U.S. Scholar: A future of shared prosperity is the only way forward for humanity

BEIJING, June 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In the face of conflict, China prefers to achieve peace via dialogue and mediation, rather than the unilateral use of force or through regime change. Ken Hammond, a professor of Global History and East Asian History at New Mexico State University, the U.S., shared his opinions on this topic from a historical perspective with Beijing Review reporter Li Nan.


Excerpts from their conversation follow:

Ken Hammond: China takes the interests of all parties seriously and tries to find a path forward that minimizes conflict. Maybe we’re not going to resolve everything. Maybe it’s not going to be necessarily one big group hug. But it respects the interests of the various parties involved.

We can see it in China’s brokerage of an agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran in March, and we can also see it in the China-proposed Global Security Initiative. And we can see it in China’s 12-point proposal to end the conflict in Ukraine [issued in late February].

And I think that has deep roots in Chinese historical tradition. In China, there has always been the idea of unity. When we talk about tianxia, literally “under Heaven,” that’s all of us, that’s everybody. It’s people, animals, plants, the soil, the water, the air… We are all connected.

We see the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence that go back to Premier Zhou Enlai in the 1950s—e.g., the nonaligned movement of respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, seeking mutual benefit, the idea of mutuality, of shared interest—emphasizing more what can bring us together rather than what is going to split us apart.

We need to be able to learn from that and apply the same ideas, the same principles to solving our problems in a way that then becomes mutually beneficial, becomes a future of shared prosperity.

We must find a way to advance what will raise the livelihoods of people all around the planet. China has made incredible gains in eliminating absolute poverty, raising hundreds of millions of people to a better life. This is a historic accomplishment that no other country on Earth can claim as much of.

We can read in Xi Jinping: The Governance of China, in the different volumes, this vision of a world that isn’t just about one group, one country, one society, but is about solving the problems that we all face in a way that will enhance all of our circumstances. But there is still so much to be done.

Initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative are therefore important. This vision of a future of shared prosperity for humanity, a future of mutual benefit [is important]. That’s the only path forward. 

Comment to [email protected]

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BeijingReview/status/1651386256855826433
YouTube: https://youtu.be/tUIz2JfcPGU