Five ways to a more peaceful, prosperous world

By Zhao Jinglun
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 10, 2013
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Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2013 in Boao, south China's Hainan Province, April 7, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2013 in Boao, south China's Hainan Province, April 7, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping's speech at the recent Boao Forum for Asia focused on five key concepts, all of which are of critical importance in terms of contributing to a more peaceful, prosperous and stable world.

Development: China’s leadership has always viewed peace and development as key issues facing today’s world. The late Deng Xiaoping described development as being of “overriding importance.” Development helps solve major problems.

China’s rapid development serves as an engine driving the world economy forward. And Asia’s development, as President Xi has pointed out, contributes more than half of the world’s growth.

But development remains a major challenge in the face of anemic global economic recovery. The international financial sector is fraught with risks and protectionism is on the rise.

Asia also faces new challenges as conflicts continue to flare up in the region – most notably in the South China Sea and on the Korean Peninsula. Asian countries need to enhance mutual trust, and work together to ensure peace and stability in the region.

Peace: As President Xi said in his speech at the Boao Forum: “Peace, like air and sunshine, is hardly noticed when people are benefiting from it. But none of us can live without it…Without peace, development is out of the question.” Common development requires comprehensive security, common security and cooperative security. Differences and conflicts should be resolved through dialogue, consultation and peaceful negotiation, not through escalating threats, bluster and posturing.

Innovation: When I sat in Joseph A. Schumpeter’s class at Harvard in the fall semester of 1949 (course no. ec245a, his last before this intellectual giant passed away in January 1950), he concentrated on Leon Walras’ general equilibrium theory, which proposes that in equilibrium, the prices of products are equal to their costs so that entrepreneurs make “neither profit nor loss.”

Schumpeter identified innovation as the critical dimension of economic change. He argued that economic change revolves around innovation, entrepreneurial activities, and market power.

In today’s competitive world, innovation is all the more important – not just with regard to production, management and marketing – but also in breaking down outdated ideas such as the Cold War mentality and chauvinism. New ideas are needed to improve the mechanism of global governance.

To achieve sustainable growth, Asian countries, China included, need to transform and upgrade their development models. Special attention should be focused on risk control, saving energy, reducing emissions, and improving people’s livelihood. All this requires innovation and the continuous advancement of new ideas.

Community of common destiny: We all live on the same planet and in an increasingly connected world, and are common residents of the global village. All countries are interrelated and interdependent and share converging interests. In pursuing its own interest, a country should also accommodate the concerns of others. To this end, President Xi suggests that we should promote South-South cooperation and North-South dialogue, promote balanced development of the developing and developed countries and consolidate the foundation for sustaining the stable growth of the global economy. In short, cooperation, not confrontation is key.

Pluralism and inclusiveness: Each country has the right to choose its own model of development and governance. The Chinese have found their own model, and are sticking to it since it has served them well.

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