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A Community with a Shared Future for Human Beings in the Vision of Modernization of Global Governance: China’s Expression and Practice
January 10,2019   By:CSHRS
A Community with a Shared Future for Human Beings in the Vision of Modernization of Global Governance: China’s Expression and Practice
 
QIAN Jinyu*
 
Abstract: The human rights cause in the world still faces struc-tural challenges and crises, the factor of which including scarcity of living material resources, global environmental crisis and global terrorism. However, the existing global governance model and gover-nance pattern have made it difficult to deal effectively with the above structural challenges and crises facing the development of human rights in the world. Therefore, it’s necessary to advance and mod-ernize global governance. In order to realize these ends, the Chinese government presents the ideal of a Community with a Shared Future for Human Beings as the modernization of global governance and the Belt and Road Initiative as the proper project for this process of modernization. It calls on all countries to work hand in hand and work together to build a community with a shared future for mankind so as to realize the modernization of global governance and hence the com-prehensive development of human beings.
 
Keywords: human rights  global governance  modernization
 
 a community with a shared future for human beings  the Belt and Road Initiative
 
I.  Modernization of Global Governance: a Necessary Move to Ad-dress the Structural Challenges of the Cause of Global Human Rights
 
A.  The structural challenges facing the current cause of global human rights
 
On March 4, 1985, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping made his famous statement that “peace and development are the two major themes of today’s world” when he met with the delegation of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.1 More than 30 years have passed since then, but as human society marches into the 21st century, there has been no material change and peace and development remain the major themes of the times. Yet, even as the internationalization of trade and investment deepens, cross-border population mobility accelerates and supranational organizations are rein-forced, people are increasingly aware that the cause of global human rights still faces structural challenges in the course of development.
 
First, the shortage of resources is the primary factor that plagues and jeopardizes people’s right to life and right to development. Supplies of material resources such as food, water, energy and medicines are scarce, while the ineffective international polit-ical order and the international economic order cause inequality in the global supply and allocation of scarce and limited material resources. According to the Global Re-port on Food Crises 2017 released by the European Union and several agencies such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the population facing severe food inse-curity from 2015 to 2016 worldwide soared from 80 million to 108 million. By 2030, there will be 600 million malnourished people worldwide. At the same time, about 1 billion people around the world have no access to safe drinking water. By 2025, the population living in regions and countries with absolute water scarcity will reach 1.8 billion. The United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR) forecasts that by 2030, people will have to face the dilemma of global water scarcity.
 
Second, the global environmental crisis characterized by climate warming, air pollution, land desertification, biodiversity reduction, and trans-boundary movement of hazardous wastes have become key factors that plague and jeopardize the survival and development of mankind.
 
Third, the global threat of terrorism has become increasingly obvious, and be-come an important factor that threatens the security of people and social order in the world. Terrorism known as the “political plague of the 21st century” is characterized by being a global trend, having a demonstration effect, long-term existence, high-tech operations, and “lone wolf” attacks. Terrorist crimes are a serious challenge to the en-tire world and human rights values. International terrorism stemming from religious conflicts and the clash of civilizations inevitably intensifies the confrontation and conflict between different civilizations globally, and ultimately exerts a considerable negative impact on people’s right to life and right to development.
 
Fourth, a global financial crisis caused by a sharp fall in global financial asset prices, the collapse of international financial institutions or the slump in major inter-national stock markets is bound to become a lethal threat to global economic security and financial security. A host of human rights issues, such as large-scale unemploy-ment, rising poverty and soaring crime rates triggered by the global financial crisis of 2008, continue to put new demands on global governance.
 
The above-said crises, as well as global human rights issues such as racism, hu-man trafficking, cybercrime, the spread of drugs and epidemic spread, highlight the current “governance dilemma” of inadequate innovation incentives and backward modernization of global governance, namely the crisis of stagnating modernization of global governance.
 
B.  Modernization of global governance as a counter measure
 
To cope with the structural challenges facing the cause of global human rights, it is necessary to stress the necessity of global governance, and, to a greater extent, emphasize the importance of enhancing the modernization of global governance in the context of deepening globalization in scope and depth.
 
Modernization is an issue for any form of governance model. In a certain sense, the continuous inheritance and development of human civilization is the continuous modernization of government centered on innovation of governance for the humans to cope with crisis and challenges in different eras. Judging from the current practice of global crisis response, the traditional crisis response mechanisms and solutions which take sovereign states as the focus, domestic interests as the goal, and exclusive compe-tition as the principle are inadequate to solve the structural challenges facing the cause of global human rights today. Now, it is time for human beings to seriously reflect on the traditional model of crisis response, and innovate global governance concepts and governance programs. It can be said that it is because of the emergence and aggrava-tion of the structural challenges of the cause of global human rights in the 21st century that people began to explore and solve the deep-seated problems that endanger world peace, hinder human development and seek effective ideas and paths for moderniza-tion of global governance.
 
Modernization of global governance involves the modernization of governance concepts, governance systems, and governance capabilities. This is mainly reflected in the following aspects.
First, the essence of modernization of global governance is the modernization of governance concepts (including values and principles). This means that in order to get rid of the structural crisis facing the cause of global human rights and promoting the modernization of global governance, we must first create the governance concept or concept system accepted by the international community on the basis of a precise analysis of the structural challenges of the cause of global human rights and make an accurate judgment of the world’s political and economic development trends, so that it is in compliance with the development requirements of the times. Moreover, under the guidance of this governance concept, we propose and construct appropriate gover-nance principles and values.
 
Second, the focus of modernization of global governance is the modernization of the governance system. The inherent requirement is that we must creatively construct a new global governance system based on the original global governance system. The modernization of the global governance system is the premise and foundation for global governance capacity modernization. The realization of governance capacity modernization has the logical premise and conditions of building a systematic, justi-fied and effective global governance system. To modernize the global governance sys-tem, we must turn the unilateralist governance system based on dominant powers into a “multi-country” governance system that stresses the right of any country, regardless of size, to participate effectively in global governance. The modernization of the glob-al governance system should be promoted, and emphasis should be placed on multiple changes, standardization, rule of law, democratization and coordination in the creation and operation of the governance system.
 
Third, the key to the modernization of global governance is the modernization of governance capabilities. The modernization and effective improvement of global governance capabilities are the conditions for guaranteeing the positive effects of modernizing the global governance system, and they are the goals and results pursued by modernization of the governance system. In a sense, it can be argued that the mod-ernization of global governance capabilities is one of the criteria for testing the legiti-macy and effectiveness of global governance concepts and the governance system.
 
II.  A Community with a Shared Future for Human Beings: Core Concept of Modernization of Global Governance
 
In essence, the modernization of global governance lies in the modernization of governance concepts. As a prerequisite to cope with the structural challenge facing the cause of global human rights and ensuring the modernization of global governance support, we must refine and create a concept that supports, guides and promotes the modernization of global governance.
 
A.  What kind of philosophy is needed to promote the modernization of global governance
 
As mentioned above, the structural crisis faced in the development of the cause of global human rights has intensified, highlighting the urgency and practical signif-icance of advancing the modernization of global governance. The key to the success of modernizing global governance, or the failure thereof, depends, first and foremost, on whether global governance can successfully modernize governance concepts. So, what are the criteria for this?
 
First, creating and refining modern global governance concepts must be based on accurately judging and grasping the trends of globalized development and the trends of the globalization era. Only by accurately grasping the globalized development trends and considering the cause of global human rights and the structural challenges in the trend of world political and economic development can we refine and create the modern global governance concept.
 
Second, the modernization of the global governance concept must be character-ized by “multi- country governance”. Traditional international political governance is characterized by an order of dominance. This kind of international political gover-nance is overstretched in the face of complex international affairs in the 21st century. The modernization of global governance in the 21st century should be based on the di-versity of interest claims and the diversity of governance entities. The core mechanism of multi-country governance lies in consultation and dialogue. President Xi Jinping has pointed out that: “Consultation is a key form of democracy, and should also be-come an important method of international governance. We shall advocate resolving disputes through dialogue and resolving controversies through consultation. At the international and regional levels, we shall build a global partnership and pursue a new approach to developing state-to-state relations with ‘communication, not confrontation, and with partnership, not alliance’”.2
 
Third, the modern global governance concept characterized by “multi-country governance” requires the main theme of governance cooperation. In the context of globalization, the crises that hinder and undermine the development of the human rights undertaking show increasingly obvious “butterfly effects”. To effectively re-spond to and solve the problems such as climate change, environmental pollution, international terrorism, cybercrime, and illegal immigration with transnational, rhe-ological and extensive characteristics, we must rely on extensive international coop-eration, as these cannot be solved by a single state alone (even if it is a superpower). Therefore, modern global governance concepts must feature cooperation.
 
Fourth, with the modern global governance concept characterized by “multi-country governance”, we aim to address these crises, share the governance dividend and promote the all-round development of mankind. The goal of the mod-ern concept of governance is multi-layered. Specifically, addressing and resolving the structural crisis facing the cause of global human rights is the direct goal set by the modern concept of governance. Sharing the results and dividends of global gov-ernance are the high-level goals pursued by the modern global governance concept. Advancing the cause of global human rights and promoting the all-round development of mankind is the ultimate goal of the modern concept of global governance.
 
B.  A community with a shared future for human beings meets the requirements for modernization of global governance
 
The concept of a community with a shared future for human beings is without doubt China’s great contribution to the modernization of global governance. In 2015, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Xi Jinping pointed out that: “The reform of the global governance system is inseparable from the guidance of the concept. Global governance rules with more fair and reasonable requirements are inseparable from absorbing the achievements of different excellent human civilizations. To promote the innovative development of the global governance concept, we shall actively tap the common ground of the positive way of treatment for others and the governance concept in Chinese culture and the contemporary times, enrich the idea of building a community with a shared future for human beings, and promote the concept of global governance featuring the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration.”3 On January 18, 2017, President Xi Jinping delivered a speech entitled “Jointly Building a Community with a Shared Fu-ture for Human Beings” to systematically expound the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings at the high-level meeting “Building a Community with a Shared Future for Human Beings through Discussions” in Geneva.4
 
The four dimensions contained in the connotations of a community with a shared future for human beings concept provide a solid foundation for such a community to become the core concept in the modernization of global governance.
 
First, in the face of the global governance crisis, the structural challenges faced in the development of the cause of global human rights, and the counter-globalization or anti-globalization trend that emerged in some Western countries, China has advanced the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings concept, with the objective judgment that “interconnectedness and mutual dependence of the countries are unprecedentedly deepened” as the basis and with the judgment that globalization in depth and scope is the trend of the times as the logical starting point. It is the ob-jective factual basis and logical scientific starting point that provides a prerequisite for the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings to effectively advance the modernization of global governance.
 
Second, based on the understanding and judgment of the alienation of Western representative democracy and the crisis of governance legitimacy, the concept of a Community with a Shared Future for Human Beings proposed by China breaks through the “west-centric” logic of modernization and the “civilization-barbarism” bi-nary thinking mode shaped by the traditional Western developed countries; negates the legitimacy of the exclusive domination model of international politics, and advocates that the diversity of global governance subjects and interest appeals as the fundamen-tal requirement for seeking modernization of global governance. Xi Jinping stressed that “equal participation of all countries in decision-making constitutes an important force for improving global governance”. This points out the direction for global gov-ernance, and also affirms that “multi-governance” has sufficient political morality and effectiveness.
 
Third, as a political idea, the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings seeks extensive international cooperation rather than narrow confronta-tion between big powers. The concept of a community with a shared future for human beings – which takes the concept of future of mankind as the logical starting point and future vision – emphasizes the shared future of all human beings and risk sharing in globalization, and advocates that modern global governance is used to achieve the common, coordinated, balanced and inclusive development of human beings. In the process of development, only by seeking dialogue, partnerships and win-win coop-eration, and refusing confrontation, alliances and zero-sum games can we promote the modernization of global governance, effectively address the structural challenges facing the cause of global human rights, share the dividends of global governance and development, and realize the all-round development of mankind.
 
Fourth, the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings em-phasizes win-win cooperation and inclusive development. It is aware that only diverse governance subjects can finally obtain the dividends of development and governance, and guarantee the sustainability of governance modernization. It has been proved that the old global governance system cannot guarantee the general sharing of governance dividends after all. In particular, many underdeveloped countries generally face the predicament of “development loss”, and run the risk of national decay and governance failure. At the same time, due to the rigid constraints of such factors as financial cri-ses, international terrorism and the alienation of the political system, the ability of Western powers to provide public products for global governance has been weakened, and the effectiveness of global governance has significantly weakened. In this con-text, the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings that stresses multi-governance and inclusive development offers new hope for advancing modern-ization of global governance.
 
In view of this, the concept of a community with a shared future for human be-ings has attracted attention and recognition from the international community. As for the modernization of global governance, the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings has pointed out a new direction.
 
III.  The Belt and Road Initiative: China’s Program to Promote the Modernization of Global Governance
 
If a community with a shared future for human beings is China’s program for the modernization of global governance at the conceptual level, then the Belt and Road Initiative and its implementation are China’s action plan for the modernization of global governance. The Belt and Road Initiative per se is, in a sense, the exploration of a new model advocated by China for the modernization of global governance.
 
A.  The Belt and Road Initiative is the implementation and practice of modernization of global governance
 
As mentioned above, the Belt and Road Initiative harnesses the great historical symbolism of the ancient Silk Road to build an effective regional cooperation plat-form and seek economic partnerships with countries along the Belt and Road to create a community of common interests, community with a shared future, and community of shared responsibility featuring political mutual trust, economic integration, and cultural inclusiveness. The essence of the Belt and Road Initiative is the result of mod-ernization of this global governance concept: a community with a shared future for human beings. Therefore, the Belt and Road Initiative itself is the implementation plan and practice of the concept of a community with a shared future for humanity beings. It can be said that the construction of “a community of common interests, community with a shared future, and community of shared responsibility” advocated by the Belt and Road Initiative is the meaning of global governance modernization, and also the essential requirement for dealing with the structural challenges faced by the cause of global human rights in the development process. With the modernization of the global governance concept, China relies on the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Centu-ry Maritime Silk Road, focuses on the Asian-Pacific region, and leverages the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund. Through regional cooperation and open cooperation, China strives to drive the development of 64 countries along the Belt and Road to achieve win-win cooperation, so that the globalization and its modern governance benefit 3.08 billion people worldwide.

B.  The implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative is a useful exploration for the modernization of global governance system
 
As a practical plan and attempt to explore the modernization of global gover-nance by China, the Belt and Road Initiative expresses China’s good intention to achieve shared growth through discussion with countries around the world, and realize mutually beneficial development during its own development in the 21st century. In order to realize this good intention, it is necessary to actively promote the moderniza-tion of the global governance system, reform the unfair and unreasonable institutional arrangements in the global governance system, enable developing countries to have the right to a bigger say in governance, and ensure that the global governance system can fully embody, coordinate and promote the governance claims and interests for a majority of countries. It can be said that a predictable result of the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative is to promote the modernization of the global governance system.
 
First, the basic principles pursued by the Belt and Road Initiative are the prin-ciples of “regional cooperation” and “open cooperation”, with an emphasis on the broad participation of countries along the route. Since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative, more than 100 countries and international organizations have respond-ed by giving support, and dozens of countries and international organizations have signed cooperation agreements with China. This fully demonstrates that the national “friend circle” of the Belt and Road Initiative is expanding, showing the characteris-tics of modernization of global governance of “co-building through discussion and multi-governance”.
 
Second, the effective implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative depends on rule of law, and the standardization, democratization, and coordination of cooperation mechanisms and decision-making systems. Sovereign equality is the central criteri-on for handling international relations. On the one hand, the Belt and Road Initiative advocates the design and arrangement of participation mechanism and decision-mak-ing system. It must be based on the principle of democratization and coordination. It stresses that the countries involved in cooperation, regardless of their size, strength, or wealth, are the key forces for promoting modernization of global governance, and can share the right to equal participation and decision-making. Their rights and dignity must be respected. The resolution of disputes is no longer unilaterally dominated by superpowers, and it requires dialogue and negotiation to coordinate the different inter-est claims of countries and resolve disputes. On the other hand, it promotes the forma-tion of relevant international rules geared to achieving win-win cooperation and build-ing cooperation through multilateral, regional, and bilateral discussions, and promotes the reform and development of the existing international political and economic order, so that the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative is based on standardization and rule of law. This is an essential requirement for advancing the Belt and Road Initiative. In the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, the governments of countries along the route should jointly build multi-level standardized communication and exchange mechanisms to promote political mutual trust and deepen the interdependence of shared interests and shared responsibility.
 
Third, the Belt and Road Initiative seeks a system of development in multiple fields. In view of the current structural crises and challenges facing the cause of global human rights and global governance, the Belt and Road Initiative has a multi-dimen-sional orientation in the development field. It emphasizes that the joint implementa-tion of the Belt and Road through discussion achieves multi-dimensional development of the countries in terms of partnership, security pattern, economic development, dia-logue among civilizations and cultural exchanges, and ecological progress.
 
C.  The practice of the Belt and Road Initiative will provide useful experience for the modernization of global governance capabilities
 
Modernization of global governance capability is the necessary condition to en-sure the effectiveness of the global governance system. The effectiveness of the global governance system can only be achieved and displayed through the modernization of its capabilities. For the Belt and Road Initiative, on the one hand, all countries inevi-tably promote their ability to manage and control domestic politics, economy, culture and other fields in the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative in order to par-ticipate in the win-win cooperation and share the dividends of good governance. By strengthening this national capacity characterized by system execution, the countries pursue effective national construction while avoiding national decline. On the other hand, to ensure the effective implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, the par-ticipating countries will also constitute a participation community and implementation community to jointly seek a mechanism for decision-making and implementation ef-ficiency through a standardized international cooperation mechanism, thereby provid-ing useful experience in modernization of global governance capability.
 
IV.  Conclusion
 
Generally, the modernization of global governance is the fundamental way to solve the global governance crisis and the structural challenges facing the cause of global human rights. The proposal that countries work together to build a community with a shared future for human beings and advance the Belt and Road Initiative, and adopt these as the core concept and means for the modernization of global gover-nance, is a significant move for China. Through mutually beneficial cooperation and sustainable development in many fields, China proactively promotes the construction of a new fairer and more just global order to cope with and resolve the global gov-ernance crisis and the structural challenges facing the cause of global human rights, share the dividends of global governance and development, and ultimately achieve the all-round development of mankind.
 
(Translated by NI Weisi)

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