The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has recently concluded, bringing together approximately 190 member states to address critical global issues and the concerns of each member state. UNGA serves as the most inclusive representation of the global international community, with developing countries, often referred to as the Global South, holding a significant numerical advantage.
The concept of the “Global South” is a relatively recent term that encompasses all developing countries, including what were previously labeled as emerging markets. It serves as a contrast to the developed world, primarily comprised of OECD member states, among others.
However, there is a concern that the United States sometimes categorizes China as a developed country, seemingly arbitrarily, implying that China should not be considered part of the Global South. In reality, China is a crucial member of the Global South and represents the fundamental interests of developing countries worldwide in various ways.
Considering the substantial numerical advantage of the Global South, it is apparent that the United States and developed countries cannot dominate the UNGA. While the US may seek to influence the agenda or promote its own priorities, members of the Global South have independent perspectives and can make their own decisions. They will genuinely champion issues they care about and vigorously defend their legitimate interests, which may not always align with those promoted by the US or the developed countries as a collective. The distinct agenda pursued by the US significantly differs from the challenges and opportunities faced by developing countries. The US often prioritizes its “America First” policy and, at times, discriminates against other states, particularly countries in the Global South, or fails to advocate for the legitimate interests of developing nations worldwide.
The fundamental contrast in interests between developed countries and the Global South, or developing nations, is a significant reason why Western-led groups struggle to address concerns of Global South countries, such as climate change and other pressing issues. For instance, China emphasizes the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in addressing climate change. This principle calls for collective action with shared goals and unwavering commitment, recognizing that developed countries have historically contributed more to pollution than developing nations. It is entirely reasonable for developed countries to contribute more to mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change. However, many developed nations are finding various excuses to delay their commitments or even backtrack on their obligations.
One of the challenges facing humanity is that while China is eager to promote peace, stability, development, and poverty alleviation, not only within its borders but globally, the US appears committed to fostering a cold war mentality, dividing countries into opposing blocs, and even resorting to the threat of war to achieve political goals.
For instance, it is clear that the US has significant plans for India, attempting to align it with their anti-China policy and hostility toward China. However, Washington decision-makers may underestimate India’s commitment to foreign policy independence as a great and proud nation with a rich civilization that spans millennia. India’s population is projected to be the world’s largest for decades to come, carrying the expectation that India will prioritize peace, stability, and cooperation over a cold war or hot war, preserving its independence rather than aligning with countries like the US
From the Chinese perspective, there is no desire for competition with anyone. The aim is to promote the strengths of nations, do what is right, and advocate for globalization, fair trade, and the free exchange of goods, services, ideas, and people across borders. China respects all countries as equals, regardless of their size, and seeks cooperation rather than confrontation.
Humanity stands at a critical juncture, faced with the choice between peace, stability, and development or the path of war, confrontation, and conflict. China will continue to pursue what it believes is right and promote the legitimate interests not only of China but also of Global South member states as a whole. It is hoped that UNGA will serve as a vital platform for countries to express their diverse perspectives and that conflicts of interest can be peacefully resolved through diplomacy rather than escalating to irreversible tensions.
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