RDCY International Symposium,China and the World in the New Era Beijing… Ambassador Hisham El-Zimaity,
RDCY International Symposium
Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China
China and the World in the New Era
Beijing, 16th December 2019
Contribution by Ambassador Hisham El-Zimaity,
Secretary General of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs
Session 2: Significance of China’s Development to the World
Allow me to express my sincere congratulations to the courageous people of China for their 70th Anniversary, and for their unparalleled and unmatched achievements. It is a great honor for me to take part in this very timely and highly intellectual event. At the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, we have carefully studied with great interest the two brilliantly drafted White Papers on China’s National Defense in the New Era, issued in July 2019, and the White Paper on China and the World in the New Era, issued in September 2019. We wholeheartedly congratulate our Chinese friends for these precious future-oriented documents.
As for myself, being the only speaker from Africa and the Middle East in today’s important event, I will express the view from our part of the world regarding the impacts and magnitude of China’s Development to the World.
Respect for the sovereign equality of Nations
First, let me highlight the importance for all members of the international community to commit to international law, to the Charter of the United Nations, to the principles of mutual respect for the sovereign equality of nations and non-interference in their internal affairs, and to resolve all disputes peacefully, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter. More important is the commitment to the collective security system in dealing with threats to peace, reversing acts of aggression, effectively combating all acts of terrorism, and urgently addressing problems of economic and social development, while emphasizing that peace and prosperity remain indivisible, and that lasting peace and stability require effective cooperation to eradicate poverty.
As the New Year 2020 begins in a few days, we note with regret that conflicts are disappointingly persevering, terrorism is widely spreading, and the risks of a new arms race are growing, with illegal outside interferences in violation of international law, thus leaving all crisis unresolved in unstable states which unfortunately fall geographically on our common endeavor, the Silk Road Economic Belt, such as Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Libya, or on our joint enterprise, the Maritime Belt of the 21st Century like Yemen, Somalia, or in vital parts of the African Sahel Region, and even as far as Venezuela and Bolivia.
Furthermore, unilateral actions have ruined the two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, while very little is done to preserve the process of nuclear non-proliferation represented by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. In addition, social inequality is exploding, despite the global economy generating great flows of income, but this prosperity is captured by a small group of élites in a limited number of countries.
Flagrant Meddling in Others’ Internal Affairs
Sadly, we continue to witness flagrant meddling in internal affairs of other nations aiming at destabilizing their unity to create irreversible chaos by instigating color revolutions, by recruiting, training and financing elements from within their civil society and NGO’s; by manipulation of social media, increased propaganda, brain conditioning, and false news; by playing dangerously with the fire of religions and ethnicity; by the use of snipers from buildings to target both protesters and police forces; by constantly glorifying the rioters, by employing terrorist organizations, militias, mercenaries, non-state actors, and even assisting non-state actors in establishing illegitimate flawed states such as Daesh, whose jihadist mercenaries and sleeper cells were not defeated as declared by the US President, but rather currently gathering new strength with their thousands of terrorists, kidnapping and killing civilians, rebuilding their financial networks and targeting new recruits among the youth in so many countries.
Such agonies produced millions of migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons, unprecedented proliferation of all sorts of weapons, trans-border crimes and cyber attacks, cross-border drugs and human trafficking, extremely negative economic development, increased poverty and human sufferings, higher rates of unemployment, deep social inequality and divisions, and alarming environmental degradation.
Contaminating the Digital Information System
Isn’t it very strange the similarity of the protestors’ demands, the identical slogans carried by demonstrators, and the same face-masks such as “Anonymous” or V Vendetta in most countries destabilized by foreign hands lately, all of them using the same guidebook. Furthermore, computational propaganda remains a big business, as huge amounts of money are being spent on ‘PR’ or strategic communication firms to work on campaigns in so many countries. These contracts can reach multi-million-dollar with global companies such as Cambridge Analytica and similar players.
In this age of advanced digital technology, it is dreadful to perceive the increasing number of cyber groups tasked with manipulating public opinion online for political purposes under so many organizational forms. Diverse actors are influencing social media to shape public opinion, set political agendas, and propagate ideas. Computational propaganda is becoming an omnipresent part of a broader information war characterized by high volumes of information and limited levels of user attention and trust, where tools and techniques are becoming an essential part of digital campaigning and public diplomacy.
Moreover, such cyber brigades work in conjunction with private industry, civil society organizations, internet subcultures, youth groups, hacker collectives, fringe movements, social media influencers, and so-called volunteers who ideologically support their cause.
China, a Builder of World Peace
China, as a major strategic global player and a permanent member of the Security Council committed to peace, stability, progress and development should therefore continue to act as a builder of world peace and further contribute to global development through the Belt & Road Initiative, while upholding the international order. Together our friendly nations must confront all destabilizing factors which feed insecurity across the world. Hence, the utmost relevance of the BRI, which is a most welcome geopolitical game changer of paramount importance in the transfer of China’s successful experiences in the field of combating poverty to its partners. Together, we must ensure that terrorism does not constitute any threat anywhere along the Belt & Road, by ensuring secure and sustainable flow of international trade of goods, and global energy security.
Development Path with Chinese Characteristics
China has always put the people first during its development phases, increasing their benefits, ensuring that the people are their own masters, and effectively safeguarded the people’s right to development by carving out a human rights development path with Chinese characteristics. Developing countries, especially from Africa and the Middle East, are eager to learn more from China’s miracle of uplifting over 800 million people from poverty within 40 years of hard work, dedication and devotion, by offering them a higher standard of living and a promising future.
In this regard, it is worth mentioning that revoking or withdrawing from international agreements signed by previous US Administrations such as the Iran JCPOA nuclear agreement, the Paris Climate Accord, the UN Council for Human Rights, UNESCO, the North American Free Trade Agreement, the INF Treaty with Russia, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, and the unnecessary trade war and sanctions against China and many other nations have created mistrust, worsened the US global image, and negatively affected multilateralism and the world security and trade orders.
All trading partners, especially developing nations from the Middle East and Africa continue to hope that the multilateral trading system and the WTO will be preserved, and that solving trade disputes shall be within the rules of the WTO. They are eager to see an end to trade disputes between the two biggest trading nations, on the basis of equality and mutual respect. An effective dispute settlement system is indispensible for ensuring open and fair trade at this difficult juncture for global economy. However, it is regrettable that the WTO Appellate Body stopped functioning a few days ago, and the international rule-based trade system was dealt a heavy blow
Lessons from China to Africa and the Middle East
China’s reform and opening-up coincided with a turning point in some developed countries toward the global economy. By seizing the historical opportunity of accelerated globalization, China promoted its reform and development through furthering openness. With its comparative advantages in terms of geographical position, labor quality, cost, and industrial chain, China created miracles precisely because it has taken a path that suits its own national conditions, rather than blindly following western theories. All nations should therefore continue to abide by international law, respect sovereign equality of states, and non-interference in the internal affairs of others as a pre-condition to stabilizing the world.
Thank you for your kind attention
16th December 2019
Ambassador Hisham El-Zimaity; Secretary General of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, Non-Resident Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China, and Non-Resident Senior Consultant at Shangyuan Academy of Nanjing; is Former Assistant Foreign Minister of Egypt for Multilateral Diplomacy; Former Dean of the Egyptian Institute for Diplomatic Studies, and Former Ambassador of Egypt to Japan, Pakistan, Hungary & Slovenia.