external forces to sow discord, spread disinformation, and undermine friendship and cooperation.
Second, we will constantly refine our work arrangements.
We will keep abreast with the changing circumstances, tailor our diplomatic efforts in view of the realities of different regions and on different fronts, strengthen coordination between bilateral and multilateral efforts, and strive to build a network of partnerships with emerging markets and developing countries. We will continue to vigorously advance the building of a community of shared future in China’s neighborhood and an Asian community with a shared future, resolutely safeguard peace in Asia, push for a more open Asia-wide market, and ensure high-quality implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement. We will support ASEAN’s centrality in the regional architecture, and safeguard a regional order that balances the needs and accommodates the interests of all parties. We will harness the spear-heading role of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the China-CELAC Forum, and the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, enhance cooperation with countries in these regions collectively, and work to deliver the common understandings and outcomes reached under the framework of these cooperation forums. We will carry forward the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, and thoroughly advance the nine programs for cooperation with Africa. We will safeguard and expand relations with Pacific Island countries, respect their wishes and needs, and engage in practical and effective cooperation with them.
Third, we will broaden areas of cooperation in various respects.
We will actively implement the outcomes of the High-level Dialogue on Global Development, and strive to foster a development paradigm featuring benefits for all, balance, coordination, inclusiveness, win-win cooperation and common prosperity. We will advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and give greater priority to projects that benefit the livelihood of ordinary people. We will work with emerging markets and developing countries to put the Global Development Initiative into action, deepen cooperation on poverty reduction and eradication, help relevant countries improve their capacity for grain production and supply, and promote the transition toward green development and digitalization. We will continue to strengthen international cooperation against COVID-19, and support fellow developing countries in better tackling the impact of the pandemic and, on that basis, realizing economic recovery and development. We will also encourage more countries to support and implement the Global Security Initiative, and promote cooperation in areas such as counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, and combating organized crime.
Fourth, we will step up international development cooperation.
We will strengthen the planning and design of foreign aid initiatives, formulate medium- and long-term plans, and advance relevant legislation, regulations, and institution-building. We will improve project management, further strengthen project feasibility studies, and enhance the pool of potential projects. We will continue to support the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and find innovative ways of cooperation with a focus on raising the capacity of recipient countries for self-generated development. We will make sure that China’s foreign aid continues to constitute part of South-South cooperation, and will continue to urge developed countries to fully honor their development aid commitments at an early date. We will step up communication and coordination with other countries and international organizations and, on the basis of fully respecting the sovereignty and wishes of recipient countries, explore steady ways to carry out third-party cooperation. We will also strengthen supervision and evaluation to make foreign aid more efficient and effective.
Fifth, we will promote the common endeavor for greater global governance.  
We will uphold the global governance vision featuring extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, advocate and practice true multilateralism, promote greater democracy in international relations, and work for increased representation and voice of developing countries in global affairs. We will continue to embrace openness and inclusiveness, strengthen the institution-building of such mechanisms as BRICS and the SCO, and follow an incremental approach in expanding and enriching relevant cooperation. We will continue to strengthen coordination and collaboration with fellow emerging markets and developing countries under the UN framework, and maintain close communication with them within the G20, APEC and other multilateral mechanisms, so as to uphold and expand our shared interests and steer the international order in the right direction.
(Reprinted from English Edition of Qiushi Journal, No. 4, 2022)

Yang Jiechi is a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs.