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Global Civilization Initiative provides a Chinese solution of epochal significance

Author  :  Shang Qingfei     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2023-04-20

On March 15, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, attended the opening ceremony of the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting via video link and delivered a keynote address titled “Join Hands on the Path Towards Modernization.” The Global Civilization Initiative was proposed for the first time during the meeting.

An act following the natural course

The third of China’s global initiatives contributed to the world thus far, the Global Civilization Initiative was proposed following the Global Development Initiative, proposed at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2021, and the Global Security Initiative, proposed at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022.

Compared with the Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative which were proposed to maintain world peace and promote stronger, greener and healthier global development in the context of COVID-19 pandemic that raged across the globe, the proposal of the Global Civilization Initiative is an act following the natural course.

A nation that has overcome the shackles of hardship and ordeal will know better the importance of peace. After 28 years of armed struggle, the CPC has led the Chinese people to put an end to nearly 100 years of recurrent wars, turmoil, and destitution. Peace, stability, and comfortable, well-off living have been realized. In addition, China’s determination to unswervingly become a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order has never been swayed.

Rejecting Cold War mentality

The global order mainly refers to the way by which international political actors interact with each other and the behavioral rules in this process. The proposal of the Global Civilization Initiative thus marks a crucial step toward overcoming the trap of conflicts between civilizations and reconstructing a new order of equal dialogues between civilizations.

The world has entered an era of economic globalization since the end of the cold war, but global peace remains elusive. As Xi pointed out in his keynote speech at the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting, “in today’s world, multiple challenges and crises are intertwined. The global economic recovery remains sluggish, the development gap is widening, ecological environment is deteriorating, and the Cold War mentality is lingering. Humanity’s modernization process has once again reached a crossroads of history.”

Among these recurrent global problems and challenges, several are perceived more viscerally by people, such as food security, education, employment, medicine and health. There are also confrontations provoked by various slogans of value, civilization and ideology.

In this sense, the Global Civilization Initiative can be regarded as the expansion and extension of the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative—it calls for rejecting the Cold War mentality and stepping out of the haze of hegemonism and power politics.

Enriching the garden of civilizations

Human history is one in which different civilizations meet and interact with each other. Diverse values and concepts exist within each society. In the era of globalization, histories, cultures, systems and development levels differ from nation to nation. The traditions of human civilization have never been ossified exhibits.

The diversity of civilizations also denotes cultural and psychological structures that constantly influence people, such as how they perceive themselves and their relationships with the world around them. Throughout over 5,000 years of continuous exchange and mutual learning with other civilizations, the Chinese civilization has developed its diplomatic philosophy of advocating amicable relationships with neighboring countries and harmonious coexistence with all through the exercise of benevolent government. It has also crystallized the concept of living which accepts that the laws of nature govern all things, and humanity must seek harmony with nature.

Civilizations with manifold diversity and colorful splendors are those that constitute the garden of human civilization. Advocating the respect for the diversity of civilizations, the common values of humanity, the importance of inheritance and innovation of civilizations, and robust international people-to-people exchange and cooperation, the Global Civilization Initiative thus provides a Chinese solution of epochal significance in enriching the garden of civilizations around the world.


Shang Qingfei is Secretary of the Party Committee at Nantong University.

Editor: Yu Hui

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