THE just concluded meeting of political parties from across the world, otherwise called a dialogue by the Communist Party of China, was a very important event in the prevailing world political situation basically for two reasons. First, with about 600 delegates representing nearly 300 political parties and political organisations from over 120 countries, it was a unique and first-ever event of this character. Second, the event saw China’s reassertion of global leadership in the coming years.
The occasion, officially entitled the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting, was hosted by the International Department of the Central Committee of the CPC in Chinese capital Beijing from November 30 to December 3. The list of dignitaries included heads of government, former heads of governments, leaders of political parties and organisation from both the developing and tne developed world, including the Fatah Movement of Palestine, the UK’s Conservative Party and Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party.
Some were former leaders of foreign countries. Notables of the dignitaries also included Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, Hun Sen of Cambodia, prime minister of France and so on. Chinese leaders claimed that the CPC has kept regular contacts with more than 400 political parties and organisations in about 160 countries and regions. With pomp and grandeur accompanied by typical Chinese hospitality, the event was officially inaugurated by Xi Jingping, the emerging leader, of not only China but also the world, in general.
Under the theme of Working Together Towards a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind and a Better World: Responsibilities of Political Parties, wide-ranging and in-depth discussions and interactions were conducted on diverse topics, such as ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’, ‘Development of China: New Era, New Vision’, ‘Promoting Innovation across the World: Role of China’, ‘Building Stronger Political Parties, Challenges and Prospects’, ‘Striving for Better Development of Countries: National Practice and Experience of Political Parties’, ‘Jointly Pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative: Role of Political Parties’, and ‘Steering the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind: Role and Responsibilities of Political Parties’.
‘We call on political parties around the world to join us in building world peace, contributing to global development and safeguarding the international order’, read the document entitled Beijing Initiative issued during the closing ceremony of the Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting. It also called on political parties to facilitate the building of partnerships, encourage mutual learning among civilisations and be the guardians of the environment. The initiative proposed that the CPC’s dialogue with foreign political leaders should become a high-level platform for political dialogue with broad representation and global influence.
It was not difficult for understanding the far-reaching consequence of this dialogue globally in future. When the red sun appeared in the sky of China on October 1, 1949, there was a beginning of a new political horizon. Since inception, China stood for the national liberation struggle of different countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America. It supported different types of struggle for human survival either politically, financially or materially. In those decades, China enjoyed the pride of leadership of countries seeking independence and sovereignty. China’s coinage of the phrase ‘Third World’ gave the underdeveloped countries a new feeling of shared march forward against imperialism, hegemony, social imperialism and so on. But those days are gone and to the generation of today, China does not stand for the symbol of revolution, but more for peace, economic progress and a shared tomorrow. Since the beginning of the modernisation programme in early 1980s, China became more inward-looking and opted for the road to a better life for the Chinese population.
The development of China over the past decades is a mystery to many. However, the control of the CPC over the state of China came under challenge for many reasons, especially corruption and economic disparity. The 19th session of the CPC held in mid-October this year was the outcome of China’s increasing understanding of reasserting global leadership and a firm control of the CPC over the state. The recent dialogue was also directed at building a platform for developing countries to let their voices be heard. Su Wei, a professor at the party school of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, told the Global Times: ‘In order to keep connections with different political powers, party-to-party exchanges are very important. It is a tradition of the CPC to promote relationship with other countries’ parties, big or small, in power or not in power.’
In his opening speech, the rising star, general secretary of the CPC central committee and president Xi Jinping called on political parties around the world to play a guiding role in building a community with a shared future for mankind. He said that the 19th Congress prepared the blueprint for development of China till the middle of the current century. He said that global cooperation would open a brighter future for mankind. He further added that all countries have differences and contradictions but in 2013, China took an initiative of building community with shared dream and future.
President Xi said, ‘We would have to work hard for an inclusive world’ and he said that during the next five years, 15,000 visitors from political parties would be invited following which the whole process would be institutionalised. This clearly indicates how China is planning its global leadership role of the future.
The Beijing Initiative said: ‘As we are witnessing it, the world is undergoing major developments, transformation, and adjustment, but peace and development remain the call of our day. The trends of global multi-polarity, economic globalisation, IT application, and cultural diversity are surging forward; changes in the global governance system and the international order are speeding up; countries are becoming increasingly interconnected and interdependent; and humanity’s aspiration and needs for a better life are on the rise.’ The declaration further said: ‘We are of the view that, in face of the complex and profound changes in the international situation, no country can alone address the many challenges facing mankind; and no country can afford to retreat into self-isolation. The future of a country rests in the hands of her people, and the future of mankind rests in the hands of the people of all countries. As the development of human society finds itself at the crossroads, the way we see and go determines the prospects and future of mankind. We should foster and embrace the idea of interconnectivity of interests and a shared future in place of the self-concern mindset and dichotomic mentality, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind and a better world. We are aware that there are no precedents or past experience to draw from in building a community with a shared future for mankind. Nevertheless, our courage and sense of responsibility will light up our path forward and provide us with inexhaustible strength. By moving together, we can go farther. In the process of building a community with a shared future for mankind and a better world, governments, political parties, parliaments, social organisations and citizens alike should all play their active roles. Among them, political parties play a critical role in garnering popular support and providing political guidance as the basic form of organisation and important force in the political landscape of countries.… Political parties from different countries should enhance mutual trust, strengthen communication, and work closely to forge, on the basis of a new form of international relations, a new form of party-to-party relations featuring seeking common grounds while transcending differences, mutual respect and mutual learning, so as to create a mighty force that enables us to build a community with a shared future for mankind. We call on political parties to facilitate the building of partnerships. We should take the correct approach to developing state-to-state relations with communication, not confrontation, and with partnership, not alliance. Countries should discard the Cold War mentality, power politics, and sectarianism.’
Interestingly, there were panel speakers during two plenary sessions whose domestic records are not very clean. Both Aung San Suu Kyi and Hun Sen did not make any reference to the Rohingya issue despite talking about their becoming responsible members of the international community. Only the leaders from Algeria and Turkey talked about the Rohingya situation. Suu Kyi said, ‘Our country needs a clean and competent government.’ Deputy secretary of the General Council of the United Russia Party Sergey Zheleznyak said that the unipolar world was going through demise and bluntly told the audience that they were against any legal sanction and a consensus between China and Russia was very important in global affairs.
That what China wanted became clear as the initiative said that the international community commended the immense efforts and important contribution of the Communist Party of China with general secretary Xi Jinping as the core and the Chinese government in promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind and a better world. However, if someone analyses the deliberations of the dialogue, it becomes clear what China was planning for future. Definitely, China is trying to reassert its global leadership position, so far considered lost.
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