China pledges global cooperation without hegemony

AT the recently ended annual session of the Chinese legi slative institution– the National People’s Congress– one thing w as made ab undantly clear that the country w i ll continue to follow a peaceful development path; fav oring cooperation ov er confrontation.

“ China’s diplomacy has reached a new starting point. China w i ll surely become strong er b ut not assertiv e; China w i ll stand up for its rig hts b ut nev er seek heg emony,” the Chinese New s Ag ency, X i nhua quoted China’s State Councilor and Foreig n Minister Wang Yi as saying .

Reading this dispatch b y the Chinese New s Ag ency the other day, I w as v ery much impressed w i th China’s non-confrontational stance -unlik e the attitude of the unipolar pow er i n the w estern w orld.

The Chinese Foreig n Mini ster w ent on to say, according to X i nhua: “ China and the U nited States stand to gain from cooperation aw ay from confrontation.”

He w ent on: “ We in China hav e a positiv e outlook on China-U S relations. The tw o countries w i ll not and should not descend into confrontation.” Noting that competition is normal, Wang said ex ag g erati ng competition w ould reduce the space of cooperation.

“ We rise and fall together,” X i nhua quoted Chinese Foreig n Minister Wang as saying , adding : “ Instead of minding our ow n b usiness, w e should treat each other as passeng ers in the same b oat.”

He added that more and more countries are stepping forw ard to resist the disturb - i ng trend of unilateralism and protectionism.

“ China w i ll w ork w i th all nations under the principle of multilateralism to resolutely uphold an international system centered on the U nited Nations and an international order underpinned by international law . ”

On other continents, Chinese Foreig n Minister Wang said at the sidelines of the National People’s Congress that development relations hav e g row n sig nificantly w hile China-Africa cooperation has g row n into “a tow ering tree that no force can topple.”

A b eautiful complement! We w i ll come b ack later to this point of China- relations w i th the dev eloping w orld. As I w as g oing through the material related to the Chinese parliament meeting , I w as struck b y a domestic dev elopment hint on ordinary people of China especially the elderly ones.

How are they b eing tak - en care of? Chinese Premier, Li K eq - i ang deliv ering his gov ernment’s action programme at the People’s Congress meeti ng , said: “ China will tak e sig nificant steps to develop the elderly care sector, especially i ts community services.

“ By this year, 2019 the number of people aged 6 0 and ab ov e has reached 250 milli on. Our country w i ll hav e to provi de support to institutions offering community servi ces such as day care, rehabi li tation meals’ support, mobi li ty and other social servi ces such as funding support and reduce charges for w ater, electricity and g as.”

It w as at this point w hen I released a long sig h of complementary relief saying the follow i ng w ords: Long Liv e Socialism! To my mind, here is a clear ev i dence of the superiority of Socialism over capitalism!

There w as yet another action programme by China’s Prime Minister-this time on young people in the country’s rural areas. “

China w i ll b eef up efforts to cut the dropout rates of rural students and improve their colleg e enrollment numbers to stop poverty from passing dow n to the nex t g eneration.” This point almost made my hands clap seated alone!

These programmes are clearly i mpressiv e– to mention b ut a few . Here is a country w i th a b i llion-plus population and i ts g ov ernment is standing up i n the interest of the majority needs of its people.

But not only its people–b ut also other people elsew here in this mutually shared glob e. As seen elsew here i n this perspectiv e, China describ es i ts relations w i th Africa as a “ tow ering tree that no force can topple”.

Verily! In Africa’s lib eration strugg le, China w as i n the forefront to help landlocked countries neig hb oring the then apartheid South Africa.

China b uilt a railw ay line across Tanzania to Zambi a to li nk up w i th other landlock ed countries in Southern Africa. We called it: The Great U huru ( i ndependence), Railw ay or Tanzania-Zambi a Railw ay ( TAZARA).

China has also initiated a development cooperation i nstitution it has named ‘Belt and Road Initiativ e’ ( BRI). BRI–w as proposed b y the Chinese President X i in 2013.

The aim w as to b ring dev elopi ng countries tog ether through trade, infrastructure development, inv estment, culture and people to people interaction. Via BRI, 152 countries and international organiz ations have sig ned cooperation alliance documents with China thus far. Thanks to BRI, East Africa has now i ts first ex pressw ay.

The Maldiv es has b uilt its first i nter-land bridg e. Southeast Asia is constructing a hig hspeed railw ay. Says Chinese Foreig n Minister Wang: “ This is not a g eopolitical tool, b ut a g reat opportunity for shared development.”

As the heading of this perspectiv e sugg ests, Africa and the rest of the developing w orld, should tak e pride of its relations w i th China on a w i nw i n b asis, and not as a super pow er ab ov e ev eryone else’s head.

makwaia@ spicenet.co.tz makwaia@ makwaia.com

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