Experts, officials see nation's potential in leading reforms, tackling challenges
China has been a dedicated proponent of global development and a builder of a community with a shared future for humanity amid mounting challenges, global experts and officials said on Saturday.
They made the remarks at the 2023 Tongzhou Global Development Forum held in Beijing, which was attended by officials and experts from over 30 countries and international organizations, including United Nations agencies.
During the opening ceremony, a themed report on global development was unveiled, emphasizing that the current challenges faced by the world can only be tackled through reforms and development.
The report revealed that turbulence and challenges have hindered the progress in achieving the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals for many countries. It suggested that countries prioritize development and explore a common development theory that benefits all.
Adrian Nastase, former prime minister of Romania, highlighted that promoting sustainable development is a collective challenge and responsibility.
He lauded China for leading efforts in achieving common development worldwide, and noted China's emphasis on seeking common ground while respecting differences regarding global development concepts, rules and standards.
Nastase also praised China's efforts to promote cooperation between the Global North and the Global South.
Vince Cable, former secretary of state for business, innovation and skills of the United Kingdom, emphasized that China has the potential to play a greater role in upholding multilateralism, advancing mutual learning among civilizations and spearheading reforms in the global governance system.
He cited the Global Security Initiative, the Global Development Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative to laud China's commitment to building a community with a shared future for humanity.
"China, in dialogue and cooperation with other nations, can address pressing global challenges like climate change and public health, and mitigate the economic development gap between the Global North and the Global South," he said.
Shahbaz Khan, UNESCO's representative to China, hailed the nation's efforts in aligning with the principles of the UN Charter, emphasizing its role as a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order.
"The three initiatives reflect that China is resolute in and committed to international cooperation in environmental protection, ecological civilization, poverty alleviation, education reform and cultural communication," Khan said.
Delegates at the forum agreed that China has set a positive example for other developing countries, inspiring them to pursue their own development goals and improve the well-being of their people.
Filip Vujanovic, former president of Montenegro, praised the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative for helping countries involved identify their unique development models, enhancing economic, cultural and educational connectivity, and fostering people-to-people exchanges.
John Ross, former director of economic and business policy for the mayor of London, highlighted how the BRI facilitated growth and development for various nations, enabling them to find appropriate paths distinct from the so-called "Western model".
Hussein Askary, vice-chairman of the Belt and Road Institute in Sweden, emphasized China's pursuit of common development instead of a zero-sum game, setting it apart from Western ideologies.
"China wants to make greater contributions to benefit more people across the world. By investing in new technologies and cooperating with other countries, it aims at bringing development for people in all the continents," he said.