Xi's WEF address shows China's commitment to true multilateralism: Cambodian experts

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Chinese President Xi Jinping's special address at the 2022 World Economic Forum virtual session has reflected China's commitment to true multilateralism, win-win cooperation and peaceful development, Cambodian experts and scholars said on Monday.

"Countries around the world should uphold true multilateralism. We should remove barriers, not erect walls. We should open up, not close off. We should seek integration, not decoupling. This is the way to build an open world economy," Xi said in his speech.

"The right way forward for humanity is peaceful development and win-win cooperation. Different countries and civilizations may prosper together on the basis of respect for each other, and seek common ground and win-win outcomes by setting aside differences," Xi said.

Joseph Matthews, senior professor at the BELTEI International University in Phnom Penh, said Xi's remarks showed China's efforts to promote multilateralism, international solidarity and cooperation to address global challenges for common interest and peaceful co-existence.

"President Xi's speech truly reflects China's unwavering commitment to upholding true multilateralism and free trade, which are the key to global peace, economic recovery and common development in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era," he told Xinhua.

The professor said that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, which came into force on Jan. 1, is a good example of true multilateralism, providing mutual benefit and win-win results for all participating countries.

"Cold war mentality, unilateralism, protectionism, hegemonism, and zero-sum games can only harm others," Matthews said. "Countries should coexist peacefully, achieve mutual benefit and win-win results, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind."

In terms of the building of "a global community of health for all," he said that China has already proved its determination by providing 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations.

"Chinese vaccines have protected hundreds of millions of people around the world, including Cambodia, and also helped countries reopen their borders with confidence," he said.

Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that Xi's address has highlighted China's commitment to pursuing win-win cooperation and enhancing friendship with other countries around the world.

"China has always been ready to work with the international community to restore confidence in multilateralism and globalization, build an open and pluralistic world economy, and blaze a new trail in inclusive growth and sustainable development, so as to shape a brighter shared future," he told Xinhua.

Phea said China has been committed to its neighborhood policy of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, adding that "China has played a crucial role in the regional and global fights against the pandemic."

Thong Mengdavid, a research fellow at the Phnom Penh-based Asian Vision Institute, said that China has been actively contributing to the global economic recovery, promoting global governance, and working with other countries to cope with global challenges like COVID-19.

"Peace remains the most essential element in President Xi's view of global development," Mengdavid said. "China's vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind is the blueprint for peaceful, harmonious and prosperous global development."

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