The year of 2020 shall go down long in the human history. The whole world has been ravaged by COVID-19 pandemic, as of July 5, more than 11 million people have been infected worldwide and more than 520,000 have died. The pandemic has changed the ways of peoples’ livelihood and started new normal almost in all sectors. Currently, two forces are dragging the world to different directions of future. On one hand, the more integrated and merged world continues to develop in strength, and multi-polarisation, globalisation, cultural diversification, and social inclusiveness etc. form the main trends of the world. On the other hand, the world is facing multi-faceted uncertainties, which have been worsened by the pandemic. Protectionism, isolationism, unilateralism and exceptionalism run wild. Global non-traditional security issues including food security, resource shortages, climate change, cyber attacks, population explosion, environmental pollution, epidemics, and transnational crimes are on the rise, which pose serious challenges to human beings’ survival. The current political, social and economic world order which has brought continuous growth and prosperity for human beings, since the end of the Second World War, has been under tremendous pressure. When the whole world is at crossroads, what kind of future shall human beings wish to have? This is a big question which must be properly and wisely answered. There are so many causes for the current disorder and chaos in the world and quite controversial, contradictory and differentiated explanations by nation states. But one thing is common and certain - no country can maintain its own integrity, face the challenges and solve the relevant issues on its own. Human beings cannot return to the primitive time and have to find new ways to strive forward by concerted efforts.

As the second biggest economy in the world and a responsible country, China firmly defends multilateralism, safeguards the international fairness and justice, and strives to promote building the community of a shared future for mankind, and contributes Chinese wisdom in dealing with the common challenges facing mankind.

Firstly, in the community with a shared future, countries shall pursue development through open cooperation. We shall work together to embrace cooperation and build an open world economy. We shall stand firm against unilateralism and protectionism, and address frictions and differences through consultation and collaboration. We shall pursue coordinated development of the global industrial chain, supply chain and value chain. And we shall work together to make the pie of global market bigger and make economic globalisation open, inclusive, balanced and win-win.

Secondly, in the community with a shared future, different civilisations shall enhance exchanges and learn from each other. No civilisation is superior to others. Every civilisation has its unique advantages and strengths. Diversity leads to interaction among civilisations, which in turn promotes mutual learning and greater development. We shall have deeper understanding of the differences between different civilisations, and promote their exchanges, dialogue and harmonious co-existence. Our concerted and persistent efforts will lead to the development and progress of mankind’s civilisations as a whole.

Thirdly, in the community with a shared future, global governance shall follow the principle of extensive consultation and joint contribution. The world today is faced with various problems and grave challenges.

Reforms of the global governance system are necessary. Global affairs shall be handled through consultations among all the parties involved. All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal, and shall take part in and contribute to perfect global governance. China is ready to work with other countries to form the consensus on building a more just and reasonable international order and global governance.

In the process of containing COVID-19, we have deeply realised that people’s lives and health all around the world have never been so closely connected like today. We have never realised so deeply like today that all countries live in a global village, and mankind is actually a community of a shared future confronting this pandemic.

Virus, regardless of national boundaries and races, poses common challenges to the whole mankind. All countries shall transcend the differences in region, race, history, culture, and even social systems, and join hands to build a community of a shared future for mankind to safeguard the only planet on which we humans live.

China and Pakistan enjoy all-weather ties and cooperation. Since the initiation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, our two countries have been working closely to build this corridor into a benchmark of a community of shared future for mankind. As close neighbours who share weal and woe, China and Pakistan help and support each other in difficult times.

This interprets the profound connotation of the “community of a shared future for mankind.” Since, the outbreak of COVID-19, both sides have been supporting each other and set an example for the international cooperation in responding to the pandemic. Only through solidarity and cooperation can we overcome the difficulties on the mankind’s way forward. Only by acting in the spirit of a shared future can we meet the common challenges faced by mankind. China and Pakistan will continue to work together to build a community of a shared future for mankind.

- The writer is Consul General of China to Karachi.