This transcript appears in the November 19, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Ms. Chen Xiaohan
Major Country Relations and Global Development
Ms. Chen Xiaohan is Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament (CPAPD). This is an edited transcription of her video presentation to Panel 1, “Can a Strategic Crisis Between the Major Powers Be Avoided,” of the Schiller Institute’s Nov. 13-14 international conference, “All Moral Resources of Humanity Have To Be Called Up: Mankind Must Be the Immortal Species!” Subheads have been added.
Dear President Helga, ladies and gentlemen, friends, good afternoon!
I am Chen Xiaohan, Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament (CPAPD). Representing our association, I feel much honored to attend this webinar.
At present, centenary changes and the pandemic are intertwined and overlaid, competition between major countries is becoming more intense, the deficit of global governance has become acute, regional hotspot issues keep flaring up, the new military revolution is developing by leaps and bounds, and traditional and non-traditional security issues are interwoven. The whole world has entered a period of turbulence and change.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the understanding of countries in the world that they are in the same boat and stand together for weal and woe.
The new situation brings new opportunities as well as challenges. All countries, particularly, the major countries, need to strengthen coordination and cooperation, prevent major security risks together, and actively promote reshaping the international security order, thus realizing everlasting peace and prosperity.
China and Europe, as two major forces, markets, and civilizations in the world, need to fulfill our responsibilities and work together to promote multi-polarization of the world, economic globalization, and democratization of international relations, so as to provide more stability and positive energy to the turbulent and changing world. China-Europe relations, with solid public support, broad common interests and similar strategic aspirations, have stood the test of decades.
China and Europe should stick to the direction of dialogue and cooperation, promote mutual trust, and manage differences; should connect development strategies, jointly boost economic recovery, and continuously deepen cooperation in all areas; should earnestly advance the building of partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization; should safeguard genuine multilateralism, and encourage the international community to work together to address common challenges such as large-scale epidemics, climate change and biodiversity conservation.
As I noted, not long ago, President Helga, in your interview with CGTN, you specifically talked about your understanding of China’s whole process of people’s democracy, which I appreciate. Hereby, I’d like to add a few words. As President Xi Jinping has stressed, democracy is not for decoration, nor for displaying, but for solving the problems that people need to solve.
Democracy is the right of all peoples, not the monopoly of a few nations. Whether a country is democratic or not, should be judged by its own people, not by the finger-pointing of a few outsiders; should be judged by the international community, not by a self-righteous few.
There are many ways to realize democracy, and there cannot be a cookie-cutter approach. It is undemocratic to measure the colorful political systems of the world with a single yardstick and examine the colorful political civilizations of mankind with monotonous eyes. The whole process of people’s democracy in China is rooted in the Chinese national conditions. China not only has a complete system, but also has a full participation in practice. Therefore, it has realized the process of democracy and the result of democracy, procedural democracy and substantial democracy, direct democracy and indirect democracy, the unity of people’s democracy and national will. It is a full-chain, all-directional and all-encompassing democracy, and has won sincere support from the entire Chinese people, and contributed Chinese experience and wisdom to the world political system and human political civilization.
Due to the limited time, I can’t further elaborate China’s democratic system, but want to give two examples. One is, when formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government paid close attention to soliciting opinions from all aspects of our society. More than one million opinions and suggestions were collected online. The other is, I myself have just voted in the election of deputies to the People’s Congress of Haidian District, Beijing, fulfilling my sacred duty under the Constitution, and electing the deputy I supported.
Dear friends, China is committed to the well-being of the Chinese people and hopes that all other peoples in the world will live a better life. The developing countries are faced with multiple political, economic, social and livelihood crises, posing severe challenges to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and sustainable development.
Meanwhile, as the industrial revolution continues to gather momentum, the digital economy, green development and new forms of business and models brought about by the pandemic have created new opportunities for developing countries to achieve leapfrog development.
Under such a background, our President Xi Jinping put forward the global development initiative at the general debate of the 76th session of UN General Assembly, which called for adherence to the concept of putting development first and people first, and put forward proposals and plans for cooperation in eight key areas, including poverty reduction, food security, anti-epidemic and vaccine efforts, financing for development, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity. We call for a more equal and balanced global development partnership to provide new impetus for developing countries to accelerate development.
The international community should advocate genuine multilateralism and work together to address global risks and challenges such as COVID-19 and climate change.
Ladies, gentlemen, friends, our association attaches great importance to peace publicity and security research and has been, through the commemoration of the International Day of Peace, Online Dialogue between China and U.S. Scholars, China-Europe Scholars’ Online Dialogue and other such activities, conducting in-depth exchanges on international strategic security, the regional security situation, global security governance, arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.
Once again, I’d like to thank President Helga, you are our old friend, and the Schiller Institute for this well-organized webinar! We hope to consolidate the exchanges with the Schiller Institute, and promote communications with all participants, thus making our joint efforts for world peace and stability, and the well-being of mankind as well.