First: The role of the Belt and Road Initiative in supporting the “responsible global leadership model of China” at the international level in the face of unilateralism and hegemony (post-Covid-19)
Second: The contributions of the “Health Silk Initiative” to help countries recover from (Covid-19), improve the global governance system, and the new leadership role of modern China
Third: Interlinking the role of the Belt and Road Initiative in the (modernization of the developing world and China’s leadership of the South-North dialogue) through multilateral international platforms and institutions
Fourth: The role of the Belt and Road Initiative in China’s modern renaissance, and the call to share “the experience of Chinese governance globally” for a common future for mankind
This year’s celebration of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China comes in a different way, as well as the year 2021 (the fiftieth anniversary) of China’s restoration of its permanent legal seat in the United Nations, and China is a founding member of the United Nations. On June 26, 1945, the Chinese delegation was the first to sign the “Constituent Charter Establishing the United Nations”, and the representative of the Communist Party of China at that time was “Dong Baiyou”, as one of the most prominent figures of this Chinese delegation to the United Nations.
As soon as the Chinese President, Comrade “Xi Jinping”, came to power in the country, he raised theslogan of “Chinese Dream”, and called everyone to stand around this dream, with a unique concept associated with it, namely, “the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”. Here we find that the concept of (the dream The Chinese) presented by President “Xi” and the leaders of the Communist Party of China, has been practically interpreted by Comrade “Xi Jinping” in his current political speeches, by his assertion:
“The Chinese Dream is a long-term vision for China based on objective analysis, as well as a strategic idea and a long-term development plan around which all the Chinese people and their nationalities must rally to achieve the renaissance of modern China”
Based on this dream initiated by Comrade “Xi” to promote his country’s global renaissance, China has played an active role within the framework of the United Nations and relevant international institutions to reform the international system in accordance with the multipolarity of all the actors in it.
In the last speech of the Chinese President, Comrade “Xi Jinping”, to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2021, President “Xi” made the voice of Chinese diplomacy loud around the world, through the United Nations platform, in calling for the rejection of unilateralism and respect for global openness, and not to return again to the Cold War mentality that prevailed during the period of the former Soviet Union before its disintegration. Since this was the first speech of President “Xi Jinping”, it was preceded by many speeches on all international occasions and meetings.
Since 2012, the first speech of the Chinese President, Comrade “Xi Jinping”, came immediately after assuming the reins of power in China, and then it was followed by a number of important and influential speeches at the heart of the United Nations itself, and all other international platforms and multilateral mechanisms affiliated with it, and the work of Comrade “Xi”. With the leaders of the Communist Party of China in (presenting a series of new ideas, initiatives and proposals with Chinese characteristics), which were able to meet all international expectations and the values of justice by introducing effective development initiatives that contribute to the development of all humankind, especially the “Belt and Road Initiative”, taking into account that the Chinese diplomacy has succeeded in obtaining (an official recognition by the United Nations of its Belt and Road Initiative), and this has been codified in the laws and institutions of the United Nations to work under the initiative in partnership between the international community and China.
This Chinese international initiative for the Belt and Road is considered as (important strategic guidelines for promoting pluralism at the international level, ways to practice it and how to develop it in a way that suits the characteristics, values and cultures of each country separately), through the calls that emerged from it about the (global governance system and the call for a global government with civilized characteristics). And its demand to hold a (dialogue for rapprochement between all civilizations and cultures, with the definition of the most important Chinese and Asian cultural values), as well as many important international standards and guidelines, which China put forward globally.
On the occasion of (the anniversary of the celebration of the founding of the People’s Republic of China), and according to my vision as an expert in Chinese political affairs, I believe that creating a space to talk about the importance of (the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, as the face of modern China to change the world), through its call for solidarity, justice and pluralism, according to a multilateral system, and here we find that the most important outlines added by the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative for mankind are:
First: The role of the Belt and Road Initiative in supporting the “responsible global leadership model of China” at the international level in the face of unilateralism and hegemony (post-Covid-19)
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and until the advent of Chinese President Comrade “Xi Jinping” in 2012, over the past 72 years, China has succeeded in playing a comprehensive role in the multilateral affairs of the United Nations, and indeed all relevant international forums, as China demonstrated Its responsibility as a major country on the world stage, especially after the Corona pandemic, and China’s behavior as a “responsible leader” on the world stage and its commitment to continue cooperation and solidarity with all countries of the world through its Belt and Road Initiative, through:
The Chinese call, through the “Chinese Belt and Road Initiative”, to support the values of consultation and joint construction between China and various countries of the whole world, within the framework of “multipolarity” that Chinese President “Xi Jinping” has always raised in his current political speeches. As major powers that reject international pluralism, such as the United States of America, because of their deliberate isolation from other countries, especially during the era of former President “Trump”, are not conducive to the rapid recovery and healthy development of the global economy after the outbreak of (Covid-19).
Here, some major powers are trying to maintain hegemony, or use international rules to oppress other countries, or seek (unite allies to reshape a non-neutral system of governance, resorting to what is known as “selective pluralism”). All of these actions constitute obstacles to the global economic governance advocated by China and the leaders of the Communist Party of China, and they are not conducive to the recovery of the global economy after the Corona pandemic.
One of the results of the spread of (Covid-19) was (accelerating the transformation of the economy to digitization). The digital transformation of the economy continues to play an important role in combating the epidemic, maintaining economic activities during the epidemic and economic recovery after the epidemic.
China’s international role must be commended within the framework of Chinese President “Xi Jinping’s call” and plan to work within the framework of consultation, joint construction and international cooperation between China and the countries of the world. The (digital economy with the help of new technologies) is an important reference that countries around the world can benefit from to face global changes by learning from the pioneering Chinese experience in this framework.
It has become clear at the present time, that companies from all over the world urgently need to adapt to new business forms, new rules and the new competitive environment after the Corona pandemic, and here we must learn from China’s experience in this direction, by opening its markets to the world, and making sure to make facilities To attract investors, establish international partnerships and exhibits of international weight, and assist developing countries in this context.
With the maturity of digital technology and the increasing prosperity of the digital economy, the advantages of new economic forms are constantly emerging, which will form a new image of the global economy after (Covid-19) within a framework of joint construction among all.
On the other hand, the urgent need for China’s call for cooperation and joint construction within a framework of international pluralism appears, through the increasing need in the current period for (protecting the environment and water from global climate changes, and low-carbon, green and sustainable growth). With China’s keenness to share with the whole world its experience to protect man and nature as a common community that requires constructive and continuous cooperation and coordination, and dealing with the issue of climate change is a preoccupation for the international humanitarian community within the framework of (the common destiny of mankind), which are the premises on which the joint construction of Chinese cooperation with the world is based. China’s Belt and Road Initiative, given that the previous economic development model failed to meet the urgent needs of the international community in the face of the threat of climate change in the future.
Here, we find China’s call on the international community to work together within the framework of coordination and joint construction for (modifying the economic development model and paying attention to the governance of climate change).
It also calls on China, through its Belt and Road Initiative, to jointly (build, explore and develop new productive forces), and to search for a new impetus for low-carbon, green and sustainable growth.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a modern promise, a path to joint victory, and a Chinese pledge to the whole world to build and joint coordination between the international community and China within the framework of (the common future of mankind), which is the invitation of the Chinese President, Comrade “Xi Jinping”, in all his political speeches.
Hence, the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative is an important launch for countries along the Chinese Belt Road to create new opportunities in the world after (Covid-19).
Here comes the role of China in (building closer healthy partnerships, closer interdependence and closer partnerships for green development, closer partnerships for openness and inclusion, and making positive contributions to the common prosperity of mankind), and maintaining international pluralism away from unilateralism and world domination.
Hence, we understand that China has been able to lead the world responsibly, especially after the outbreak of “Covid-19”, and it has carried out its duties entrusted to it, and we find the speech of President “Xi Jinping”, which came, entitled:
“Let the torch of pluralism light humanity’s way forward”
In his delivered discourse at the “World Economic Forum” in Davos, Comrade “Xi’s call” was explicit in the direction of (the promotion and development of international pluralism) on a just basis satisfactory to all.
Second: The contributions of the “Health Silk Initiative” to help countries in recovering from (Covid-19), improve the global governance system, and the new leadership role of modern China
Chinese President “Xi Jinping” raised a slogan in which he called on all the Chinese people to rally around him, and he called it the “Chinese Dream”. Hence, the leaders of the Communist Party of China, in cooperation with all the corresponding parties in other countries, began preparing and clarifying what this Chinese dream is in practice, with what it presented. China by putting forward its initiatives for (South-South cooperation and North-South cooperation), and the Corona pandemic came to establish the role of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative in transforming the theoretical work mechanism of the Communist Party of China and its leaders into a real practical reality, through which it was able to put its own theories in a way An organization, to contribute to the service of humanity and solidarity with all countries around the world, including the provision of international health contributions to the United Nations, major and western countries, especially the United States of America itself, which was evident through:
China succeeded in providing assistance to all countries of the world after the outbreak of the pandemic, with its international contributions through the “Belt and Road Cooperation Initiative”, which enabled China to help many countries of the world within the framework of the (Healthy Silk Road), to cooperate in the production of vaccines and aid. China has played a major role in upholding the concept of a “community with a shared future for humanity” and the need for solidarity and support among various countries in facing crises.
China’s role has begun to deepen since the announcement of the new Corona pandemic and its repercussions, and China’s contribution with a large financial share and huge aid to the (World Health Organization), especially after the withdrawal of the United States of America from it as a result of American accusations without evidence of China’s responsibility for the Corona pandemic, and even China provided The “World Health Organization” (WHO) provides all information about the virus, embodying the idea of ”one world” and “a community with a shared future for humanity”, which are the slogans associated with the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, which Chinese President Comrade “Xi Jinping” emphasizes in all his international meetings and speeches.
China worked within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative to confront the negative effects of the Coronavirus pandemic globally, through (the G-20 summit meetings and all the virtual summits in which China participated), the Chinese political leadership pledged to President “Xi Jinping” to help China to various countries of the whole world Especially the poor and developing countries, to face the repercussions of the impact of Coronavirus pandemic on the economies of the countries of the world at home and abroad.
China worked through the Belt and Road Initiative to (improve the global governance system and maintain the international system), for example, there was close cooperation between China and the Arab countries, led by Egypt, in exchanging knowledge and experiences in the face of (Covid-19), within the framework of the initiative The Belt and Road, and its role model, through the “Health Silk Road Initiative”.
China’s commitment to help and support all African countries to recover economically from the effects of the pandemic came, and here came the (Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation) and (The Extraordinary China-Africa Summit), entitled: (Solidarity against the new Corona virus “Covid-19” in Beijing), emphasizing China’s role in always striving for the (common destiny of humanity) and life in one world in which we share security, stability and peace.
China continued to assist African countries by sending expert teams, and providing and facilitating the purchase of medical supplies from China. China has also begun to help African countries start (building the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention), and China has worked with African countries to (fully implement the health care initiative) for all African countries.
President “Xi Jinping”, in his speech to African leaders, also stressed the importance of giving greater priority to cooperation in (public health, reopening the economy, and improving the living conditions of African people), within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Coronavirus pandemic has been a major driver of global economic transformation, as it has also provided Beijing with an ideal opportunity to change (the parameters of the Belt and Road Initiative and reorientation towards more relevant efforts), such as: (digital and health services).
China has revived the so-called “Health Silk Road Initiative”, whose idea is based on China’s support for global public health efforts led by China, although the (Health Belt Initiative) is not new, as it was first introduced by China in 2017, When President “Xi Jinping” signed an agreement with the (World Health Organization), China made itself obligated to make health a major focus of the Belt and Road Initiative, especially after the spread of (Covid-19) around the world.
Chinese companies donated personal protective equipment to all parts of the world within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, which globally supported China’s role.
Aspects of the healthy Silk Road include China’s provision of medical supplies and advice to countries, as well as (Chinese financial aid to the World Health Organization), so that it can help developing countries establish (more robust public health systems).
China has contributed globally to reviving the so-called “Digital Silk Road” and reviving China’s efforts globally to become the (world’s leading supplier of 5G network technology).
The most important thing here is that (Chinese technology companies) provide many medical services based on (fifth generation technology), and China has helped (building fifth generation networks at home and abroad to connect health care workers and patients with medical professionals).
After the first meeting of China’s two legislatures after the Coronavirus pandemic in May 2020, the (Chinese People’s Congress) approved a six-year spending plan with (5G networks) as a basis.
Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, has laid a 6000 km (fiber-optic) line across the Atlantic Ocean, between (Brazil to Cameroon), while the spread of digital payment platforms, such as: (WeChat Pay and Alipay), which helped promote The spread of the yuan at the international level, and the transformation of the digital process of the Chinese yuan to facilitate digital financial transactions after (Covid-19).
The so-called “Green Silk Road” has also received attention from China, as the pandemic has paved the way for China to cancel some projects that are harmful to the environment and not viable, and to undo a number of unpopular projects, such as: (dams, coal plants that pollute the environment, and other non-environmentally friendly projects).
We find here that the end result is noticeable, as it is clear that the Belt and Road Initiative remains of great importance, and enjoys coherence and direction around the world after (Covid-19). Especially with the extreme flexibility of the “Chinese initiative for the Belt and Road” by developing (a coordinated and multifaceted plan to confront the changing form of the initiative and the road), meaning Chinese involvement in helping various developing countries of the world healthy and digitally, besides securing other alternatives to confront the negative repercussions of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Through the positive contributions made by China to the world, and health and development initiatives that led the international community, and through which it emerged as a responsible country in which it seeks reform and openness, and led the dialogue between countries (South-South, and North-South), through which China has succeeded in promoting The confidence of the people and the entire international community in the “successful Chinese model”, which led to the “strengthening of the power of the ruling Communist Party” in China through its contributions to the world under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Third: Interlinking the role of the Belt and Road Initiative in the (modernization of the developing world and China’s leadership of the South-North dialogue) through multilateral international platforms and institutions
Through its Belt and Road Initiative, China succeeded in laying the foundations for a new world order led by China in development, and establishing partnership and cooperation relations between China and the developing world in particular.
The reason for the success of the Communist Party of China in leading the world, especially developing countries, is “its ability to develop many theories for reform and openness to the world”.
In all his recent political speeches, Comrade Chinese President “Xi Jinping” stressed that the secret of China’s success lies in:
“The ability of the ruling Communist Party to continuously outdo its previous successes, because it is able to use new theories, ideas and strategies as powerful ideological weapons to strengthen the union and trust around it from the world, and its ability to lead the Chinese people of various nationalities, while paying its pledges to everyone at home and abroad and moving forward with their projects actively”
Hence, China has succeeded in advancing internationally through its Belt and Road initiative by calling for financial cooperation, and establishing (international institutions with new standards through which mechanisms for cooperation between the countries of the South with the North were proposed), taking into account mainly the needs of developing countries and countries of the South, through an extended Chinese strategy, rrepresents in:
In terms of financial cooperation, China has worked with its partners to interconnect the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative with all (major global financial institutions) to ensure a diversified and robust flow of financing for key projects related to the initiative.
After the establishment of (the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), as one of the major multilateral platforms for building the Belt and Road, it has gained increasing trust and appreciation at the global level, and the number of its members and infrastructure projects has increased, and it has agreed to give billions of dollars in loans and contribute to several projects International in many countries of the world in Africa, Arab countries, and Asia, including: (Indonesia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Oman, Turkey, and Egypt).
Through the Belt and Road Initiative, China is trying to help lay a new path towards more prosperous global trade, a more open world economy, and a more inclusive economic globalization.
A recent World Bank report showed that investments linked to the Belt and Road Initiative could help lift more than (9 million people out of extreme poverty and another 34 million out of moderate poverty) in a variety of countries.
China established 82 joint areas of cooperation with 24 other countries within the framework of Belt and Road Initiative created more than two billion dollars in (tax revenues), and most importantly, it contributed to creating more than (300,000 jobs) for the countries passing through China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Infrastructure development has also made remarkable progress in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, for example, China succeeded in Greece, which is jointly managed by the (Chinese Cosco Shipping Company), the (Greek port of Piraeus) witnessed an increase in (handling container capacity at a rate of five times) after entering the Greek port in partnership with Chinese companies within the framework of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, and thanks to China’s cooperation with (the Greek port of Piraeus), the Greek port has now succeeded in occupying the 36th place among the top 100 ports in the world. The world is on the Lloyd’s List, a list that constitutes a major criterion for judging the quality of development and industry around the world.
China has succeeded, through the Belt and Road Initiative, in achieving remarkable success, as it has accomplished with other linkage projects for China, such as: Chinese international cooperation in the fields of: (railways, roads, air transport, energy, and telecommunications).
Chinese Belt and Road Initiative projects have provided business opportunities for Chinese companies and for all other companies around the world, to partner and cooperate in the implementation of many projects, for example: China succeeded through the Belt and Road Initiative in (building wind power plants), which is called the “wind corridor”, such as (the wind corridor in the province of Sindh in Pakistan), and others in many countries of the world.
The Chinese Belt and Road Initiative provides a platform to strengthen ties between China and all closely countries more. The Chinese initiative aims to enhance cooperation in (five main areas), which are:
(Policy coordination, infrastructure, trade, finance, people-to-people exchanges)
Policy coordination within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative is the key to flexible cooperation between China and the world. Beijing never tries to impose the initiative on others or impose any specific policy and plans, but China pays close attention to aligning the Belt and Road Initiative with (the development strategies of its partners in Belt and Road) to serve the interests of all.
So far, most Belt and Road countries have signed political agreements with other participants in the initiative on (norms and standards, tax policies, intellectual property protection, dispute settlement, infrastructure development) and others.
We find the affirmation of the Chinese President, Comrade “Xi Jinping”, during his speech at the (opening of the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation) in 2017, confirmed that:
“China is ready to exchange development practices with other countries, but China has no intention of interfering in the internal affairs to other countries, Beijing does not seek to export its social system and development model, nor to impose China’s will on others, and China, through its Belt and Road Initiative, will not resort to outdated geopolitical maneuvers”
I consider these messages to Comrade Chinese President “Xi Jinping” in his political discourses is attempting to set (global rules within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative).
Most importantly, we find that within the framework of the Belt and Road cooperation, China has upheld and practiced the principle of “comprehensive consultation, common development and mutual benefits”, seeking self-development while providing opportunities, expertise and capital at the same time to its BRI partners along with various countries of the world.
Hence, the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative has succeeded in providing a platform for strengthening the links between the various countries of the world within the framework of the Chinese initiative.
Through this analysis of the most important developmental roles of China and its Belt and Road Initiative, we can understand the mechanism and plans for Chinese success, by developing a long strategy, known as: (adapting to global economic development), with China adopting modern development and economic patterns, through which it leads global economic projects through the “Belt and Road Initiative”, and adjust the speed and pattern of its development instead of striving for a higher growth rate, and this is the secret of the attractiveness of the Chinese development model and the Belt and Road Initiative as a breakthrough for modern China and the great Chinese dream of leading the world.
Fourth: The role of the Belt and Road Initiative in China’s modern renaissance, and sharing the experience of “Chinese governance” globally for a common future for humanity
There is a very clear assertion by Chinese President “Xi Jinping” in his various political speeches on the (renaissance and modernization of China is the spirit of the modern era) for China. In this context, the speech of the Chinese President, Comrade “Xi Jinping”, came on July 2021, during the celebration of the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, stressing in:
“His country’s military and economic development is “irreversible”
What struck me the most during Comrade “Xi Jinping’s speech” was his entire speech for an hour, in which he repeated several times the importance of (linking the role of the Communist Party of China in the renaissance and modern history of China), in which President “Xi” explicitly affirmed:
“The Communist Party of China has been essential to the country’s growth, and attempts to separate it from the people will “fail”
Hence, it becomes clear to us, by analyzing the content and context of President “Xi Jinping’s statements and speeches”, that all of China’s modern development initiatives have been strategically planned by the leaders of the Communist Party, emphasizing the party’s flexibility in dealing with all international variables, rejecting unilateralism and hegemony, and calling for cooperation and exchange benefits for everyone, through:
Emphasis on China and its ruling Communist Party’s defense of “extended consultations between multiple international parties on an equal footing”, has led to the development of the Belt and Road Initiative from a mere Chinese proposal to a “global consensus”.
That is why China is keen to support the role of multilateral mechanisms to enhance those (extended multilateral consultations), as China is actively participating in coordination and cooperation in a substantive manner on the Belt and Road Initiative with other participating countries, and makes full use of the existing multilateral cooperation mechanisms, such as:
(Group of 20, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Asia-Europe Meeting, China-Africa Cooperation Forum, China-Arab Cooperation Forum, China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Cooperation and Development Forum),and others.
Through its Belt and Road Initiative, China is trying to cooperate with various international institutions within the (framework of multilateral cooperation), and this was emphasized by Chinese President Comrade “Xi Jinping”, especially in his speech at the (opening of the annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia in 2021), China proposed to continue building the Belt and Road with high quality, implement the principles of consultation, partnership and benefit, promote the open, green and fair concept, and strive to achieve high-standard sustainable development goals that benefit various peoples around the world.
Through the Belt and Road Initiative, China is trying to establish (international multilateral cooperation with all international institutions), entitle: “strengthening international cooperation, jointly building the Belt and Road, and achieving win-win development”. The two most important keywords in the framework of the Chinese Belt and Road, are: (cooperation and win-win for mankind). In other words, the Chinese side adheres to the (principles of consultation, sharing and benefit) by proposing the “Belt and Road initiative”, with the aim of achieving common development and common prosperity for countries along the line by strengthening interdependence and cooperation among them.
Comrade Chinese President “Xi Jinping”, through the Belt and Road Initiative, seeks to link and network the important Chinese initiative on jointly building the “Belt and Road” with various institutions and countries, which covers all international transactions and partnerships in all continents from Asia and Europe, and takes several forms, such as: (the Maritime Silk Road in the twenty-first century), which crosses the Indian Ocean to reach East Africa and the Mediterranean.
This Chinese initiative is considered the largest public achievement that China has provided to the international community so far, and it is an international cooperation initiative that is widely welcomed by many international institutions and different countries around the world, as it contributes in (reducing the development gap between different regions through policy coordination, infrastructure interconnection, business communication, money circulation and peoples understanding), in the end in an effort to (accelerate the pace of the regional integration process among countries along the Belt and Road), and push for common development and prosperity to these countries and even to other regions and in the service of regional peace and stability. This imposes (an international multilateral cooperation pattern between China and the world).
The importance of (strengthening international multilateral exchanges and cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road) is due to the membership and participation of more than 100 countries or international organizations and their support and positive response to the Chinese initiative, including more than 40 countries and international organizations that have signed cooperation agreements with China. The volume of investments made by Chinese companies in the countries along the line amounted to more than 50 billion dollars, and a large number of important projects were translated into reality, which contributed to (stimulating economic development in various countries and creating a huge number of job opportunities).
This is the same trend that the Chinese President emphasized in his speeches, stressing that “the idea of the Belt and Road Initiative originated from China, but its benefits extend to the whole world, as this initiative has opened new horizons for cooperation between China and all countries of the world”. This requires China cooperates with all international institutions to reap the benefits of multilateral cooperation between China and the world.
This is what China recently warned of the leaders of (the Group of Seven “G7”), with the rejection of the Chinese political leaders in the Communist Party of China for hegemony and unilateralism and the rejection of some multilateral cooperation, emphasizing that:
“The days when a small group of countries decided the fate of the world are long gone Far”. This is the same direction taken by the (spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in London), who asserted that: “Gone are the days when a small group of countries dictated global decisions”.
With the assertion of the spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in London, that: “We always believe that countries, big or small, strong or weak, poor or rich, are equal, and that global affairs should be dealt with through consultation among all countries”. These statements come at a time when the (Group of Seven countries “G7”) are trying to present a unified position on China.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a global project and turns China into a “partisan of economic cooperation, trade and globalization” with all institutions and countries.
The Chinese initiative aims to promote (international interdependence, global growth and development, and increase understanding, respect, mutual trust, and friendly relations between peoples and countries), which indicates (a new era in multilateral cooperation).
The initiative reflects China’s vision of promoting pluralism through (building bridges between continents, states and citizens).
The clearest example of the importance of multilateral cooperation between China and the world within the framework of the Belt and Road in (the current health crisis of the spread of the Corona pandemic), which confirmed to us the importance of (interdependence and mutual dependence) among the countries of the world, which reinforces China’s view of activating (effective multilateralism). Not only to recover from post (Covid-19) emergency, but also, to change for the better. Therefore, the need to support pluralism is more important and urgent than ever.
Also, we find an example of the importance of the comprehensive strategic partnership between Europe, Asia and China, on the basis of (joint commitment to market rules and international standards and norms), which will be in the interest of all international parties, and will enhance economic, trade and investment relations between China and the continents of the world.
Hence, China seeks to support multilateral cooperation by “sharing the experience of Chinese governance for a common future for mankind”. China also supports many scholars, politicians and businessmen, in addition to policy and decision makers from various countries of the world within the framework of international multilateral consultation, partnership and benefits.
Based on the foregoing, this year’s celebration of the anniversary of the founding of the modern People’s Republic of China bears with it the features of many successes and challenges that China has fought globally, and since that time China has witnessed major transformations in its development and economic path, leading to the realization of the “Greatest Chinese Dream for Mankind”, by adopting and launching of the “Chinese Belt and Road Initiative”, and the emergence of China as a role model, especially in developing societies and countries, with its call for a multilateral system, which is in line at the present time in China by preparing an entire generation of Chinese youth for this long and arduous task, by reminding it of China’s history and struggle until its international success.
Which was practically translated by the Communist Party leaders by preparing for it by calling for (attention to the youth young people and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation). It contains a history of China, entitled “The Great Journey”.
He also asked all cinemas in China to show propaganda films known as “red films”, twice a week, starting from last April 2021, with a primary goal of “reminding the success and renaissance of China and its ability to move forward with its international development and economic projects, despite all the challenges and difficulties it faced to impede its growth and disrupt its interests”.
Hence, during (the anniversary of the celebration of the centenary of the founding of the ruling Communist Party) a large campaign began, aimed at “the gathering of the Chinese people around their leaders and party”, with all media broadcasting a large propaganda campaign on the history of China and its modern renaissance in a version adopted by the Communist Party, with the release of a new song It met with popular success in China, entitled: “One Hundred Percent”, to praise China’s achievements internally and around the world, and emphasize the most important Chinese policies and achievements and the most important challenges it faced, while calling for solidarity and union of the Chinese people around the political leadership and the Communist Party so that China could complete its international path of advancement the dream of all the Chinese people, which was confirmed by the meanings of President “Xi Jinping’s speech”, stressing that the solution is:
“Multilateral cooperation, rejecting selfishness, and working together in a free multilateral world to exchange benefits and profits, with what brings us together from one common destiny for humanity and for all of humanity”
Kishida and Japan-Indonesia Security Relations: The Prospects
In October, Japan had inaugurated Fumio Kishida as the new prime minister after winning the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) presidential election earlier. Surely this new statesmanship will consequently influence Tokyo’s trajectory in international and regional affairs, including Southeast Asia.
Not only that Japan has much intensive strategic cooperation with Southeast Asians for decades, but the region’s importance has also been increasing under Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP). Southeast Asia, as a linchpin connecting the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, is key to Japan’s geostrategic interest and vision.
Since the LDP presidential election debate, many have identified Kishida’s policy trajectory, including in the defense and security aspect. Being bold, Kishida reflected its hawkish stance on China, North Korea, and its commitment to strengthening its alliance with Washington. Furthermore, Kishida also aimed to advance the geostrategic and security initiatives with like-minded countries, especially under FOIP.
One of the like-minded countries for Japan is Indonesia, which is key Japan’s key partner in Southeast Asia and Indo-Pacific.
This article maps the prospect of Japan’s security cooperation with Indonesia under the new prime minister. It argues that Prime Minister Kishida will continue to grow Japan’s security cooperation with Indonesia to adjust to the changing security environment in Indo-Pacific.
Japan – Indonesia Common Ground
In its basic principle, Japan and Indonesia shared the same values in democracy, rules-based order, and freedom of navigation in developing strategic cooperation, especially in the maritime security aspect.
In the geostrategic context, Japan and Indonesia also have significant similarities. Both countries are maritime countries and seeking to maximize their maritime power, as well as having formally synchronized geostrategic vision. While Japan has FOIP, Indonesia has Global Maritime Fulcrum (Poros Maritim Dunia) and leading initiator for ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).
In capitalizing on this shared vision, since Shinzo Abe and Joko “Jokowi” Widodo era, Japan and Indonesia have initiated much new security cooperation ranging from a high-level framework such as 2+2 Foreign and Defense Ministers’ Meeting in 2015 and 2021 to capacity building assistances and joint exercises. Furthermore, defense equipment transfers and joint technology development were also kicked off under Abe-Jokowi.
Kishida’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Profile
Compared to his predecessor, Suga Yoshihide, Prime Minister Kishida is more familiar with foreign affairs.
Personally, Kishida comes from a political family and spent several years living in the United States, reflecting his exposure to the international and political environment from an early age. This is significantly different from Suga, who grew up in a strawberry farmer family in a rural area in Akita Prefecture.
Politically, served as foreign minister under Shinzo Abe, Fumio Kishida is the longest-serving foreign minister in Japan’s history. This reflects his extensive understanding of current world affairs, compared to Suga who spent most of his prime political career in the domestic area such as being chief cabinet secretary and minister for internal affairs & communication.
Specifically, in defense and security posture, Prime Minister Kishida is willing to go beyond the status quo and not blocking any key options in order “to protect citizens”. During his policy speeches, he stated that he is not ruling out the option to build attacking capabilities due to the severe security environment surrounding Japan. Also, Kishida will not limit the defense budget under 1% of Japan’s gross domestic product if necessary.
Future Security Cooperation Trajectory with Indonesia
In short, policy continuity will play a huge role. One of the reasons why Kishida was able to win over more popular Kono was due to his moderate liberalness, demonstrating stability over change. This was more preferred by faction leaders in LDP.
In defense and foreign affairs, the continuity is boldly shown as despite appointing entirely new ministers in his cabinet, the only two ministers retained by Kishida are Foreign Minister Motegi and Defense Minister Kishi. By this, it sent the narrative to the international community that there will not be significant turbulence caused by the changing leadership on Japan’s side.
As a background context on Indonesia, Fumio Kishida was the foreign minister from the Japanese side behind the 2+2 Foreign and Defense Ministers’ Meeting with Indonesia in 2015. Indonesia is the only country Japan has such a high-level security framework within Southeast Asia. This framework has led Japan and Indonesia to have a second edition of the 2+2 meeting in 2021, resulting in many practical cooperation deals in defense and security.
The other setting supporting Kishida’s policy continuity, especially in the context with Indonesia is that his foreign minister’s counterpart, Retno Marsudi, was still in charge from the last time Kishida left the foreign minister post in 2017, until today. Initiating the 2+2 framework together, it will be easier for Kishida to resume his relationship with both President Jokowi and Foreign Minister Retno in advancing its strategic cooperation with Indonesia, especially in the defense and security area.
The prospect of continuity is also reflected in Kishida’s commitment to continue the geostrategy relay of both his predecessors, Shinzo Abe and Suga Yoshihide, in achieving the FOIP vision.
Not only that Indonesia is having a similar vision of maritime prosperity and values with Japan, but Indonesia is also concerned with South China Sea dynamics as it started to threaten Indonesia’s remote islands, especially Natuna Islands. As this is a crucial cooperation opportunity, Kishida needs to continue assisting Indonesia to improve the security and prosperity of its remote islands. Thus, as Kishida also admitted that Indonesia is a major country in ASEAN, having favorable relations with Indonesia is important for Japan’s geostrategy.
To capitalize on the potentials with Indonesia, Kishida needs to support Indonesia’s strategic independence as well as to make the best of his position as one of the United States’ allies in Asia.
Despite his tougher stance on China and Taiwan issues, Kishida cannot fully project Japan’s rivalry with China to Indonesia. In addition to its strategic independence, Indonesia has and needs strong strategic relations with China to support many of the vital development projects surrounding Indonesia. This cannot be touched.
Also, Japan needs to bridge Indonesia, as well as other like-minded Southeast Asian countries, with the Quad and AUKUS proponents. Indonesia is formally stated that it is concerned about the ownership of nuclear-powered weapons by its neighboring countries. On the other side, Japan supported AUKUS and is a close ally of the U.S. Kishida’s ability to grab this opportunity will solidify Japan’s credibility and position among Southeast Asians.
Will There Be an End to the War in Korea?
On September 21, 2021, President of South Korea Moon Jae-in addressed the UN General Assembly, calling for a formal end to the Korean War of 1950–1953. “I … propose that the three parties of the two Koreas and the U.S. or the four parties of the two Koreas, the U.S. and China come together and declare that the war on the Korean Peninsula is over,” Moon Jae-in said.
President Moon’s call appeared more relevant than ever before. For decades, the military stand-off on the Korean Peninsula has been haunted by the threat of a “big war” that could involve nuclear weapons. Resolving the issue also presents a crucial political and legal problem, as the UN has from the outset been involved in the conflict. On the one hand, the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement only meant the cessation of military hostilities, not an end to the war as such. On the other hand, the absurd truth is that it is the United Nations, rather than South Korea, that is officially locked in a military stand-off with North Korea—something certainly needs to be done about this. During the war, South Korea received assistance in the form of UN Security Council Resolution 84 passed on July 7, 1950, establishing the UN Command, multinational armed forces of 16 states led by the United States. These forces fought in the Korean War under the UN flag and signed the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement as the adversary of the Korean People’s Army and China’s People’s Volunteer Army. The Command effectively signed the agreement on behalf of the United Nations, meaning that the latter is still formally at war with North Korea, a full-fledged UN member state since 1991.
President Moon has done his outmost best to build bridges between the two Koreas. The inter-Korean summits of 2018 yielded some positive results—in the near future, there will be no war in Korea, whether nuclear or conventional. That said, the two Koreas have recently tested ballistic missiles, thus demonstrating that Pyongyang and Seoul are both ready for dialogue and for confrontation. South Korea has accepted the existence of North Korea to adopt a policy of peaceful co-existence towards its closest neighbor. However, the parties have proved unable to take the most important step, which is to move the inter-Korean relations to a bilateral format. Moreover, Seoul still refuses to recognize the status of North Korea as that of an equal sovereign state, with a legitimate and constitutional leadership.
Some premises for this seem to be there. Nationalism is what brings the two Korean states closer. Even their first joint statement, dating back to July 4, 1972, said that the Korean unification must be achieved independently, without outside interference, which means peacefully and on the basis of “national consolidation.” In December 1991, the heads of government of the two Koreas signed the Agreement on Reconciliation, Non-Aggression, and Exchanges and Cooperation between South and North Korea, formally acknowledging the equal co-existence of the two Korean states. Five inter-Korean summits were held between 2000 and 2018, with joint declarations adopted at each of them. These were essentially programmes to cultivate bilateral relations that would see the two countries move away from confrontation towards reconciliation and eventual rapprochement. None of the documents envisioned any participation of third states in the inter-Korean communication. The relations between North and South Korea have always been conceptualized in an exclusively bilateral dimension, a practice that should persist.
President Moon has also proposed to establish some multilateral organization to include North Korea. “I propose today launching a Northeast Asia Cooperation Initiative for Infectious Disease Control and Public Health, whereby North Korea participates as a member along with China, Japan, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea.” He emphasized that states can no longer handle their national security issues individually. “A cooperative architecture that guarantees collective protection of life and safety will lay the groundwork for North Korea to have its security guaranteed by engaging with the international community.” The President believes that “the end-of-war declaration will indeed open the door to complete denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
Inter-Korean normalization would be impossible without the sanctions lifted, which requires certain progress towards resolving the nuclear issue. North Korea’s nuclear status is enshrined in its constitution—for today’s Pyongyang, this topic cannot be subject to any discussion. It would be wise to adopt a step-by-step approach here—first limiting North Korea’s nuclear missiles, then reducing their numbers to eliminate them all in the end. Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang should be replaced with the “six-party” talks that sought to resolve the nuclear issue of the Korean peninsula in 2003–2008. For a humble beginning, the parties could discuss the prospects of putting a freeze on missile development, guaranteeing the non-proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies. Pyongyang could cease its development of intercontinental ballistic missiles and intermediate- or shorter-range missiles, opening its nuclear facilities for international inspections. In exchange, Washington, Tokyo and Seoul would formally recognize North Korea, establishing diplomatic relations, exchanging diplomatic missions, easing and ultimately lifting sanctions, rather choosing to provide economic and energy assistance to North Korea. A secure and stable North Korea is a far more reliable partner for talks on any subject, including on nuclear issues, than a country cornered by sanctions.
Today’s Northeast Asia is the only region in the world that lacks a multilateral framework to discuss matters of mutual interest or settle conflicts between regional parties. The main obstacle in the way of creating a security system in Northeast Asia is the little trust between the parties. Trust cannot appear without a dialogue on the specific issues of common interest.
In this respect, President Moon’s proposal to establish a multilateral organization that would include North Korea is worthy of note, as it is clearly an attempt to engage with North Korea in international affairs.
As part of its “New Northern Policy”, South Korea could complement President Moon’s current initiative by becoming an intermediary for other Northeast Asian states in assisting in their long-term projects in regional security, energy security, safe and peaceful use of nuclear energy, transportation security and cybersecurity. Setting up legally binding partnerships in the region in these areas, as well as fine-tuning their procedural mechanisms, would allow the parties to build mutual trust to move on to discussions of a broader range of regional issues concerning peace, development and security.
Bringing South Korea’s “New Northern Policy” in line with the existing programmes for international economic integration, which are already “tied-in” to each other (such as the Eurasian Economic Union and China’s Belt and Road Initiative), could bring about positive results. Openness, transparency and respect for each other’s interests could go a long way to establishing an effective framework for dialogue as well as a Eurasian Economic Partnership that would include both Koreas. However, how feasible is such an aligning of South Korea’s policies with more global initiatives given the country’s current alliance with the United States?
President Moon Jae-in proposed his initiative against the background of major malfunctions in international communication. The coronavirus pandemic has uprooted everyday life throughout the world. The entire system of international organizations turned out to be totally ineffective, if not completely paralyzed. At the same time, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has struck quite a heavy blow to the entire system of international relations. And it is not so much the U.S. defeat that matters here. Rather, it is the circumstances under which this defeat took place. In leaving Afghanistan, the Americans effectively presented their Afghan clients and their NATO allies, who had been fighting alongside them for 20 years, with a fait accompli.
The Afghan debacle will certainly have repercussions for the situation on the Korean peninsula. Currently, Washington seems to be incapable of proposing new initiatives on the nuclear issue, especially as it faces a number of far more urgent challenges across a broad geographic perimeter, stretching from China to Afghanistan. Still, no matter how interested Russia or China might be in the Korean sanctions being eased or lifted, this cannot be resolved without the United States.
However, the ancients used to say that a crisis can be both a disaster and an opportunity. Like any global crisis, not only do the pandemic and the U.S. fiasco in Afghanistan generate additional risks and challenges for the international community, but they also come with fresh opportunities, opening up new prospects. This applies to the current initiatives proposed by President Moon Jae-in just as well.
From our partner RIAC
The United States and Japan in Multilateral Asia: Forging Relations and Binding Ties
Bilateral relations between the world’s sole superpower, the United States of America (US, USA), and the world’s third-largest economic power, the East Asian powerhouse of Japan, are premised on forging healthy relations and binding with the rest of Asia impeccably. This would involve deepening existing ties and forging new ones with the many notable actors professing to vital stakes and vested interests across the length and breadth of the world’s largest continent, as also the Indo-Pacific region (IPR). As on date, owing to evident differings and conflictual circumstances between countries such as Japan and South Korea, Washington D. C. is compelled to calculate its forays in Asia while aspiring for long-term amicability between belligerent countries. However, this factor has not stopped Washington from establishing, entertaining, and evolving its mini/multi-lateral relationships in Asia, especially in the eastern geography of the continent. The United States has implemented a ‘Hub-and-Spokes’ alliance system in the security environs of the Asia-Pacific, with Japan a critical, if not the most critical, ‘spoke’ in this system (see Figure 1 below).
Fig. 1 The US ‘Hub-and-Spokes’ Arrangement in Asia. Source: The ASEAN Post
America and Japan are not just involved bilaterally, but have enforced an effective multilateral impression leading to having exercised their geopolitical influence across Asia. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD, better known as the QUAD) is an initiative of four democracies, which was the brainchild of Japan in the mid-2000s, with pressing commonalities and engaging objectives in the Indo-Pacific in particular. Its four member democracies are the US, Japan, Australia, and India. It was heralded in 2007 courtesy promptings from Japan about the state of maritime security and apprehensions about the upsetting rise of a determined emerging superpower in the Peoples’ Republic of China, despite having initially focussed on disaster relief in the high seas (The Indian Ocean tsunami, December 2004). Of late, the QUAD has been given a much-needed impetus with the as-yet unstructured grouping having adopted a sole security motive to offset the rise of an increasingly influential, overbearing, and overpowering China. A first-ever in-person meeting was organised between its members in Washington D. C., with the capital of the United States signifying just how far the QUAD has come in terms of sustained minilateral activism. This in-person meeting has followed meetings between senior-level officials such as the respective foreign ministers of the four partner countries.
The US and Japan have also extensively associated with Southeast Asia as far as the political, geopolitical, economic, geoeconomic, security, and geostrategic situations of the region are concerned. The US remains on exceedingly and improvingly good terms with South China Sea countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore – which are the four major countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or the ASEAN. These relationships are centred upon the military, and especially maritime-military, domain given that Southeast Asia largely involves routine and menacing Chinese infringements in the form of the brazen excursions of its many maritime entities such as the Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). An interest in Southeast Asia for Tokyo and Washington caters to a diverse array of initiations and involvement ranging from economic and trade relations to investments and financial outlays for very specific purposes. Timely and responsive military assistance in the form of equipment donations and technology transfers have also become a staple of the US and Japan’s association with Southeast Asian countries. A wary approach is pursued in the perplexing domain of the South and East China Seas with freedom of navigation considered to be an imperative of the vast maritime-naval forces deployed by Washington and Tokyo.
The United States was one of the first Dialogue Partners of the ASEAN (since 1977), and this is also when Japan formalised its till-then-informal dialogue partnership with ASEAN. The US has been involved in several ASEAN-driven maritime-allied formal platforms such as the East Asia Summit (2005), the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (since 2012), and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (which is held with all of the ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners and first took place in Vietnam in 2010). Japan is involved integrally in all of the above forums and the ASEAN+3, an exclusive between ASEAN and China, the Republic of Korea, plus Japan itself. In the broader respect, American involvement has helped forge a unity among the participants of such pioneering political, economic, and security mechanisms amongst, primarily, Southeast and east Asian nations, ably assisted by Japan wherever feasible. America’s (in)famous 2011 ‘pivot to Asia’, officially named a ‘Rebalance’, was meant to re-tune and re-focus its attention to the world’s largest and most important continent as far as the twenty-first century is concerned. This was due to the twin reasons of dealing with the emerging security imperatives related to erasing the extra-sovereign Chinese strategic footprint and devising new paradigms of mutually-beneficial economic cooperation with like-minded Asian countries. Southeast Asia was deemed to be the geographical launchpad of this strategy which has since evolved under succeeding administrations.
Other multilateral involvements which help address issues bearing a commonality and a convergence of maritime interests include the US-Australia-Japan Trilateral Security Dialogue (TSD). Australia is a country which is increasingly being viewed as an actor with the required level of capacities and capabilities befitting a broader and deeper Indo-Pacific institution of itself, and the recent announcement of an Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) arrangement has just critically elevated its nuclear threshold. Within the ambit of the Indo-Pacific region in which all three profess to geopolitical stakes, both the US and Japan are highly committed friends of Australia. The TSD was founded in the late 2000s and was focussed on elevating cooperation between the three major Indo-Pacific players in the broader domain of security, which also includes the diplomatic, economic, social, and political arenas. A concerted and concentrated focus on China was also one of the themes of the security domain of the TSD. The last meeting of this trilateral took place in August 2019, a few months prior to the onset of the novel Coronavirus pandemic in Japan. A joint ministerial statement issued by the three parties was ASEAN-centric and endorsed the ‘ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific’. This last meeting had actually co-incided with the circulation of the ‘Outlook’ document by the ASEAN community.
It is certain that the US and Japan have, since time immemorial, indicated a tendency to align key and emerging players in regions of critical geopolitical importance, such as Southeast Asia, and this has considerably vitalised multilateralism. This optimism has been consistently backed by strategies entailing day-to-day participation and the US has emerged as an oddly Asian country in itself through a multitude of ever-growing endeavours. It has expended considerable bandwidth to Asia since the end of the warring years and there is much to both gain and learn from such a grand venture by a foreign superpower. The US remains immensely close to the ASEAN, as does Japan. The extent to which Washington and Tokyo have aided, abetted, assisted, and assured their friends and allies either jointly or individually is worth commendation and furthers a welcome duopoly in the Indo-Pacific region. Most of Southeast Asia remains in an emerging form, with a few prosperous exceptions such as the city-state of Singapore which are responsible for the rise of ASEAN as a worthy participant in the Indo-Pacific’s ‘Great Game’.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are personal and do not reflect those of his employers in the National Maritime Foundation or Modern Diplomacy.
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