Commentary: Overcoming epic challenges demands dynamic global cooperation

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 12, 2020
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by Xinhua writer Guo Yage

BEIJING, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- There were inspiring and glorious moments in human history when countries worldwide jointly addressed harsh challenges of the time, like eradicating smallpox and tackling the 2008 global financial crisis. It should be the same with the current fight against COVID-19.

At a time when humanity is struggling with such a deadly pandemic, a floundering global economic downturn and a flurry of other unprecedented challenges, the international community must do no less.

The ongoing third edition of the Paris Peace Forum, which opened on Wednesday, offers a timely opportunity for world leaders to gather and expand their consensus on better concerted responses to beat the pandemic, spurring global economic recovery and boosting sustainable development.

Closer global cooperation is the only right antidote to uprooting the virus. Already, some global joint actions are underway. An "omnibus" resolution was adopted at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in early September, identifying international cooperation, multilateralism and solidarity as the only way to defeat COVID-19. Over 180 countries have participated in the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility backed by the World Health Organization, to guarantee equitable access to effective and reliable vaccines.

As a long-term advocate for and practitioner of multilateralism, China has been actively contributing to global anti-pandemic cooperation by sharing information, providing medical assistance to those in dire need of help across the world, and jointly developing vaccines.

However, the alarming fact that the global COVID-19 caseload hit 50 million on Sunday serves as a reminder that the pandemic is still far from over, and countries worldwide need to deepen and expand their collaboration.

Likewise, cooperation is the only viable path leading towards a steadfast global economic recovery. The public health crisis has led to a severe economic slowdown and massive job losses, and jolted industrial and supply chains.

To navigate the floundering global economy through rough waters, the Group of 20 (G20) economies have planned to inject over 5 trillion U.S. dollars into global economy, vowed to collectively support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and pledged to boost international investment and provide temporary debt relief for the world's poorest countries.

As a responsible major country, China has renewed its solemn commitment to further opening-up and win-win cooperation.

China has enacted a new foreign investment law, and has hosted a series of major trade events amid the pandemic to share development dividends. The latest China International Import Expo, the world's largest import-themed fair that gathered thousands of industry giants and start-up companies from the world, has offered a ray of hope to the globe by bolstering free trade, spurring two-way investment and energizing economic globalization.

The world community should also guard against the dangerous and divisive currents of protectionism and unilateralism, and learn from the painful lessons of the Great Depression of the 1930s, in which protectionist policies had prolonged global economic woes.

Cooperation is also the only right approach to stimulating sustainable development. The raging pandemic is exacerbating the problems of extreme poverty and unbalanced development, and fueling social divisions. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that "the timely achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals is at serious risk."

China has been doing its utmost to join hands with the rest of the world to promote global sustainable development. In the respect of poverty reduction, it has lifted 850 million people out of poverty, offered financial aid and expertise to other countries' poverty-reduction efforts. And on climate change, China has been a staunch supporter of the Paris climate agreement, and vowed to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

In the beginning of the year, few, if any, around the world could have anticipated such tremendous turmoil and chaos the international community would dive into and now has to wrestle with. Luckily, the good news is that the majority of the world community know where the way out lies, and are making joint efforts and take coordinated steps in the right direction. As long as mankind sticks firmly to the right path, no challenge will be too hard to overcome. Enditem

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