TWO years ago on the same day, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Development Initiative (GDI) on the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
Turning conceptual ideas into concrete projects in the past two years, the GDI has become an increasingly popular international public good, winning people’s hearts and minds all over the world.
It has provided developing countries new development opportunities and offered guidelines for global sustainable development to all.
President Xi chaired and convened the high-level dialogue on Global Development in June 2022, marking the transformation of the GDI from “laying the foundation” to “building the framework”, and from “painting the broad strokes” to “refining the details”.
On this high-level dialogue, President Xi announced a series of major steps China would take to implement the GDI, and a list of deliverables covering eight priority areas and 32 measures.
We have established the GDI Group Friends, with membership now amounting to nearly 70.
We have established the Global Development Promotion Centre, inviting Malaysia and other Group Friends countries to co-establish the “Global Development Promotion Centre Network”.
We have established the Global Development Project pool, having launched 50 projects and 1,000 capacity-building programmes.
We have also elevated the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund to the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, adding US$1bil more to the existing US$3bil.
On the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue, China announced it would provide US$10bil special fund particularly for the implementation of the GDI.
Over the past two years, I have often heard Malaysian friends asking the following questions: Why does China propose GDI at this particular time? How does China plan to implement it?
An old Chinese motto said, “The interests to be considered should be the interests of all”.
As the world’s largest developing country, China is well aware that “only when all people in the world live a good life can prosperity be sustained, security be ensured and human rights be solidly based.”
The real world picture is far from being pleasing.
The world economy is still struggling to recover; North-South gap has been widened, development momentum remains weak; and a population of 1.2 billion in around 70 countries are struggling against epidemics, food and energy scarcity, and debt crises.
Nearly 800 million people are still living in hunger.
At such critical times, some countries still put their own selfish interests over that of the whole international community, obsessed in making camp confrontation and bloc politics, totally disregarding other countries’ aspiration for peace and development.
Their deeds have seriously undermined the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries which are also against the trend of globalisation.
Seeing development as the key link in all global issues, China proposed the GDI just at the right time, whose aim is to narrow down the North-South gap and resolve the unbalanced development problem by pulling in wisdom and strength of all.
China takes to actions rather than words in promoting global shared development.
China will continue to practise high-standard opening up, by sharing with the world its super-sized market and great potential of domestic demand.
China will continue to inject strong impetus into global economic recovery and share with other countries its success experiences in practising the Chinese modernisation.
These valuable lessons will provide useful references for other countries to find their own development paths and enrich global development wisdom.
China will firmly safeguard the liberalisation and facilitation of trade and investment, and ensure stable and smooth flow of global industrial and supply chains.
China is committed to building an open world economy and broadening global consensus on shared development.
The GDI is not China’s solo show, but a symphony played by all developing countries.
China will work with all others to jointly promote the implementation of the GDI and benefit from the shared development.
Ouyang Yujing is ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of China to Malaysia. The views expressed here are the writer’s own.