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World Peace Forum calls for openness and cooperation

Author  :  ZHANG JUNRONG     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2020-07-02

The World Peace Forum Special Video Conference on June 16 and 17 Photo: TSINGHUA

At the World Peace Forum (WPF) Special Video Conference on June 16 and 17, international experts exchanged ideas on new security challenges facing the world today, calling for open dialogue and sincere collaboration among countries.

Qiu Yong, president of Tsinghua University and WPF chairman, said that the COVID-19 pandemic has made the world more complicated and unpredictable. Coordinated international cooperation is the only way to overcome the current crisis, and stability and peace are a solid foundation for growth and prosperity.

With the effective control of epidemics locally, a series of urgent issues in the post-pandemic era have been placed in front of countries around the world, Qiu continued. Shaping an open and progressive international system and encouraging communication and dialogue are effective ways to cope with the subsequent impact of the pandemic, manage differences between major countries, avoid a new cold war, and promote the healthy development of the international order.

In the fight against the pandemic, there is both competition and cooperation among major countries. Compared with competition, international cooperation will bring more benefits to mankind, said Graham Allison, a professor at Harvard Kennedy School. In such a complicated situation, major countries should cooperate as much as possible for the common interests of mankind.

Yan Xuetong, dean of the Institute of International Relations at Tsinghua, said that the withdrawal of certain major countries from international organizations and international treaties in recent years indicates the declining binding effect of the latter and that international organizations, including the World Trade Organization, are in need of reform. The international order after the pandemic may be one of distrust with a certain degree of disorder.

In the long run, the world needs to work together to find a new direction for the global order, said Alexander Dynkin, president of the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Major countries should actively propose solutions and keep committed to leading, developing and supporting rule-based multilateralism.

Shivshankar Menon, a former national security advisor in India, said that regional and global economies have been severely damaged by the pandemic. Under such circumstances, countries must continuously improve their governance capabilities and resume economic growth as soon as possible. In the era of economic globalization, no country can solve the common challenges facing mankind in isolation, and countries must further strengthen cooperation.

Volker Perthes, director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, said that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated global change, and that only through closer international cooperation can countries better safeguard global public health. In the future, the international health system will surely make better preparations for responding to similar crises. He expressed his hope that countries cooperate more in global public health based on the principles of multilateralism.

Multilateral cooperation in the post-pandemic era will further test the wisdom and leadership of major countries, according to Kim Sunghwan, former South Korean minister of foreign affairs and trade. The responsibilities of major countries in the global landscape determine that they need to use more moral sense and exercise more restraint.

The pandemic has damaged the strength of countries around the world, especially major countries. It has also led to the weakening of global order, the rise of global anarchy and the dysfunction of the international multilateral system, noted Kevin Rudd, former Australian prime minister. Based on historical experience, coordination among major countries and direct high-level dialogue will help deal with the crisis efficiently.

Both China and the United States are responsible for maintaining world peace and promoting global cooperation, said Fu Ying, director of the Center for International Security and Strategy at Tsinghua. At present, China-US relations faces uncertainties in its prospects, and the decisions of China and the US will shape the future of the two countries and the world. In a complex and ever-changing situation, dialogue is still very important. She expressed her hope that China and the US can find a way out of the predicament through dialogue.

Due to the pandemic, the US is experiencing the worst economic depression since the 1920s, and China is also facing pressure to secure employment and stabilize the economy, said Susan Shirk, a former US deputy assistant secretary of state. Under the pandemic, there is no real winner in the world. Today, leaders of many countries, including European leaders, are very disappointed with Trump’s unilateral policy. The US needs to value cooperation and change its current unilateralist approach.

The leadership of both the US and China should rethink the direction of their bilateral relations and adjust policies to serve their true national interests, Shirk said.

In the post-pandemic era, countries around the world should put aside differences and seek consensus and cooperation. Coordination and dialogue between major countries is still an important way to promote international cooperation. He Yafei, former vice minister of foreign affairs of China, noted that focusing on intra-regional cooperation in the postpandemic era will help gradually restore the global supply chain, thus boosting the global economic recovery.

In terms of global public health governance, resumption of work and production, and global supply chains, China and the US should cooperate to enhance global well-being, said Zhu Min, former vice president of the International Monetary Fund. Vaccine development is the most pressing issue at present. China and the US should play a leading role to promote the transnational cooperation of scientists and accelerate vaccine development. As countries resume work and production, the two countries should also promote the establishment of common standards for the movement of people and goods, and establish a unified mechanism for testing, tracking, tracing and treatment to promote the worldwide flow of factors of production, pushing the global economy and trade back on track again.

Editor: Yu Hui

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