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BEIJING - With China geared up for the annual meetings of its top legislative and political advisory bodies, the global spotlight is on Beijing searching for clues on how the world heavyweight will play on the international stage after the significant "Two Sessions."
In a world beset with grave challenges in development, governance and security, leaders and observers worldwide say that guided by Chinese President Xi Jinping"s thought on diplomacy, China will continue to serve as an anchor of certainty and a spring of inspiration.
VISION OF SHARED FUTURE
Five years ago, in a packed auditorium at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Xi presented an insightful analysis of the international situation and, for the first time at an international occasion, laid out his signature global vision: building a community with a shared future for mankind.
As the flagship concept of what is known as Xiplomacy, the vision is backed up by a set of principles, policies and practices, and forms an integral part of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.
In January 2017, he expounded the vision in a landmark address at the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG), saying that the idea is aimed at passing on the torch of peace from generation to generation, sustaining development and making civilization flourish.
In the same vein, Xi announced in his momentous report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in October that China is committed to building "an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity."
Xi"s proposal, said William Jones, Washington Bureau chief of the U.S. publication Executive Intelligence Review, is an "attempt ... to overcome and replace the traditional notion of "geopolitics," in which there are always "winners" and "losers," and in which the principle of "might makes right" tends to predominate."
"In this new concept, everyone plays a role and the benefits achieved by any one nation can be shared by all," Jones added.
Carrying the common aspiration of the international community, the vision is gaining consensus around the world. It was incorporated into a UN resolution in February last year, and has also been adopted by the UN Security Council, the Human Rights Council and the First Committee of the UN General Assembly.
Xi"s concept is impressive and "extremely welcome," particularly in today"s world that is fragmented, confrontational and difficult, commented Michael Moller, director-general of the UNOG, in an interview with Xinhua in January.
"It is very important for the international community to have this kind of much more collaborative approach to help solve the problems today but also the problems of tomorrow," he said.
PATH TO COMMON PROSPERITY
To translate the vision into reality, China has rolled out a set of principles guiding its international relations and a host of programs dedicated to promoting win-win cooperation and achieving common prosperity.
"China is playing an important role in achieving common prosperity and lasting peace across the world," Alicia Barcena, executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, said in January at a forum on China-Latin America cooperation.
In his report to the CPC National Congress, Xi summarized China"s foreign policy, which has seen the Asian country actively develop global partnerships and expand the convergence of interests with other countries.
With other major countries, China will promote coordination and cooperation and work to build a framework for major country relations featuring overall stability and balanced development. With neighboring and other developing countries, China will deepen friendship and partnership and strengthen solidarity and cooperation.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua earlier this week, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said the most important part of Xi"s vision is "shared future," which means different nations should coexist peacefully, deepen ties, foster mutual understanding, and make sure that they stay together and no one is left behind.
A concrete embodiment of the vision -- and also a viable path leading to it -- is the Belt and Road Initiative, which was put forward by Xi in 2013 and has flourished since as the flagship of China"s international cooperation efforts.
Comprising the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, it is aimed at achieving policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes, and thus building a new platform for international cooperation to create new drivers of growth.
The initiative, former Slovenian President Danilo Turk told Xinhua last month, will play a positive role in bridging the divide in Europe, where development remains unbalanced despite years of economic integration.
Citing the Greek port of Piraeus as an example, Turk said the project has become a vital point in the European system of infrastructure, adding that the potential does not stop there.
WORLD DREAM OF ALL
Thanks to its strong inspirational power and great suitability for the needs of world development, Xiplomacy has kept bearing more and more fruit while gaining broader international consensus.
For example, the Belt and Road Initiative has won support from over 100 countries and international organizations. Till May last year, Chinese businesses had invested over 50 billion U.S. dollars and created nearly 200,000 local jobs in foreign countries involved. In the five years starting 2017, relevant Chinese investment is expected to reach 150 billion dollars.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, another China-initiated key platform to support regional development, has funded projects that benefit tens of millions of people. In one instance, about 12.5 million rural Bangladeshis are expected to enjoy electricity coverage as the bank has decided to offer 165 million dollars for a local power distribution system upgrade and expansion project.
In an interview with Xinhua on Wednesday, Wee Ka Siong, a minister in the Prime Minister"s Department of Malaysia, said he believes the wider world will benefit as China commits to realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation and building a community with a shared future for mankind.
"President Xi Jinping has articulated his ideas on the Chinese dream, the dream for the Asia-Pacific and the dream of the world," Wee said. "I believe this dream of the world is the dream that everyone is anticipating, and a dream in which everyone could be the winner."
In the eyes of former Bulgarian Parliament Speaker Mihail Mikov, Xi"s vision represents a future without wars, international conflicts, or interference by any power, as it "takes into account the ability of every country, culture, civilization and economy, to take an equal place in the future world."
"We are seeing more and more renewed international solidary," said Moller, the UNOG director-general. "We need great countries like China to help us make our common goals happen."