by Xinhua writer Liu Chang
BEIJING, June 7 (Xinhua) -- It is not news anymore that terrorists are now able to strike at the heart of Europe. Yet the fact that Britain has recently gone through two attacks in two less than two weeks remains shocking.
Besides the growing global scourge of terrorism, other equally alarming threats like global warming have also flashed as constant reminders that dangers remain in the world.
The international community is indeed facing a wide array of crises and challenges. Right at this moment, Syria still struggles in a long-running civil war; the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula risks a flare-up; last year was the hottest year since modern recordkeeping began in 1880.
In the coming days, Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the 17th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, where he and other leaders of the SCO members will discuss how to step up their security and economic cooperation and to promote regional peace, stability and development.
SECURITY FOR ALL
Ever since taking office, the Chinese leader has elaborated on numerous major diplomatic occasions, including the SCO summits, his vision on how to build a safer Asia and a more secure world.
In Xi's eyes, peace and security should not be a privilege of a few, and the zero-sum calculation of the Cold-War mentality needs to be made a thing of the past.
While addressing the UN Office At Geneva in Switzerland in January, he urged all nations to build a world of common security for all.
The appeal echoed what the president said in a more detailed fashion at the 4th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia in May 2014.
"We cannot just have the security of one or some countries while leaving the rest insecure, still less should one seek the so-called absolute security of itself at the expense of the security of others," he said.
At that meeting held in Shanghai, Xi also introduced to the world his new Asian security concept, which is aimed at promoting what he called "common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in Asia."
The Chinese president holds that the all nations should come together from different directions to resolve disputes through peaceful means, and should reject the arbitrary use or threat of force.
That is exactly what China has been doing when it advocates direct talks with claimant countries to address their maritime disputes in the South China Sea, pushes for an early resumption of the stalled six-party talks to end the Korean Peninsula nuclear conundrum, and helped achieve a landmark Iranian nuclear agreement in 2015.
Asanga Abeyagoonasekera, director general of the Institute of National Security Studies in Sri Lanka, told Xinhua on the sidelines of this year's Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore that China's security vision is "very important," especially for the region in this "volatile" global security situation.
A RESPONSIBLE PLAYER
To help maintain world peace and security, the Chinese leader understands well that his country, now the world's second largest economy, has an increasingly important role to play.
At present, climate change is widely believed as one of the most pressing threats to human existence.
According to the World Meteorological Organization, the global average temperature is about 1.1 degree Celsius higher than the pre-industrial era and continues to rise. As a result, sea levels are rising at an accelerating pace, extreme events like droughts, forest fires, floods, major storms, have doubled since 1990, and some 1,688 endangered species of animals and plants have been negatively affected.
China's decision to join the Paris Agreement, as well as its actions to implement the landmark environmental pact signed by 195 countries, has shown that it intends to abide by its due responsibilities as a key member of the international community.
In his phone conversation to congratulate Emmanuel Macron on his election as French president last month, Xi said China will continue to stick to the climate agreement, which seeks to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Xie Zhenhua, China's special representative on climate change, said last month at the 8th Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin that Beijing has taken a series of restrictive measures in the 13th Five-Year- Plan, including reducing 18 percent of carbon intensity and raising the proportion of non-fossil energy in primary energy to 15 percent from 2016 to 2020.
DEVELOPMENT, THE ULTIMATE REMEDY
For the Chinese leader, the ultimate path toward a safer and more peaceful world lies in promoting a fairer social development and faster economic growth in those poor and crisis-ridden regions.
"Development holds the master key to solving all problems," Xi said in his keynote speech at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation last month in Beijing.
According to a research paper done by the Brookings Institute this March, the lack of adequate employment opportunities for educated individuals is fueling violent extremism among the general population.
While visiting the Arab League in January last year, the Chinese president said "only when young people are able to live a fulfilled life with dignity through development can hope prevail in their heart. Only then will they voluntarily reject violence, extremist ideologies and terrorism."
"If you cannot address social problems like poverty, then you will have to face a lot of security challenges," said Asanga, the Sri Lankan scholar.
That is exactly why Xi proposed in 2013 the Belt and Road Initiative, which seeks to bring real benefits to and spur development for all countries that sign up.
Suleyman Sensoy, head of the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies, said the projects within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative are an important platform that offers an opportunity for Mideast countries to create their own dynamism by boosting common trade, development and welfare rather than just offering financial help.
At the Belt and Road forum in Beijing, Xi said humankind has reached an age of great progress, great transformation and profound changes. Still, he is confident that "the trend toward peace and development will become stronger."
"Never have we seen such close interdependence among countries as today, such fervent desire of people for a better life, and never have we had so many means to prevail over difficulties," he said. Enditem
(Xinhua reporters Yi Aijun in Istanbul, and Geng Xuepeng and Su Liang in Singapore also contributed to the story.)