Boao 2021: Xi’s call for reforming global governance strikes a chord

Chinese President Xi Jinping has advocated a more fair and equitable global governance system while opposing unilateralism, hegemony and “Cold War” mentality.

In his speech at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2021 via video, President Xi underscored the trend toward a multi-polar world, resilience in economic globalization, and the need to uphold multilateralism and enhance communication and coordination, striking the right chord at a time when the world is marred by rising instability and uncertainty. “While we live in an age rife with challenges, it is also an age full of hope,” President Xi said, according to Xinhua report on April 20.

Chinese Vision on Global Governance

President Xi said that the world needs consultation on an equal footing to create a future of shared benefits. “Global governance should reflect the evolving political and economic landscape in the world, conform to the historical trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation, and meet the practical needs in addressing global challenges,” he said.

“What we need in today’s world is justice, not hegemony,” President Xi said. “Big countries should behave in a manner befitting their status and with a greater sense of responsibility.”

Calling for the building of an open world economy, the Chinese leader underscored that the world needs to “promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, deepen regional economic integration, and enhance supply, industrial, data and human resources chains.”

In the age of economic globalization, attempts to “erect walls” or “decouple” run counter to the law of economics and market principles, and would hurt others’ interests without benefiting oneself, he noted.

President Xi underlined that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it all the more clear to people around the world that “we must reject the cold-war and zero-sum mentality.” His vision for global cooperation on issues such as public health security and climate change was echoed by world leaders who attended the conference.

The issues of the pandemic, economic recovery, poverty and climate change call for leaders to stand out in a challenging time and lead with insights and solutions, said former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a video speech at the opening ceremony of the conference.

“We must join hands and stand as one, improving global governance, enhancing international cooperation and moving the world closer to the 2030 sustainable development goals through innovative initiatives such as the Belt and Road,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said that more countries should commit to supporting an open, non-discriminatory and rule-based trade system worldwide particularly during these trying times.

Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo hailed China for sharing its COVID-19 vaccines with the rest of the world, especially developing countries. “We appreciate that China considers its vaccine against the coronavirus a global public good,” she said.


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