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China’s vision stresses cooperation, mutual learning in diversity

Author  :  CHEN YUTONG     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2022-11-04

China has always been committed to promoting world peace and development, and building a human community with a shared future, said General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping in the report to the 20th CPC National Congress. In their recent interviews with CSST, Olga Rapoport, an Israeli scholar and professor of history at Chung Cheng University of Taiwan, and Dmitri M. Bondarenko, deputy director of the Institute for African Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, stressed the importance of cooperation and mutual learning when interpreting China’s vision of the human community with a shared future.

Inherent Chinese wisdom

In Rapoport’s view, the concept of humanity as a whole results from continuous outreach of mankind’s self-identification: from each of our respective families and hometowns, to ethnic and social groups, to sub-societies with common languages and customs, to nations and states, and eventually towards identification with the entirety of mankind across all nationalities and races. She pointed out that, historically, various local identities have been focused on defining themselves via the negation of others. In contrast, the idea of a human community with a shared future aims to avoid hostilities and construct a world with enduring peace. Only cooperation could truly facilitate production and creation, and achieve wealth accumulation. A review of history tells us that cooperation is a major factor in advancing human development.

Citing China as an example, Rapoport noted that cooperation in rice farming and water conservancy laid the foundation for China’s primitive civilization, enriched the pluralistic Chinese civilization, and established the internal division of labor and cooperation system in the nation. Chinese traditional culture highlights the philosophy of preventing contentions and promoting win-win cooperation. Today, the idea of building a human community with a shared future provides profound insights into the fact that humans are interdependent beings who need cooperation and coexistence, pointing the direction for building a diversified world.

From globalization perspective

“The way I see the human community with a shared future stems from two assumptions: firstly, I believe that humankind really will become a community of shared future; yet, secondly, that shared future does not mean an identical future for different constituent parts of humankind,” said Bondarenko.

Understandings of this notion are directly related to how we see globalization, Bondarenko said. Firstly, globalization is mainly a cultural phenomenon, the interaction of cultures lies at its very heart, which constantly intensifies throughout history. Taking the cultural aspect of globalization into serious account allows a more sensible approach to the prospects of globalization in the economic and political spheres. Secondly, globalization is by no means only an event from recent decades, but a constant process one can observe from no later than the Neolithic Revolution. Since the era of the Europeans’ so-called Great Geographic Discoveries, the rate of change has been faster for civilizational maps due to the absorption of some civilizations by others. New civilizations have appeared as a synthesis of different older civilizations.

Bondarenko emphasized that the globalization process cannot be seen as a completely recent or purely economic phenomenon, but as stemming from the formation of global civilization due to long-lasting and multidirectional inter-civilizational interactions. World history demonstrates vividly that the globalization process can be effective only if it takes the shape of mutual adaptation and the synthesis of various civilizations’ backgrounds.

Editor: Yu Hui

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