building a community of a shared future for mankind in China – Africa cooperation

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BY Professor Sheriff Ghali Ibrahim

The international system has been indeed anarchic, geopolitical in orientation and divisive in structuration. The great war (First World War) was engendered due to European bellicosity and divisions in what informed the so-called mutual defense alliances, assassinations and absolute nationalism. The state system has become more individualistic as against the comity of nations with total commitment to collective interest and self-determination. This engendered the loss of lives between 1914 and 1918 due to such balkanization of states’ borders, interest and lack of human unity.

Prior to the outbreak of the great war, nations have been warring among themselves such as the Civil Wars in Europe, colonial expansionism, imperialism, imperial conquest and many more inhumane trails of dehumanization and a sheer exuberance of selfishness by powerful empires and leaders.

In an attempt to curtail such trend of isolationism and barbarism, more destructions were being assured especially at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 where the Treaty of Versailles became a demon that reduced some states to emptiness and created hostilities, movements and ultimately the outbreak of the Second World War. The Versailles Treaty punished Germany presumably that it caused the Great War, it gravitated the May 4th Movement in China and created Hitler’s resolve to invade Europe in what led to the World War II. By 1945, the entire Europe became ruined and devastated due to divisions and destructions.

The Harry Truman Doctrine which engineered the American Policy of containment, seeing the Soviet Union as the only threat to American ideological position, created yet, another theatre for international distrust, Cold War and bipolarism. The West saw itself different from the East and expanded that lacuna with hate, propaganda and dangerous rivalry.

The collapse of the Soviet Union did not create an international system of justice, democratic global governance, freedom and equity, but rather ushered a more dictatorial global system with the United States emerging as the so-called international police, dictating to states what they should do and what they should not! The U.S. had further divided the world, identified with some states as allies, partners and friends while others potential adversaries and some “Axis of Evil.” Many states have become victims of American creation such as the orphans of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine and Palestine among others. Divisions in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The world has been made not to be a better place for mankind due to such conspiracies, conflicts, terrorism and hostilities all-over around the world. The most recent, is NATO military exercises and Biden’s State of the Union’s speech.

The Chinese peaceful diplomacy has come to alter the course of historical global turbulence and provide a framework contrary to the American model for the world to be a better place and for humanity to be rescued. The President of the People’s Republic of China, President Xi Jinping is intellectually and philosophically a modern leader who fits the Platonian description and prescription of leaders. Xi has initiated a variegated sets of initiatives that are beneficial to the Chinese people and the entire human race. When the West sponsors war in Ukraine, President Xi advocated for “Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind.” This is a concept introduced by Chinese President, Xi Jinping in 2013. It aims to foster a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation.

The concept emphasizes the importance of building a harmonious and prosperous world through dialogue, consultation, and cooperation among countries, regardless of their size, strength, or stage of development. It is a vision of a world where all countries can develop and prosper together, and where there is peace, stability, and common development. It is based on the principles of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.

The initiative has come to be embraced by world leaders, continental, regional and sub-regional institutions for its significance and architectural design for a better world for mankind. The concept has been incorporated into China’s foreign policy and has been promoted through various fora such as the Belt and Road Initiative, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The concept, as it is, can be referred to as Xi’sm which is the grand philosophy and political thought of President Xi Jinping especially in his words when he clearly noted that “united or divided, peace or conflict, cooperation or confrontation?” The rhetorical questions by President Xi have their answers as he puts them “people’s wish for a happy life is our goal, and peace, development and win-win cooperation are unstoppable trends of our times.”

The glaring human suffering, conflicts and divisions have naturally thought us to pursue a different path, not the path that is hitherto known of global dominance, interventionist foreign policy, divide and rule, but a path to international unity, cooperation and peace. The path to working collectively for a shared future for mankind.

The constructive path and the rationale behind building a community of a shared future for mankind is obviously an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world of lasting peace, universal security and shared prosperity, the pathway is promoting global governance that features extensive consultation and joint contribution for shared benefit, the guiding principle is to apply peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, the common values of humanity, the basic underpinning lies in building a new type of international relations, the strategic guidance comes from the implementation of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, and the platform for action is high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

The overall objective is avoidance of international dictatorship, tyrannical global governance with oligarchical tendencies that shaped unipolarism against collectivism. Such singular over-dominance of the world system does not envisage a shared future for mankind. The world China envisages is an equal and orderly multipolar world, one in which all countries, regardless of size, are treated as equals. China advocates fairness and justice, true multilateralism, and advances democracy in international relations.

China strongly believes that all countries should jointly safeguard the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, jointly defend the universally recognized basic norms of international relations, and jointly participate in the reform of the global governance system. China has proposed the “Three Global Initiatives” as well as “Belt and Road” initiative, and has engaged constructively in resolving hot spots such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the Ukrainian crisis. These are Chinese solutions and Chinese wisdom to build an equal and orderly multipolar world.

Building a community with a shared future for mankind also envisages the cooption of developing economies into having the benefits of economic globalization. It is also tantamount to building an inclusive international economic order not by excluding the other states or organizations in the architecture. It is obvious that China champions an open, inclusive, balanced, and win-win economic globalization. China’s modernization aims to increase investment in global development cooperation, and helps developing countries improve their independent development capabilities through high-quality Belt and Road Cooperation. The global community of a shared future is one that allows developing countries work together to make the pie of the global economy bigger and share it with fairness so as to make development both adequate and balanced, and help people of all countries embark on a journey to modernization.

Building a community with a shared future introduces a new approach to international relations which is completely inimical to zero-sum game where one benefits and others loos it. The new approach provides an interlocking assembly of states with shared interest of peace and prosperity, general consensus and common expectations.

The concept also provides new features of global governance which are: equity and justice, harmonious coexistence, diversity and mutual learning, and unity and cooperation. A world community with a shared future upholds the virtue of international exchanges where partnership is pursued by treating people equally and extensive consultation which enhances mutual understanding.

It upholds the principles of international security, where an enabling environment is created to foster fairness, justice, joint efforts and shared interests. It calls for promoting an open, innovative and inclusive development that benefits all. It advocates for inter-civilizational exchanges that promote harmony and respect for differences. It respects mother nature where all of us live, through building a green economy for development.

In building a community of a shared future in China-Africa Cooperation, it should be understood that such community is for all peoples, all countries of Africa and China and all individuals and groups, with our merging destinies interconnected through thick and thin, navigate towards greater harmony with inclusive, clean and beautiful world that supports lasting peace, security and common prosperity. This was evident in how China helped Africa during the Ebola pandemic and the COVID-19 period. China had dispatched health workers to Africa, Covid-19 Jabs and kits in a greater quantity for Africa’s health infrastructure. China has been supporting the unity, sovereignty and development initiatives of African countries and work together as developing entities for mutual benefits and win-win cooperation.

Africa needs to exit the position of raw materials provider but to serve both as material provider and producer in the all-inclusive market for a shared future. It is apparent that all regions and continents of the world have been able to shift from the traditional mode of production to a modern or at least a semi-modern one, but Africa is still in the 17th Century’s mode. The Community of a shared future provides Africa with the opportunities to navigate this traditional circle of production to learn and share experience with China for a prosperous Africa that will fit in this great community. Technological breakthrough, through research and development and replication should define Africa’s readiness to fit in this community.

Export-led growth should be consolidated by African countries through massive industrialization with partnership and cooperation with China. The realization of the above goals has to go with political feasibility and readiness to transform and to fit in this community with a shared future.

Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa should boost its security architecture to deal with the rising challenges of banditry and kidnapping in the country, deal with agricultural modernization to feed the rising population and food insecurity, deal with literacy of the population, massive corrupt practices and talent development among others. Nigeria should uphold strongly the principles of collectivism towards Africa as it adopted Afrocentrism in its Foreign Policy posture and champion the course of justice, fairness and inclusiveness.

Africa looks up to Nigeria to lead, navigate and pilot the African ship to development. Nigeria needs to pilot well by sharing experience and learning from China’s path to modernization and to jointly build a community of a shared future for mankind.

Prof. Sheriff Ghali Ibrahim
EMAIL: sherfboy@yahoo.com
MOBILE: +234-7063372013

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