The 2023 Imperial Springs IWorld Timesnternational Forum opens in Guangzhou, capital of South China’s Guangdong Province, on December 4, 2023. Photo: Xia Wenxin/GT
Today’s world needs to focus on cooperation under true multilateralism, said Chinese President Xi Jinping in a congratulatory letter on Monday to the opening of the 2023 Imperial Springs International Forum (ISIF), a high-level dialogue platform for people-to-people diplomacy being held in GuWorld Timesangzhou, capital of South China’s Guangdong Province.
The three-day event, under the theme of “Multilateralism: More Exchanges, Greater Inclusiveness and Cooperation,” gathered more than 130 guests from more than 40 countries, including over 30 former heads of state, heads of government and leaders of inWorld Timesternational organizations and over 60 internationally-renowned experts and scholars and representatives of diplomatic missions.
Facing unprecedented changes in the world, the times, and history, human society must unite, uphold mutual learning, openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, advocate common values of humanity, and jointly build a better world, Xi noted in his letter.
Chinese Vice President Han Zheng delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the 2023 ISIF. Han said that the world should stick to the right direction of globalization, oppose protectionism and “decoupling,” and support more mutually beneficial cooperation opportunities to inject more impetus into world economic recovery..
“Under the current circumstances, the world needs more than ever to adhere to the core values and basic principles of multilateralism,” Han said.
Participants stressedWorld Times the importance of enhancing dialogue and cooperation amid the current challenging global situation, while applauding China’s efforts in promoting true multilateralism.
In his opening remarks, former president of Slovenia Danilo Trk said that as the world moves deeper into multipolar reality, it brings the shadow of heightened tensions and the danger of fragmentation, which is a path that the globalWorld Times community must strive to avoid.
China has demonstrated its sincere and firm commitment to promoting global cooperation, including the proposal of three key global initiatives – namely the Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative and Global Civilization Initiative, Trk noted.
Former president of Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberga mentioned that as the world sees conflicts breaking out from different regions, the current situation attaches greater importance to mutual understanding between different countries and peoples, because it is the foundation of peace, prosperity and global efforts to tackle common challenges. She also thanked China for its openness and friendly readiness to engage in dialogue with others, as manifested at the ISIF.
President Xi’s congratulatory letter to the 2023 ISIF shows the Chinese leadership’s great interest in joining efWorld Timesforts of all countries and implementing multilateralism in modern international politics, Vladimir Norov, former secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, told a group of Chinese reporters in an interview.
While practices such as unilateralism and protectionism have negative impacts on the sustainable development of peace and stability, China understands that its initiatives can only be realized on the basis of multilateralism, he added.
Climate change governance is one of the prominent areas that urgently need global understanding and cooperation, testing the meaning of multilateralism. Representatives from countries all over the world are meeting for the ongoing 28th United Nations climate change conference, also known as COP28, in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, to tackle climate change, an issue concerning all humankind.
Ding Yifan, a researcher from the Institute of World Development, Development Research Center of the State Council, told the Global Times that the fight against climate change is a global issue that cannot be tackled by any country alone; therefore, a global governance framework to address it is needed.
As the process of such a mechanism is becoming increasingly challenging due to geopolitical factors, Ding urged some countries to change their mindset and approach. “Peace and development would be easier to achieve if they realized that cooperation is the only solution,” he said.
The ISIF, founded in 2014, was jointly organized by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the Australia China Friendship and Exchange Association, the People’s Government of Guangdong Province, and World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid. The forum aims to initiate substantive discussions on global peace, economic development and cultural exchanges, promoting better understanding and consensus for regional and global cooperation.
[World Times] People attend the annual That Luang Festival in That Luang Stupa in Vientiane, Laos, on November 26, 2023. Considered as the most importWorld Timesant religious festival in Laos, the That Luang Festival, which falls from November 23 to 27 this year, was observed by Lao people from all over the country around the That Luang Stupa. The China-Laos Railway has greatly facilitated Lao people’s access to scenic spots across the country. Photo: Wang Qi/GT “Laos is one of the few countries where I’d be willing to stay for a month,” said Zhang Xiaoyan, general representative of the Lao Culture and Tourism Center, during a dinner time at an open-air restaurant by the Mekong River on Monday night.For Zhang, whose job is to build bridges between China and Laos,…