President's proposal critical for pursuit of peace, development, experts say
The Global Civilization Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping is regarded as not only highly relevant in this world fraught with challenges and uncertainties, but also critical for the pursuit of common peace and development, according to Asia-Pacific experts.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, proposed the GCI at the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting on Wednesday via video link, calling for all civilizations to thrive on diversified paths toward modernization.
The GCI advocates respect for the diversity of civilizations, common values of humanity, the importance of inheritance and innovation of civilizations, international people-to-people exchanges and cooperation. "Together we can make the garden of world civilizations colorful and vibrant," Xi told representatives of more than 500 political parties and organizations from more than 150 countries.
Swaran Singh, a professor of diplomacy and disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India, said that increasing connectedness and interdependence in our current world has resulted in increased exposure to and contestations among varying traditions and visions germinating negative imaginations, mutual threat perceptions and proclivities to deter and even destroy one's imagined adversaries.
"This makes propositions like President Xi's Global Civilization Initiative not just timely but also a most agreeable recipe for synergizing humanity's pursuit for peace and prosperity," he said.
He noted President Xi's address to the first Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in 2019, the Global Development Initiative, or GDI, raised in 2021 and the Global Security Initiative, or GSI, proposed last year.
Along with GDI and GSI, the enunciation of GCI is expected to ignite discussions on "how a civilizational state could contribute to making of a peaceful world order" as countries have been repeatedly pushed toward destructive war fighting, said Singh, who is also a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia in Canada.
Salman Bashir, a former Pakistani ambassador to China, commends the GCI. "The GCI is particularly relevant in today's world where divisions and differences are drawing lines of distinction, creating uncertainty and prejudice," he said, adding: "President Xi said it all that all civilizations are excellent."
Lawrence Loh, director of the Centre for Governance and Sustainability, at the National University of Singapore, said the proposal for the GCI by Xi is most timely and critical.
"Precisely because of the deepening divides in the world along geopolitical and economic fault lines, countries need to urgently bridge their gaps," he said. "The initiative will be a purpose-driven multilateral platform where countries can come together to forge a common future for a better world."
Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, chief executive of the Asian Institute of Eco-civilization Research and Development, in Islamabad, Pakistan, praised the GSI, saying that it can help the dream of sustainable security and peace to be pursued. The GCI will also help to counter the notion of the clash of civilizations, and promote the peaceful coexistence of civilizations.
He said that, if we want to live in peace, we must respect diversity, the diversity in terms of values, culture, religion, governance systems and democracy.
"We must believe in mutual respect, equality and dignity of each and every human and nation," Ramay said. "For that purpose, we must promote open-minded dialogue, dialogue without any prejudice or self-assumed greatness."
Munshi Faiz Ahmad, a former Bangladesh ambassador to China and a former chairman of the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies, said President Xi's GCI very closely matches Bangladesh's idea that centers on friendship and peace and how to exclude all kinds of enmity, confrontation and conflict, and pursue cooperation, equality, common progress and development. "I think in Bangladesh we all welcome President Xi's ideas," he noted.
(Source: China Daily)
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