Chinese Embassy in London organises round table discussion on building a shared future for humanity

On February 21, the Chinese Embassy in London organised a lunch and round table discussion for representatives of fraternal parties and other British friends of China to celebrate the Lunar New Year and to explore the topic of building a shared future for humanity along with the other major themes raised at the Central Conference on Work Related to Foreign Affairs, held in Beijing last December. 

In his keynote report, Ambassador Zheng Zeguang first dealt with economic developments. China’s economy, he noted, had become greener, the middle income group had already reached 400 million, and Premier Li Qiang has noted that it will reach 800 million in five years. There were intensified efforts to sort out the problems in the real estate market. 

On foreign policy, the Ambassador laid particular stress on high quality Belt and Road (BRI) developments, the historic reconciliation between Iran and Saudi Arabia, brokered by China, China’s contribution to the UAE consensus on climate change reached at COP 28, along with China’s role in the Global South, championing the expansion of the BRICS cooperation mechanism and the African Union’s admission to the G-20. 

China’s policy, he explained, was to promote peace and oppose war. Without peace there could be no development and peace can only be possible if the independence and territorial integrity of nations was defended. It was further necessary to uphold mutual learning and to oppose ideas of a clash of civilisations. 

Friends of Socialist China was represented by our co-editor Keith Bennett along with committee member Dr. Ali Al-Assam. In his contribution, Keith laid stress on how President Xi’s concept of a community with a shared future for humanity, which is described as the core tenet of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, embodies Xi’s concept of the “two integrations”, namely the integration of Marxism with China’s specific realities and especially the best of its traditional culture. 

Other speeches were made by Robert Griffiths, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB); Andy Brooks, General Secretary of the New Communist Party of Britain (NCP); Christina Kostoula, Vice Chair of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (CPGBML); Wang Qi, Minister of the Chinese Embassy; Stephen Perry, Honorary President of the 48 Group Club; Right Honourable Lord Davidson KC of Glen Cova, Labour Member of the House of Lords; Martin Albrow, Fellow of Britain’s Academy of Social Sciences; Martin Jacques, author of the best selling ‘When China rules the world’; Sam Daws, Director of the Project on UN Governance and Reform at the Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford; and Hugh Goodacre, Secretary of the Xi Jinping Thought Study Group of the Institute for Independence Studies.

Further contributions were made in discussion by Roger McKenzie, Foreign Editor of the Morning Star; and Ali Al-Assam of Friends of Socialist China.

The below article was originally published on the website of the Chinese Embassy in the UK. It is followed by the full text of Keith’s contribution to the discussion.

The Chinese Embassy in the UK Holds a Chinese New Year Luncheon for Representatives of British Political Parties to Discuss China’s Practice and the Global Significance of Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind

On 21 February 2024, the Chinese Embassy in the UK invited representatives from various British political parties and people from different sectors for a Chinese New Year luncheon. H.E. Ambassador Zheng Zeguang delivered a keynote address and the other participants shared their views. While celebrating the Chinese New Year, the participants engaged in in-depth discussions on China’s practice and the global significance of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

In his address, Ambassador Zheng pointed out that building a community with a shared future for mankind is the core tenet of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. It is the Communist Party of China (CPC)’s answer to the question of what kind of world we should build and how to build it. It is also the noble goal pursued by China in conducting major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

Ambassador Zheng elaborated on the goal, the pathway, the guiding principle, the basic underpinning, the strategic guidance and the platform for building a community with a shared future for mankind. He pointed out that building a community with a shared future for mankind has developed from a conceptual proposition to a scientific system, from a promising vision to substantive actions and from a Chinese initiative to an international consensus. Extending to various regions and covering various areas, it has served as a glorious banner leading the progress of the times.

Ambassador Zheng noted that over the past year, China continued to steadfastly advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind through practical actions. China’s economy grew by 5.2%, contributing about one-third of the global economic growth. China’s rapid green and low-carbon transition propelled global sustainable development. And China shared more development opportunities with the world through expanded high-level opening up.

China made active efforts to improve relations between other major countries, successfully mediated a historic reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and played a constructive role in addressing regional hotspots such as the Palestine-Israel conflict and the Ukraine crisis, making new contributions to world peace.

China actively contributed to the UAE Consensus at the COP28 UN Climate Change Conference, enhanced solidarity of the Global South, promoted the historic expansion of BRICS and gave support to the African Union in joining the G20, playing an important role in improving global governance.

Ambassador Zheng noted that in the year ahead, against a more complex international situation and accelerating changes unseen in a century, at home, China will stay the course of high-quality development, and advance the building of a strong country and national rejuvenation through the Chinese path to modernisation. 

And internationally, we call for an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalisation. We will work with all countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

We call on all countries to uphold dialogue and cooperation and oppose rivalry and confrontation, uphold peace and stability and oppose conflict and war, uphold openness and inclusiveness and oppose “decoupling” and suppression, uphold mutual learning and oppose clash of civilisations, and uphold true multilateralism and oppose unilateralism and bullying.

China is ready to enhance dialogue and exchanges with political parties and organisations from all countries, and join hands with them in promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, so as to inject more stability and positive energy into the world.

The British participants expressed that the scientific system of building a community with a shared future for mankind aligns with the need for world peace and development. It reflects the global vision of the CPC, integrates the basic tenets of Marxism with China’s specific realities and fine traditional culture, and points the way forward in a turbulent world.

China’s commitment to interpreting and promoting building a community with a shared future for mankind through its actions serves as a model for the international community. Western disinformation cannot hide this truth as China’s proposal and practice are being welcomed and endorsed by a growing number of countries and their people. The participants expressed their readiness to strengthen exchanges and dialogue with China, and make unremitting efforts to build a better world.

Keith Bennett contribution to discussion

Your Excellency Ambassador Zheng Zeguang

Comrades and Friends

Thank you for the invitation and for the excellent and informative introduction and presentation.

On behalf of Friends of Socialist China, I’d like to make some remarks about the concept of a shared future for humanity.

In his article published on January 16, Foreign Minister Wang Yi notes that Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is “a shining example of applying the basic tenets of Marxism to the practice of China’s diplomacy and fine traditional Chinese culture. It has not only built on the proud diplomatic tradition of New China but also kept abreast of the times, broken new ground, and opened up new vistas in China’s diplomatic theory and practice.”

He goes on to explain that “building a community with a shared future for humanity is the core tenet of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy.”

The report published by the Xinhua News Agency on the Central Conference on Work Related to Foreign Affairs adds that this concept addresses how China proposes to solve the questions of what kind of world to build and how to build it, based on a deepening understanding of the laws governing the development of human society. It reflects the Chinese communists’ worldview, perception of order, and values, accords with the common aspiration of people in all countries, and points the direction for the progress of world civilisations. 

That being the case, I think it’s valuable to look a little more deeply into how this concept relates to Xi Jinping Thought as a whole.

I will focus here on the “two integrations” advanced by President Xi, namely the integration of Marxism with China’s specific realities and especially the best of its traditional culture. In a June 2023 speech, Xi Jinping pointed out that:

“The ‘two integrations’ is not a far-fetched proposition. Despite their distinct origins, Marxism and traditional Chinese culture exhibit remarkable congruence. For instance, the social principles of pursuing the common good for all and acting in good faith and being friendly to others resonate harmoniously with the ideals and convictions of communism and socialism.”

From this, we can see a close identity between the community of shared future and the ancient Chinese maxim of “pursuing common good for all under heaven”, put forward by Confucius in the Book of Rites as the core concept of the “community of great harmony” centuries before the Christian era. In fact, this idea may be found even millennia before Confucius, for example in the time of the Three Legendary Emperors, Yao, Shun and Yu, between 4000-3000 BCE, whose reputed deeds may be found extolled in bronze vessel inscriptions made between the mid to late Western Zhou dynasty (1046-771 BCE).

How then does it relate to the chronologically second of the ‘two integrations’, namely that of Marxism? After all, some dogmatic Marxists would assert that this concept is devoid of class content.

However, in his recent article, Minister Liu Jianchao of the International Department of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee asserts that:

 “The vision of building a human community with a shared future and the three global initiatives are scientific. They encapsulate the stances, viewpoints, and methods of Marxism, reflecting the hallmarks of Marxism, and demonstrating salient theoretical character. Underpinned by dialectical and historical materialism, the vision and the three global initiatives reveal the laws governing the development of human society and its future direction.”

How to assess this claim? Coincidentally or otherwise, today marks the 176th anniversary of the publication of The Communist Manifesto. Despite all the changes in the world, and the progress, development and application of scientific socialism, this remarkable work of Marx and Engels remains the foundational document of the proletarian movement.

In the Manifesto’s first chapter, Marx and Engels explain that the building of a shared future for humanity actually begins with the revolutionary change from feudalism to capitalism led by the bourgeoisie. They write:

“In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal interdependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature.”

However, they equally note that the bourgeoisie is incapable of carrying this process through to its conclusion, adding:

“All previous historical movements were movements of minorities, or in the interest of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority.”

They further reinforce the point in Chapter 2: “National differences and antagonism between peoples are daily more and more vanishing, owing to the development of the bourgeoisie, to freedom of commerce, to the world market, to uniformity in the mode of production and in the conditions of life corresponding thereto. The supremacy of the proletariat will cause them to vanish still faster. “

In his Draft Theses on the National and Colonial Question, written in June 1920, Lenin similarly emphasised that, “there is a tendency towards the creation of a single world economy, regulated by the proletariat of all nations as an integral whole and according to a common plan. This tendency has already revealed itself quite clearly under capitalism and is bound to be further developed and consummated under socialism.”

From this necessarily very brief survey, we can therefore see that, as the core tenet of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, the concept of a shared future for humanity embodies the ‘two integrations’ and therefore underlines and reinforces the position of Xi Jinping Thought as Marxism for the twenty-first century.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *