Belt and Road cooperation evidence of China’s global community of shared principle

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By Staff Reporter

The white paper “A Global Community of Shared Future: China’s Proposals and Actions”, released by the Chinese government recently introduces the theoretical base, practice and development of the concept first introduced by President Xi Jinping 10 years ago demonstrates that the idea dovetails with other initiatives China implemented over the years for the benefit of the world.

One of the most critical initiatives that this article discussed in detail, is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Coincidentally, China has just hosted the third BRI Forum which was attended by global leaders, with Zimbabwe being represented by Transport Minister Felix Mhona.

In principle, the BRI predates the concept of a Global Community of Shared Future, but is important to note that over the years, it has been given both direction and strength: President Xi and his government have made sure that in the implementation of the BRI, it carries the principles and values envisaged in the philosophy.

The seamless application and relationship between the two have made the world not just better understand the key matrices of Chinese policies, but also conceptual, theoretical and philosophical bases and underpinnings.

A careful study of this interwovenness will assist countries such as Zimbabwe to find ways to effectively cooperate with China.

According to Zimbabwean scholars, Muzapu et al (2018) the broad objective of the BRI is to put in place a mechanism to transmit China’s development experience to the global community and the initiative is designed to be an inclusive socio-economic development model with China at the center of the process. The scholars explain: “The idea is that shared growth, with countries cooperating to tackle global economic challenges and injecting fresh energy into interconnected development, reduces global imbalances and brings prosperity to all.

“The conviction driving the initiative is… (that, the )current fragmented and exclusive international cooperation model makes it difficult to integrate resources for mutual benefit, hence, the idea of developing a global link to address the problem of stagnation. Through the BRI, China envisages a trans-regional integrated global economy that is open and liberal.”

Already, countries in the world, including Zimbabwe have benefited from the BRI through the establishment of regional connectivity, infrastructure and high-quality investments. Zimbabwe has seen the influx of Chinese capital into the development of infrastructure such as energy (hydro and thermal), airports, health and water infrastructure.

At the same time, high quality Chinese investments have been initiated in mining projects and value chains. Further, Chinese capital will target solar energy and mineral value addition as high impact projects while Chinese companies continue to make inroads in manufacturing and trade.

Chinese investments in Zimbabwe support the assertion that it does “transmit China’s development experience to the global community”, as aforementioned and this has many benefits in uplifting the economy and people of Zimbabwe.

Global public good

The white paper on the Global Community of Shared Future amplifies this.

It says: “The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a vivid example of building a global community of shared future, and a global public good and cooperation platform provided by China to the world.

“Since introducing the BRI ten years ago, based on extensive consultation and joint contribution for shared benefits, China has pursued open, green, clean, and high-standard cooperation to promote sustainable development and improve people’s lives, and advanced high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.”

The paper underscores that BRI has laid the groundwork and set up the frameworks of BRI cooperation, delivering tangible results and achieving sustainable progress.

As such, participants in the initiative have jointly advanced “hard connectivity”, “soft connectivity” and “people-to-people connectivity”, setting up an important platform that has enabled wide participation, built international consensus and pooled the strengths of all parties.

The white paper is therefore key to understanding the close relationship between and among China’s policies and the philosophical and conceptual ideas that undergird them.

The BRI is an important framework that will continue to benefit the world, including African countries like Zimbabwe and it does demonstrate the applicability of President Xi’s ideas about serving the globe through universally acceptable ideas that the world actually needs to unite and work together.