As Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly pointed out, the world is undergoing the most profound and unprecedented changes in a century. This major judgment, which focuses on the evolution of human history and the international landscape, is a guidance for the world to think thoroughly about the significance of maintaining and improving the international order.
When the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing profound impacts to the world, people need to find the keys to settling the problems with the international order.
The international order is dynamic, and it should generally protect the shared interests and the common homeland of mankind. Since the establishment of the Peace of Westphalia in the mid-17th century, the evolution and reconstruction of the international order have offered important inspiration to the development of human society.
The current international order was formed after World War II. The multilateral international order with the United Nations (UN) as the core has become the basis for maintaining world peace and stability and promoting the common development of all countries. It is in general in line with the current trend for peace, development, cooperation, and win-win results, and shall be cherished and safeguarded by the international society.
The creation of the UN has brought hope to the world. The World Health Organization (WHO), established in 1948, is a specialized agency of the UN in charge of health affairs. Its original intention is to improve global health governance and help countries all over the world cope with public health and safety challenges.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO has actively fulfilled its responsibilities and executed its leadership in promoting global anti-pandemic cooperation, which is recognized and highly praised by the international community. International institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are also making every effort to handle the economic impact caused by the pandemic.
As of May 7, the IMF has approved about $18 billion worth of emergency financing to 50 member countries and suspended debt repayments for the world’s 25 poorest countries. The World Bank has established a new multi-donor fund for health emergency preparedness and response to help countries, especially low-income countries, cope with the health challenges caused by the pandemic and propel economic recovery.
It is worth thinking that the pandemic, breaking out when unilateralism and protectionism were on the rise and impacting the current international order, has further exposed the harmfulness of the acts breaking the international order.
As Richard Haas, president of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations pointed out, the pandemic reminds people that globalization is a reality, not a choice, and the gap between global problems and the capacity to meet them goes a long way toward explaining the scale of the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made countries realize more clearly that mankind shares a common destiny, and building a community with a shared future for mankind is the only right way. Solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons and only by replacing differences with unity and eliminating prejudice with rationality can we foster a strong synergy in fighting the pandemic.
In recent days, activities to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe were held in many places around the world. Reflections on history and reality should all start with being responsible for humanity.
“China stands ready to work with Russia to firmly safeguard the fruits of the World War II victory as well as international fairness and justice, support and practice multilateralism, and stay as determined as ever to build world peace, contribute to global prosperity and uphold the international order,” President Xi said to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over the phone recently. His powerful words clearly expressed China’s attitude and position.
Countries need to be resolute in fighting an all-out global war against the COVID-19 outbreak, make a collective response for control and treatment at international level, support international organizations in playing their active roles, and enhance international macro-economic policy coordination.
These proposals put forward by China at the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit indicated that the country has been actively maintaining the current international order and thinking about how to make the international order and the global governance system more just and reasonable through reforms and improvement.
China actively supports the WHO’s work and promotes international cooperation in the fight against epidemics, which reflects its historical responsibility of building a community with a shared future for mankind.
“Can we come together to face a common and dangerous enemy?” The question raised by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is worth pondering for the whole world.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN, and the international order faces opportunities for improvement. The 75-year history of the UN, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, provides an important inspiration to mankind that only under a fair and healthy international order can there be truly effective international cooperation, and only by working together to win the battle against the major infectious disease can human history be led to a broader and brighter future.