Multilateralism vital to world recovery

2021-02-26 12:03:59

Editor's Note: China Daily is publishing a series of stories focusing on major issues expected to be discussed at the annual sessions of the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, known as the two sessions, the biggest annual political event in China, which starts next week. Some stories will also look at how the participants in the two sessions, deputies and political advisers, perform their duties. Ahead of the upcoming two sessions, the annual meetings of China's top legislative and political advisory bodies, political advisers, leading scholars and senior officials have highlighted the need for the global community to preserve multilateralism and bolster policy coordination in order to weather major challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic. They made the observations as some countries have persisted in hostile moves that involve political maneuvers and undermine equity and justice in areas such as trade, security and vaccines. The World Bank estimated that more than 100 million people worldwide have fallen back into poverty due to the pandemic. Qi Zhenhong, Chinese ambassador to Sri Lanka, warned recently that "different kinds of multilateralism are emerging in the world", and some individuals and organizations practice unilateralism and impose rules formulated by a few countries on the international community in the name of multilateralism. In an article published in Chinese media on Monday, Qi warned against the creation of "value alliances", which he said deserve "our high alert". Tian Dewen, deputy director of the Institute of European Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the world is multipolar, and it is becoming more and more difficult to draw a clear line to distinguish one country from another. Tian cited the success of China and the European Union in concluding negotiations on their bilateral investment treaty at the end of last year. The prospects remain promising as long as the two sides uphold multilateralism, said Tian. China is a country that always practices and upholds multilateralism, and "when unilateralism and protectionism ran amok in the last few years, China immediately stepped forward to resist the tendency", State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of China's lawful seat at the United Nations, and during these five decades, China has upheld the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and supported the UN in exercising its authority and playing its due role, Wang said in a speech at the Lanting Forum in Beijing. "We believe that all countries are equal, regardless of their size. And we firmly promote greater democracy in international relations. We never seek to form small circles targeted at other countries," Wang said.