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20 years of BFA: Bridging Asia and the world

| 作者: He Dan | 时间: 2021-04-23 | 责编:
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  This year marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA). After the financial crisis in Asia, 26 initial member states reached consensus on founding an “Asian Forum”. The BFA was founded officially in Hainan and became an international organization headquartered in China. The Declaration of BFA and Guidelines of BFA Charter were adopted during the ceremony of the first conference of BFA. The objective of BFA was to promote common prosperity through economic integration in Asia. The number of initial countries was later increased to 29. BFA holds its annual conference in Boao, Hainan.

  During the past 20 years, BFA has witnessed one of the most challenging but dynamic periods in Asia, and has pooled positive energy for the development of Asia and the world. In the process, BFA has seen steady increase in both its scale and impact, and has played a unique role in consolidating consensus from all sides, deepening regional cooperation, promoting common development, and solving problems in Asia and the world. The Forum is now an important bridge connecting China and the world, and an international platform for exchange with both Asian features and global influence.

  Asian development is closely linked to the world’s future, while China’s development is inseparable with that of Asia. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, President Xi Jinping has addressed the BFA Annual Conferences in 2013, 2015, and 2018 respectively. Just as President Xi said, “ Asia and the world could not do without each other”. Asian countries should “make sure that all countries respect one another and treat each other as equals”, “seek win-win cooperation and common development”, “pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security”, and “ensure inclusiveness and mutual learning among civilizations”. We should “promote building community with a shared future for mankind through such a community in Asia”.

  President Xi reaffirmed China’s commitment to “the path of peaceful development, and to promoting cooperation and common development in the Asia-Pacific. China will be firm in its determination and resolve and all its policies will be designed to achieve such a purpose.” Taking the path of peaceful development is not only in line with the trend of the times, but also conforms with China’s fundamental interests. The path inherits and develops the peace-loving tradition of the Chinese nation. In reality, what China needs most in its development is close cooperation with other countries, and a peaceful and tranquil international environment. In addition, President Xi also pointed out that China “practices neighborhood diplomacy featuring amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness”. “China will not close its door to the world, and we will only become more and more open.”

  The theme of the BFA Annual Conference 2021 is “A World in Change: Joint Hands to Strengthen Global Governance and Advance Belt and Road Cooperation”. During the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the world in unprecedented manners. In the post-pandemic era, how can we turn crises into oportunities? What progress will the Belt and Road Initiative make from an Asian perspective of improving global governance? Concerning these contemporary issues facing the world, both Asia and the world are looking forward to China’s perspective and solution during the coming Boao time.

  (The author is assistant research fellow at the Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy Studies Center. )

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