On October 25, 1971, China restored its lawful seat in the United Nations (UN). This was a historic event for both China and the international community. China had been deprived of its legal seat for a long time. But an injustice in history was corrected and China has since begun to take center stage in the international forum.
China's return helped represent the interests of the least developed and developing countries, and has given the UN Security Council a new balance. In the UN, China’s actions are crucial to resolving conflicts and maintaining peace. China advocates the establishment of a global governance system that conforms to the demands of the world today. At the same time, it calls for the establishment of a community with a shared future that benefits all countries. Its performance has been outstanding in shaping a multi-polar world and developing multilateralism.
Cuba’s support for China’s return was based on the political and ideological basis of the Cuban Revolution and Cuba’s foreign policy. It must be recognized that Cuba was the first country in Latin America and the Western Hemisphere to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. This was crucial to the building of Cuba’s international relations and changed the situation in which China had been besieged by the West. Therefore, Cuba fully supported China and was committed to helping repair this historical injustice.
Cuba-China relations are characterized by full maturity, mutual respect, solidarity, and political trust. The positions of the two countries in terms of ideological and political concepts and international issues are very close. Both sides have given full support to each other on key issues: Cuba firmly defends the one-China principle that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and China opposes the US blockade of Cuba.
The foundation of China's foreign policy has always adhered to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which is in full compliance with the founding principles of the UN. China opposes hegemony and unilateralism, condemns the use of force and the violation of the international law, supports the role of the UN, calls for increasing participation of developing countries in the global agenda, and values sustainable development as the highest priority. At the same time, it also supports expanding international cooperation, and promoting peace and development.
Considering the injustice suffered by developing countries in participating in global issues, as well as the fragility the world is suffering due to unilateralism and hegemony, China has always believed that multilateralism should be the foundation of the international order. China advocates that national development must be inclusive, that conflicts must be handled peacefully and in accordance with international law, global challenges should be handled together, and international cooperation must be carried out in all directions.
Whether in terms of domestic achievements or international performance, China is an important player in achieving the UN's sustainable development goals. China has lifted more than 800 million people out of absolute poverty, accounting for more than 70 percent of people lifted out of absolute poverty globally. Not only has China actually eliminated hunger and improved the living conditions of its people, has it also made significant progress in improving access to healthcare and education. In addition, China has adopted a very active stance in dealing with climate change. China has made the largest investment in renewable energy in the world and represents the great hope of mankind. China’s achievements and experience have been used as a reference by many countries. In addition, China’s leadership in South-South cooperation has also enabled developing countries to make further progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Starting from extremely difficult conditions, China has achieved great progress. Despite difficulties, China has always supported least-developed countries in all possible forums, demanding policies that benefit these countries. China does what it says. For example, it is the lead country of South-South cooperation, it makes donations to the International Development Association, it is the largest credit granting country for developing countries, and it canceled a large number of debts for them as well. Similarly, to support developing countries, China has made significant contributions to the creation of an alternative financial institution to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The great Belt and Road initiative that China promotes will benefit all countries through the gradual development of a community with a shared future.
China has also played an exemplary role in pandemic cooperation. China has adopted a very serious and responsible attitude and shared all the information, knowledge and experience it gained in the fight against COVID-19. In addition, China has also carried out very important cooperation with many countries on vaccines, equipment and medical teams.
Similarly, Cuba has also demonstrated a high degree of solidarity in the fight against the pandemic. Cuba actively supports countries in the fight against COVID-19, and has recruited competent and experienced professionals from the health sector to provide services to relevant countries. Cuba also provides its biotechnology, such as recombinant interferon that has been proven effective against the virus, to countries that need it. Cuba has also expressed its willingness to distribute its five effective vaccines to countries in need.
Since the victory of the socialist revolution, Cuba has been striving to achieve economic and social development. However, for more than 60 years, it has been subjected to a cruel and unjust blockade trying to stifle its economy. In November 2018, Cuba and China signed the Belt and Road cooperation memorandum of understanding. The interconnection of infrastructure brought by participating in this project is necessary for Cuba to promote economic and social development.
I hope that China will continue to consolidate and promote the development of multi-polarity and multilateralism, and not give any room for unilateralism and hegemony. At present, global challenges threatening the survival of mankind are at hand. I hope China will continue strengthening solidarity and cooperation with other countries, increasing support for countries most in need, promoting the construction of a community of shared future, and realizing the common prosperity and development of all countries.
The author is an expert on China from the Research Center of International Policy in Cuba. The opinions expressed in this article only reflect those of the author, not necessarily those of the People’s Daily.