On March 5, 2023, at the first session of the 14th National People’s Congress, President Xi Jinping re-emphasized China’s determination to promote building a community with a shared future for mankind and restated China’s will to confront various challenges with countries across the globe. It’s the most challenging of times. It’s the most hopeful of times. Joining us today is Professor Micheal Powers, the Zurich Insurance Group Chair Professor of Risk Mathematics at Tsinghua University, and let’s hear his view on some key values underpinning the concept of a global community with a shared future for mankind.
Q1： Professor Powers, thanks for joining us, first quetion first, how do you understand the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind?
Michael R. Powers: I think it's a desire of people all around the world that we can live in harmony. I would say that the main emphasis in China's approach that I find attractive is a concept that we should try to get on the same sort of collective page that we should all be trying to work toward the same goal.
Q2: Then how do you think of the challenges that need to be addressed in order to build such a community in today world?
Michael R. Powers: There are many challenges. There is economic competition, which I think is good in general, although it can have negative consequences in terms of displacement, individuals losing their jobs and so forth. But I think as a general matter, as long as there's coordinated trade with respect to international norms and trade organizations, things can go very well. In the area of geopolitics, relationships, political relationships, among nations, defense policy, and so forth. Things are obviously more challenging, and tensions can arise, and alliances can shift. So it is very difficult to deal with these things.
Q3: From your perspective, how can we better confront those challenges?
Michael R. Powers: I think that’s something that we can learn from what's been going on recently in my home country, the United States. The incessant demonization of people that disagree with you. It's very important to recognize that when there are disagreements--and there can be very profound disagreements, disagreements that have huge geopolitical ramifications--when these disagreements arise, the first reaction shouldn't be to try to demonize or say, look how bad the other side is. But rather to say, why is the other side taking this position? Why are the reactions? What are the concerns? Is there a way that we can try to allay those concerns? So I think that China is articulating this view better than other countries, but I have hoped that the United States and and nations of Europe and countries in all around the world will all come to the conclusion that it's better to work together than to fight among ourselves.
Q4: As Xi once elaborated, "to build a community with a shared future for mankind is not to replace one system or civilization with another. Instead, it is about countries with different social systems, ideologies, histories, cultures and levels of development coming together for shared interests, shared rights and shared responsibilities in global affairs, and creating the greatest synergy for building a better world." Do you think the inclusive value intrinsic to the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind can become an overarching theme in future international interactions?
Michael R. Powers: I would hope that it would, think that many countries in the world already take this approach to sort of live and let live approach. Perhaps somewhat ironically, those countries that espouse more of a less affair approach to economics and more of a liberal democracy approach to politics are the ones that seem to be most critical of the internal affairs of other nations.
There has been a tension in the west over this issue for more than 100 years for probably going back centuries. That is to what extent should countries take an interest in what's going on and have an opinion about how in other countries doing its business or remain aloof to the extent that other country is living peacefully with them.
I think the United States got used to that idea that it was our business to be telling people what to do, how to run their countries. I would encourage countries to move more toward a sort of live and let live approach.