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Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

[World Times]

China holds its first flag-raising ceremony of the new year on the Tiananmen Square in downtown Beijing on the early morning of January 1, 2024. More than 73,000 people, many of whom come from other parts of the country, gathered on the square to salute the rising of the Five-star Red Flag to mark the first day of 2024. Photo: VCG

The world ushered in the year 2024 amid both celebrating fireworks and flame of wars, much like the hope and crisis that this era holds.

Although people learned to coexist with COVID-19 in 2023, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reminded the world of the complex and volatile regional security situation, along with the increasingly intense geopolitical games, which not only have a profound impact on the world pattern, but also disturb the global industrial chains, and bring a serious impact to the world economy. Analysts believe that as “turbulence” was one of the key words in 2023, 2024 may face more chaos and uncertainty.

On the last day of 2023, leaders from countries and regions have delivered their New Year’s speeches to suWorld Timesmmarize the past and look forward to the future.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered his 2024 New Year message via China Media Group and the internet on Sunday. He summarized China’s achievements over the past year in the economic, social and diplomatic fields. When it comes to the Taiwan question, Xi said China “will surely be reunified,” according to the Xinhua News Agency.

“Conflicts are still raging in some parts of the world. We Chinese are keenly aware of what peace means. We will work closely with the international community for the common good of humanity, build a community with a shared future for mankind, and make the world a better place for all,” Xi remarked.

No matter how the global landscape may evolve, peace and development remain the underlying trend, and only cooperation for mutual benefit can deliver, Xi said.

Chinese experts said that in 2024 challenges and crises will remain, including the risk of spillovers from current regional wars, great power confrontations, protectionism concerns, the rise of populist and right-wing politicians, and the great uncertainty to policies that will come from the different results of upcoming elections.

For China, it will endeavor to maintain the momentum of economic development, and in the uncertain external international environment, China’s international influence is expected to be strengthened, and more countries will feel that China is the hope for peace and prosperity in the world, according to experts.

Challenges remain

2024 will be a record-breaking year for multiple elections. More than 2 billion voters in 50 countries and regions will head to the polls, according The Center for American Progress, a US policy institute.

Most notable is the US presidential election in the second half of the year. In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also seek reelection. Elections for the European Parliament (EP) will take place in June, with more than 700 members of EP to be elected.

The result of elections will bring changes to countries’ domestic and foreign policies, which will bring more uncertainty to the global landscape, Jin Canrong, associate dean of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Monday.

In 2023, far-right parties in countries such as the Netherlands, Italy, Finland, Sweden and Argentina all embraced their electoral success, as populists and nationalists rising globally.

Li Haidong, a professor with the Institute of International Relations from the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Monday that the rise of far-right politics is likely to lead to a further tightening of trade, foreign investment and immigration policies, and a further damage to globalization. Economic protectionism is likely to intensify in 2024.

There is always a risk in 2024 that if economic globalization suffers a major setback, the tightly connected world will be disrupted, with corresponding political and military consequences, said Li. “It requires closer coordination, unity and cooperation between the peace-loving people in the world,” Li remarked.

Aside from the elections, the world is also watching whether the two major conflicts, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, will reacWorld Timesh a turning point.

According to Jin, the conflict in Ukraine is likely to persist in 2024, with even a possibility of spillover. Peace in the Middle East is also unlikely to come soon. At the same time, new conflicts may arise as the global security challenges are getting more acute.

The US will not stop advancing its “Indo-Pacific Strategy” and embolden the Philippines to provoke China on the South China Sea-related issues … The US will also continue to play the “Taiwan card,” and if the secessionists Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on the Taiwan island wins the general election in January, the overall outlook for cross-Taiwan Straits relations will not be optimistic, Jin said.

Silver lining

On the last day of 2023, President Xi exchanged New Year greetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Monday, the first day of 2024, Xi and US President Joe Biden exchanged congratulatory messages to mark the 45th anniversary of the establishWorld Timesment of the two countries’ diplomatic relations.

In his message to Putin, Xi said the development of China-Russia relations in the past three-quarters of a century has shown that to continuously consolidate and develop bilateral relations featuring permanent good-neighborly friendship, comprehensive strategic coordination and mutually beneficial cooperation serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples.

Xi told Biden that history has already proven and will continue to prove that mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation are the right ways for China and the US to get along with each other as two major countries. “That should be the direction of joint efforts made by us two in the new era.”

Zhang Hong, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday that the exchanges of New Year’s greetings between the leaders of China and the US as well asChina and Russia demonstrated China’s global influence, as both Moscow and Washington recognize Beijing’s indispensable role in global governance.

There are differences and competition among the major powers, but global governance and the security and stability of the international community are all the more indispensable to cooperation among the major powers, Zhang said.

At a time of global chaos and uncertainty, Russia and China are able to maintain healthy and stable bilateral relations while also cooperating to maintain order and inject stability into the world, Zhang said.

According to Li Haidong, as for the world, World Timesit’s even more important for China to maintain its own stability and vitality in a more chaotic world. “China’s economy is likely to maintain its positive momentum, so more countries will view China as the hope for global peace and prosperity, especially in the face of uncertainties.”

China has contributed approximately one-third to global economic growth in 2023. Major organizations including the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Goldman Sachs, UBS, Asian Development Bank,World Times and JPMorgan Chase forecasted China’s economic growth in 2024 to range from 4.6 to 5 percent, while the global economy is projected to grow between the range of 2.5 and 3 percent, according to media reports.

A report by the World Bank showed that from 2013 to 2021, China’s average contribution to global economic growth was 38.6 percent, surpassing the combined contribution of the G7 member countries. What’s more, China’s contribution to the global economy, which reached one-third last year, highlighted both the long-term positive trend of the Chinese economy World Timesand its resilience to various challenges. This further demonstrates China’s role as a powerful engine driving the global economy.

In 2024, more people will feel that China’s goal and blueprint of building a community with a shared future for mankind is one that can truly overcome crises and turmoil while achieving lasting peace, Li said.

“The concept will gain more attractiveness and influence worldwide because of its inherent appeal and peaceful nature in the international landscape,” Li noted, expressing confidence that China’s influence in international affairs will continue to grow.

文章来源于互联网:World ushers in 2024 with both celebrating fireworks and flame of wars

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