2023 shows tip of mast and it represents hope: Global Times editorial
Published: Dec 30, 2022 01:11 AM
Braving the waves. Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Braving the waves. Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

2023 is coming, and its mast tip has emerged from the sea level. This represents more of a hope for the world that has experienced various uncertainties, crises, and changes in 2022. For both China and the world, 2022 is destined to be marked in a unique position. As the time comes to a new junction, people are faced with another choice and test on how to make the future better.

The overlapping effects of changes unseen in a century and a once-in-a-century pandemic reached a phased peak in 2022. Climate disasters, geopolitical tensions and confrontations, soaring food and energy prices, a sluggish economic recovery - a series of crises in both traditional and non-traditional security areas put world history again at the crossroads of turmoil or stability and recession or prosperity. The sudden outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict is the biggest "gray rhino" event. It is a consequence of the long-term US and Western push for bloc security and camp confrontation in Europe, and its spillover effects are still profoundly evolving. Today, more than 30 years after the end of the Cold War, it offers a sober reminder again for the world that security has become problematic and development has been threatened on this planet.

If 2022 is a mirror, it probably reflects the world's confusion, perplexity and hesitation at a new junction. This is also the current state of many countries in the world. Needless to say, 2022 has been a difficult year for China as well. From external changes and impact of the epidemic to the economic slowdown, there was no challenge that can be easily tackled. Even at this moment, many Chinese people are still fighting COVID-19. But China is a major power that knows best where it stands and where it's headed. The report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China contains both clear guidance on which direction to go and specific planning framework. The clarity of policy and stability in the medium and long term is obviously a crucial institutional advantage today, giving the Chinese people the courage and confidence to enter 2023.

At the crossroads of history, should we build bridges and pave roads or build high walls and deep fortifications? Should we choose win-win cooperation or a zero-sum game? Different choices lead to different fates.

In 2022, absurd theories like the "New Cold War" and "global NATO" emerged one after another in the US and the West, and obsolete concepts such as hegemonism and power politics have revived. However, this has inspired people to cherish peace and attach importance to development. The urgency of global challenges has forced countries to cooperate, and the unilateral manipulation of "decoupling and breaking chains" has accentuated the significance of multilateralism. Under the shadow of the war and the pandemic, the success of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and the Qatar World Cup not only made people feel the charm of sports but also offered the world a warm and healing embrace, showing the great power of peace and unity.

The more turbulent the world is, the more we need the power to put people at ease. It has become a strong voice of the times that we need peace rather than war, development rather than recession, openness rather than isolation, and cooperation rather than confrontation. In his 2023 New Year's message, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that "in 2023, we need peace, now more than ever." 

Where is the new path for peace and development? The world is still exploring. But solutions offered by China are being recognized by many countries around the world. In April, the Global Security Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022 aroused widespread resonance in the international community and has been regarded as a powerful weapon to defend the shared values of all humankind. This initiative, together with the Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi in September last year, will serve as an international public good and shine even brighter in the world in 2023.

It is foreseeable that the year 2023 will not be easy either. China is facing the new challenge of better coordinating epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development. It still needs to continue to overcome all the difficulties on the way. And the world is hovering on the edge of war and peace and the light at the end of the tunnel has yet to appear. 

However, we can still be full of new expectations for the world, because, under its imperfect performance, an upward growth force has broken through the ground - that is the earnest expectation for a better life, the powerful voice for fairness and justice, and the firm pursuit of win-win cooperation. Unremitting down-to-earth striving is the bridge to the future.

The times are catching up. China has taken a big test in 2022, which made us stronger and more determined. We kept marching forward while biting the bullet. Navigating through wind and storm, we never stopped. As the new year's bell is about to ring, we embrace 2023 with open arms, expecting it to become a new year for China to "roll up our sleeves and work hard" and provide the world with an inexhaustible supply of positive energy.