Ex-Romanian leader notes 'value' in having a community of shared future
China's proposal to build a community with a shared future for mankind has been translated from an "invaluable value of humanity" into real actions amid the country's efforts to shoulder its responsibility in areas like climate change, said Petre Roman, former prime minister of Romania.
"It is obvious that China is a great contributor to the global development," Roman told China Daily in an emailed response to questions on Saturday.
Roman spoke highly of the speeches delivered by President Xi Jinping in Davos and the United Nations Geneva Office a year ago, when Xi highlighted the importance of boosting free trade and building a community with a shared future for mankind. "During our meeting with President Xi in Beijing on Nov 30, 2017, he said that the voice of every nation should be listened to and China will always be the defender of the international order," he said. Xi met with Roman in November as a representative attending the Imperial Springs International Forum in Guangzhou.
"When I read in the President Xi's speech that 'the dream of the Chinese people is closely connected with the dreams of other peoples of the world' and that 'it is necessary to adhere to new development concepts', I thought that indeed he put on the table of the global arena the challenge of understanding the real meaning of 'common human destiny' today," he said.
Noting that climate change is a crucial aspect of the challenges people face today, Roman said that Xi's commitment in favor of strong global measures to mitigate the negative consequences of climate change is of "paramount importance".
"Recently, the very respected British scientific magazine New Scientist headlined, 'Can China save the world?' in an article devoted to investments in renewable energies. I read there, at my pleasant surprise, that in 2015 China spent $103 billion in this domain while all of the European Union only $49 billion and the US, $44 billion," he said.
"So President Xi's promise is also deed. I certainly wish that President Trump would also accept the very large scientific opinion concerning climate change," he added.
Before serving as prime minister of Romania in 1989, Roman was a professor and scientist in physics of fluids. During a program on the water quality of the great Danube River, he found more than 70 percent of water samples were of good quality in 1975 but only 38 percent were in 1985 due to serious pollution.
"Nature has an enormous resilience but not unlimited. I fear that something similar is actually happening in the evolution of the climate change," he said, adding that Xi has been aware of "the inevitable common destiny of mankind".
Roman said that Xi's speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos last year "made a powerful analysis of the necessity to maintain and enlarge global free trade and committed China to be an honest and sincere partner in trading with all countries of the world".
In his speech, Xi said that "practicing trade protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room. It seems to have screened wind and rain, but it also isolates one from sunshine and air".
While mentioning Xi's speech, Roman said that trade growth is a strong tool of the economic growth, which should be "permanently encouraged to the benefit of millions of workers both in developed and developing countries".
The former Romanian leader also mentioned the speech delivered by US President Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Saturday.
In the speech President Trump "wanted to reassure the world leaders and the financial markets that he is not rejecting the international cooperation ... but he underscored again that 'we cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others'," Roman said.
The Belt and Road Initiative could be transformed into a new system of financing great infrastructure projects all over the world and transforming local and national needs into mutually beneficial shared communities, Roman said.
"I am confident that solutions are available because the philosophy of the initiative shows that benefits are mutual," he said.
Zang Yarui contributed to this story.