Think Tank
Multilateralism: The Only Correct Choice For Solving Global Problems

In the modern world, all of the states are highly interdependent, and every day the international community moves closer to its common destiny, under the motto "You are among us, we are among you." This is the main prerequisite for the development of international relations of all countries in the era of globalisation. In the face of surging global problems, no state can only focus on itself; opposition to unilateralism and the strengthening of multilateral cooperation has become the only correct choice in overcoming the global problems which threaten all countries. Globalisation issued a warning to states around the world that the intertwining of traditional and non-traditional security, the intertwining of individual and global problems has already become commonplace; the successful overcoming of global problems and the protection of our interests at the national level is inseparable from joint efforts and mutual support among all countries.

Fundamentally, the interests of states are interconnected, they are inseparable from each other; they complement each other. However, in the context of the development of international relations and global issues, the United States, which in nominal terms remains the largest economy in the world, is spreading unilateralism and protectionism with all its might, striving to pursue its own benefit; it exceeds the interests of other countries and even all of humanity, and sets norms of conduct for other countries to imitate. This has caused a negative chain reaction. Moreover, ultimately, while harming the interests of other countries, the United States has simultaneously caused serious harm to its own interests, especially in the face of global problems and challenges. While pursuing a “beggar-thy-neighbour” policy of separation from the rest of the world, it is impossible to realise the goal of protecting one's own interests; it is only possible to drive oneself into a lonely and helpless position.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has presented every country with serious new problems, has been a litmus test for the strength of international cooperation and multilateralism. The interconnected existence of mankind, the close intertwining of destinies, is increasingly considered the main feature of modern human society; this can be considered the defining principle of the world community. Multilateral approaches and the joint protection of human health and safety are also becoming a positive choice for an increasing number of countries and regions. It does not matter whether it’s from the point of view of historical development or real needs, support for multilateralism and the joint overcoming of global problems is a universally-cherished desire, a key trend of the modern era. In order to successfully confront the various problems which constantly emerge, the countries of the world must get rid of the distinction between East and West and step over the differences between North and South, and firmly assimilate the concept of multilateral cooperation. They must jointly create and protect the framework of effective multilateral cooperation, form a community with common interests and obligations, and realise their common destiny. Through political trust, economic integration and cultural tolerance, they can truly resolve common issues and conduct business through general discussion.

Multilateralism was the main idea which compelled China in 2013 to introduce the Belt and Road initiative to the world community. Since the very beginning of this initiative, some Western powers have proceeded from the traditional mentality of the Cold War, seeing it as a geopolitical strategy to elevate China in a bid to pursue hegemony. However, over the past seven years, China has consistently supported the principle of "joint discussion, joint construction, joint consumption" and the spirit of the Silk Road under the initiative, namely, "peaceful cooperation, open tolerance, mutual learning, mutual benefit", the development of political communication, the interconnectedness of infrastructure, unhindered trade, financial integration, better international relations, and industrial cooperation with the countries adjacent to the path. It has led to noticeable results and has been highly appreciated by the world community. The combination of the Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategies of many countries and regions has created multiple opportunities for such countries and regions. The Belt and Road relationship with the Eurasian Economic Union is one of the best examples. The practice of building "One Belt and One Road" shows that only through a firm adherence to multilateralism, the desire for common development, and the formation of a single consciousness, is it possible to achieve support for the world community, to avoid the mistakes of history, and to embark on a path of shared human development, stimulating our mutual prosperity.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.