By Gong Ming, Zhang Penghui, Jiang Xiaodan, Luo Aihua, People’s Daily
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the 2023 Imperial Springs International Forum on Dec. 4.
Participants in the event believe that Xi’s letter profoundly expounded on the essence of multilateralism, charted the course for safeguarding and practicing true multilateralism, and injected positive energy into promoting the development of the global governance system in a more fair and reasonable direction.
Xi noted in the letter that since its establishment, the Imperial Springs International Forum has brought together people of insight from all over the world to discuss in depth many issues affecting world peace and stability, sustainable economic development, cultural exchanges and mutual learning, playing a positive role in promoting international cooperation and enhancing closer people-to-people ties.
Former Slovenian President Danilo Turk said that the purpose of the Imperial Springs International Forum is to build a platform for communication and dialogues, to address common challenges through cooperation, and to contribute to global development and security.
The world is currently facing multiple crises that test the resilience of international cooperation, said Turk, who’s also the president of the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid, adding that the forum this year was dedicated to promoting dialogues and exchanges, advancing multilateralism, and injecting more momentum into world peace and development.
Former Bolivian President Jorge Quiroga said that Xi’s congratulatory letter is inspiring at the current time when global free trade and multilateralism have suffered setbacks.
He hailed the participants in the 2023 Imperial Springs International Forum who engaged in in-depth exchanges, shared their insights, and contributed their wisdom to promoting world peace and development, saying such efforts were very constructive.
Noting the crucial importance of international cooperation for promoting the development of all countries, Quiroga pointed out that the trade between Latin American countries and China has been constantly expanded over recent years.
China has been rapidly developing in areas such as new energy vehicles and electronics manufacturing, creating numerous cooperation opportunities for collaboration between Latin American countries and China in the high-tech manufacturing sector.
Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. China has been actively promoting high-level opening up and negotiating free trade agreements with Latin American countries, which will open up more space for cooperation between the two sides.
The 2023 Imperial Springs International Forum was themed “Multilateralism: More Exchanges, Greater Inclusiveness and Cooperation.” Former Prime Minister of Belgium Yves Leterme said that the Imperial Springs International Forum has always upheld the spirit of sincerity, openness, and mutual respect, and the discussions on topics such as economic globalization, modernization, and multilateralism have been inspiring.
In the face of global challenges, all parties should be more determined to pursue the path of multilateralism, and improve global governance through communication and cooperation, Leterme added.
Facing unprecedented changes in the world, the times, and history, the human society must unite, uphold mutual learning, openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, advocate common values of humanity, and jointly build a better world, Xi stressed in the letter.
Peter Loewen, director of the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto, stated that addressing current global and regional challenges requires multilateral cooperation.
He said Xi’s congratulatory letter sent a positive signal to the world. China’s commitment to true multilateralism plays a crucial role in global affairs, and it can be said that any multilateral cooperation cannot be separated from China’s participation and contribution, Loewen added.
Wim Peeters, Consul General of Belgium in Guangzhou, said that all countries, regardless of their size, need to exchange and learn from each other, be open and inclusive, and pursue win-win cooperation.
Peeters said that China has played an unparalleled role in promoting global solidarity and cooperation. For instance, China has put forward a series of significant initiatives to encourage countries to coordinate actions in addressing global challenges, and to make the world more open and inclusive.
The vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind has been enshrined repeatedly in important documents of the United Nations, gaining increasing recognition internationally, Peeters added.
Former Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga appreciated Xi’s emphasis on practicing true multilateralism, stating that global governance can only be effective when all parties share a common willingness.
China firmly upholds multilateralism, treats all countries equally, and promotes win-win cooperation with Belt and Road countries through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). She said that the Imperial Springs International Forum has become an important platform for international dialogue and exchange.
Zlatko Lagumdzija, former chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, noted that dialogue, cooperation, and mutual learning are needed in today’s world, and advocating for shared values of humanity and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind was the essence of this forum.
It has become a consensus to promote the realization of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and countries should unite and strive to achieve the goals, said Lagumdzija.
The China-proposed BRI, Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative, and Global Civilization Initiative have continuously enhanced cooperation and interaction between China and other countries, which is beneficial for achieving the SDGs and building a community with a shared future for mankind.
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