By Ali Abbas*
“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to achieve” — Jennings Bryan.
Historically, the community has been defined as a group of people living and interacting within a common location or territory. This word is often used for organized people with common values within a shared geographical location.
The concept of the global community becomes more popular after the waves of decolonization when newly independent and sovereign states emerged on the world map. The global community recognizes the values and rights of human beings all humans are born free and equal. The word freedom is value as well as the basic principle of the global community.
Every individual has the right to make decisions on their own so long their actions and activities do not invade the right of others. The community is not about a geographical location or region, it can be millions of people living in several geographical regions all over the world. In today’s world, we cannot limit to a particular region or any specific location.
It is the combination or amalgamation of different communities that make a global community. Due to this concept, the basic values and principles of freedom and rights are called as a global community. The international or global community is dynamic so that every community or group of people has the right to choose their own social, economic and political systems according to their understandings of what is best works and suits them. No other community or a country has the right to interfere in the domestic affairs of another community or country.
The concept “community of common destiny” has often been used by President XI Jinping and it is a new concept in China’s foreign policy in the 21st century. The initiative of Belt and Road seems to be China’s drive towards economic development and connection to the world communities. China emphasizes common economic interests and better international or global governance. The initiative has drawn the world’s attention to China, and several countries have continued to show interest in being part of this Belt and Road program.
The new concept of common destiny has been endorsed by the United Nations in support of development within developing countries particularly in the African region and Asia, as a shared future and shared humanity. China’s official media has praised the resolution as a recognition of China’s concept of Community of Common Destiny by United Nations member states that reflect China’s huge contribution to good governance, peace, and economic development around the world.
On the other hand, the international status quo powers are more reluctant to recognize this program of Belt and Road. The United States is an established superpower and also prides itself on being the hegemonic power in the anarchic international structure and acts as world police. The United States sees China as a global competitor for its hegemony that the country is capable of challenging or disrupting the prevailing global order, the same as other great powers consider China more realistically as a global competitor for their existing positions.
According to the Chinese government officials, scholars, and policymakers highlighting the shared common interests and work for the global governance and cooperation is one side, besides this, the community of common destiny conveys the message of China’s wishes to maintain the status quo of global order and it has no intention to disrupt the prevailing order or any plans replace it. So the purpose of this initiative is to connect mainland China to the rest of the world communities. China emphasizes that emerging powers including herself should be treated as equal to the world developed countries in global governance. In simple words, China wants to increase its influence in world affairs according to its growing economic strength.
At last, the questions arise, “What could be China’s destiny? Why does China want to connect with the global community? Every nation in the world wants to become prosperous and developed politically, socially, economically, and technologically. China as an emerging power and fastest-growing economy wants more world attention to its power and cultural strength. I think China has introduced this new strategy (Belt &Road) to reduce the growing tensions with its neighboring countries in South East Asia. Perhaps, it aims to decrease conflicts along its borders and pursue its policy of good neighborhood as well as play a major role in global politics. Also, I feel that the main objective is to implement the diplomatic strategy of sustaining a favorable external environment for its economic development and trade expansion. This 21st century can be termed as an era of economic development and strategic opportunities for China as well as for all nations.
However the concept of community for common destiny in the Chinese foreign policy needs to be clearer, it seems that the aims and objectives of his strategy (CCD) have not been fully discovered. I think it would be an interesting research topic for researchers and students in the future. How will China address the rival powers of the concept of common destiny? Although the United States sees as a threat and not as a glorifying concept.
It is the most appealing concept for the world developing nations and communities as they are always looking for their own better future and destiny. This explains why the influence of this initiative is growing across China, Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world. China has also opened the door for international students, ex-pats, and foreign investment which can be also a tool common destiny and for the global community. Therefore I have no doubts in my mind that China’s Belt and Road Initiative which is in line with the concept of a community of common destiny for mankind will be the most beneficial to the international community in the future.
*Ali Abbas, PhD Scholar at the School of Politics and International Studies. (SPIS) Central China Normal University. He earned his M.Phil degree in International Relations from National Defence University Islamabad, Pakistan. His Ph.D. research focuses on the Strategic triangular relationship between Pakistan-China and the USA in the 21st century. His research area of interest further includes South Asian studies, Extremism, and terrorism, foreign policy of great powers. He frequently writes articles on different topics in international and local media sources. He writes in China Daily, Modern Diplomacy, Eurasia Review, and Always CCNU Magazine.