LI Huailiang: A Shared Future With Difference

Press time:2020-08-23Number of views:173

The round-table conference 'CHINA AND THE WORLD: CHANGING REALITY AND SHARED FUTURE' was held online sucessufully on 31st July 2020, which was co-organized by the Institute for a Community with Shared Future (ICSF) from China, the Centre For New Inclusive Asia (CNIA) from Malaysia, and The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (DOC Research Institute) from Germany. Experts and reserchers from China, Germany, Malaysia, the UK, the US, Singapore, South Africa and etc. shared their perceptions and ideas with rational arguments from multi-perspectives towards the transforming world situation under both the COVID-19 pandemic and the tension of China-US relation, and then discussed solutions to expect a promising shared future for the whole humankind. The article below was compiled from some expert's speech on the conference. --Eds

Professor LI Huailiang:

the Dean of the Institute for a Community with Shared Future, 

Communication University of China

Topic: A Shared Future With Difference

The Covid-19 pandemic has spread to over 200 nations and regions. It should be the moment when mankind all stand up together to fight the virus, but sadly, the world is becoming more isolated than ever before. What has gone wrong? One thing comes to mind is the way people perceive the world.

To begin with, we should start from fact but not doctrines to perceive the world.We must distinguish stereotype from reality. Since the end of World War II, the US has been dominating the world order, which is comprised of the Western democracy system , multilateralism , market economy, free trade, the US. Dollar standard , the U.S. military hegemony, alliance network and the notion of maintaining the world order by arms. On the background of Liberal Internationalism, we are all very familiar with expressions such as , ‘liberal democracy’, ‘authoritarian regime’, ‘dictatorship’, and so on. In the past century, the western world has developed a stereotype to define China as a nation of ‘authoritarian regime’ and ‘dictatorship’, and expecting the ‘authoritarian China’ to collapse or otherwise it would pose a threat to ‘Western democracy’. But as we all witness, not only did China not collapse, but the allegation of ‘China threat’ has also  proved to be more of an imagination than truth. For many decades, the stereotypes did not change, but the reality of China has changed. The situation of China is far more complex than these definitions. It raises such questions: Is CPC today the same as the communist party of the Soviet Union? Why do Chinese people approve highly of the CPC administration? And why has China developed by leaps and bounds under the leadership of CPC? To answer these questions, it is wise to look into the fact and reality of China.

Secondly, homogenization could be disastrous. The main goal of the world order is to promote the ideology of liberal democracy around the world, if necessary, by military forces. Since the end of the cold war, the US launched 7 wars against other nations, many of them brought disastrous consequences to the people of those nations. Democracy is good. But to promote democracy by arms is not acceptable. Furthermore, to promote democracy is sometimes employed as nothing but an excuse. For example, the former US President George W. Bush ignited the war against Iraq by claiming the latter being in possession of weapons of massive destruction, which we all know are not found even till today. Here the excuse used by President Bush was democracy. And now, as the Trump administration is conceiving a new cold war against China, the concept of democracy again comes in handy. In fact, many policies the Trump administration puts forward are contradicting to the liberal democracy principles, such as multilateralism, free trade and market economy. At present, the world is suffering from Covid-19, from escalation of clashes, and is in the shadow of war. The world is at a crossroad.

In face of the changing reality, China has proposed its own solution, that is to build a community with shared future for all mankind, and it has become the guiding philosophy of China’s foreign policies. We believe that every nation should adopt a suitable institution according to its development phases, histories and cultural traditions.Nations with different institutions can coexist, dialogue and maintain win-win trade relations. The history did not end. Others should not be eliminated. Institutions different from the West are not necessarily evil. No one nation is entitled to overturn the other government by arms. Homogenization could be disastrous.And the pursuit for cooperation, mutual respect and win-win relationship are values shared by all human beings that will provide new momentum for the world to forge ahead.

The Speaker: LI Huailiang