China is advancing Global South cooperation based on bilateral, multilateral, regional and interregional synergies


China is playing an increasingly bigger role in the global, political and socioeconomic environment.Accordingly, many analysts worldwide believe that Beijing has emerged as a key player in international development cooperation.

South-South cooperation is a significant section of China's practice of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Such cooperation can be generally defined as synergy at the bilateral, multilateral, regional or interregional levels in order to promote economic and scientific development. In this sense, countries of the Global South should, on the premise of independence, increase their common interests and support for one another. Some countries should also use South-South cooperation to endorse "North-South" collaboration and uphold openness, inclusiveness and multilateralism.

The China-proposed initiatives, namely, the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, are powerful engines for win-win synergy and, consequently, the modernization drive of countries which fall under the framework of the South-South cooperation. Besides, the four initiatives can be regarded as the pillars for building an advanced equilibrium of international relations, which lies in broader and deeper global partnerships based on equality, stability and peaceful coexistence. It is worth mentioning that China sticks to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in pursuing friendship and cooperation with other countries. Indeed, China works to strengthen harmonization and constructive interaction with other countries in order to generate peaceful coexistence, stability and a developmental equilibrium.

In view of this, China has become active in providing South-South development assistance to the Global South countries by taking into consideration their own unique features pertinent to the scale of and approaches to synergy, regional and sector distribution as well as aid management. In alignment with the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development 17 Goals set for all countries in the new era, China has set up a Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund with a total funding of $4 billion.

Furthermore, at the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue in Johannesburg last August, it is announced that Chinese financial institutions will soon set up a special fund of $10 billion dedicated to the implementation of the Global Development Initiative. Undeniably, the integrated 17 Sustainable Development Goals underline the importance of South-South cooperation and development assistance. From Asia to Africa, from the Pacific island countries to the Latin American and Caribbean region, over 200 cooperation projects have come to materialization, adding benefits to current and future generations. Since 2016, China has cooperated with over 10 international organizations, such as the UN World Food Programme, the UN Development Programme, the World Health Organization, and the International Committee of the Red Cross in over 50 countries, which has benefited more than 20 million individuals. Meanwhile, cooperation mechanisms are increasing in domains such as poverty reduction, education and health, placing emphasis on finding equilibrium among the economy, society and environment.

As the world is undergoing an accelerating rate of change, the international community, especially the Global South countries, may positively perceive the China-FAO South-South Cooperation Trust Fund and appreciate China's Food Production Enhancement Action along with the food assistance it provides and the agri-tech it shares with many developing countries. Similarly, it gives great value to China's initiative of a Global Clean Energy Cooperation Partnership with a view to achieving energy security. China has increased the connectedness, mutual trust and common interests among Global South countries. Guided by the principles of multilateralism and the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind, China is building stronger solidarity and cooperation with the Global South countries and, concurrently, safeguarding the common interests of the developing world. Particularly in recent years through such initiatives as the Belt and Road Initiative, China's engagement in foreign aid and related areas has been further heightened. As it takes a more proactive approach and, hereafter, protagonist role in the Global South cooperation, China is generating an advanced new model of international development cooperation that is correspondingly connected with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Besides, China is increasingly building spheres of synergies in the Global South regions, including synergy with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, constructing comprehensive strategic partnerships that in turn make advances toward a community of shared future. It is precisely this vision that strengthens the resilience, vitality and sustained common future between China and the Global South countries. This vision and approach have definitely contributed to enduring peace and shared prosperity in the Global South region and the wider world. China offers an advanced model for developmental equilibrium to other countries in their quest for development.

The author is a former rector of the European University Cyprus, an ordinary member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and director of the CASSEUC China Studies Center. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily. (By KOSTAS GOULIAMOS)

The author is a former rector of the European University Cyprus, an ordinary member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and director of the CASSEUC China Studies Center. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily.

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