Academic Achievements
Academic Achievements

Alpha Mohamed Jalloh: Xi's speech highlights historical significance, contemporary relevance and future vision

Writer:Alpha Mohamed Jalloh Date : Jul.05, 2024

The speech delivered by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Conference Marking the 70th Anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence is a comprehensive and nuanced address that highlights the historical significance, enduring relevance, and future trajectory of these principles in the context of international relations and global governance. Here is my commentary on the speech:

Introduction and Historical Context

Warm Welcome and Historical Significance:

Xi begins by welcoming the distinguished guests and paying homage to the historical milestone of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. He emphasizes that these principles, initiated 70 years ago, were groundbreaking in the history of international relations.

Post-World War II Context:

Xi situates the origin of the Five Principles in the aftermath of World War II, highlighting the collapse of colonial systems and the rise of national independence movements. He underscores that the principles were a response to the Cold War tensions and the desire of newly independent countries to safeguard their sovereignty.

Core Tenets and Global Influence

Core Principles:

The Five Principles are outlined as mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. These principles were first included in the joint statements of China-India and China-Myanmar.

Global Adoption and Recognition:

Xi traces the global recognition and adoption of these principles, citing the Bandung Conference in 1955, the Non-Aligned Movement, and their inclusion in various United Nations documents. He stresses their role in promoting international law and norms.

Contributions to International Relations

Benchmark for International Rule of Law:

Xi argues that the Five Principles have set a historic benchmark for international relations and the rule of law. They align with the UN Charter and advocate for mutuality and equality in state-to-state relations, highlighting the importance of rights, obligations, and responsibilities.

Guidance for Diverse Relationships:

The principles are portrayed as essential for establishing and developing relationships between countries with different social systems. They offer a path toward peaceful settlement of disputes and counteract divisive mindsets like bloc politics.

Support for Developing Countries:

Xi emphasizes that the principles have empowered developing countries to pursue cooperation and unity, enhancing South-South cooperation and improving North-South relations.

Reforming International Order:

The principles are credited with contributing wisdom to reforming the international order, opposing imperialism, colonialism, and hegemonism, and advocating for a just and equitable global system.

The principles mentioned seem to reflect ideas aligned with efforts to reform the international order, addressing issues of imperialism, colonialism, and hegemonism while advocating for a more just and equitable global system. Here’s a detailed dive into these concepts:

Reforming the International Order

Reforming the international order involves changes in the global political, economic, and social systems to create a more balanced and fair structure. This includes altering the rules and norms that govern international relations to ensure they are inclusive, representative, and just.

Opposing Imperialism, Colonialism, and Hegemonism


Imperialism is the policy or practice by which a country increases its power by gaining control over other areas of the world. This control can be political, economic, or military. Opposing imperialism involves challenging the dominance of powerful nations over weaker ones, advocating for national sovereignty, and promoting self-determination.


Colonialism involves the establishment, exploitation, maintenance, and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It results in the subjugation and economic exploitation of the colonized. Opposing colonialism includes supporting decolonization efforts, recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples, and addressing the legacies of colonial exploitation and oppression.


Hegemonism refers to the dominance of one country or group over others. This can manifest in political, economic, or cultural spheres. Opposing hegemonism involves resisting the unilateral exercise of power by dominant states and promoting multilateralism, where multiple countries work together to address global issues.

Advocating for a Just and Equitable Global System

Justice and Equity

A just and equitable global system is one where all nations and peoples have fair opportunities to participate in international decision-making processes, access resources, and enjoy economic and social benefits. This involves addressing inequalities and ensuring that the rules governing international relations are applied consistently and fairly.

Key Principles

Sovereignty and Equality: Respect for the sovereignty of all nations and ensuring that all states, regardless of size or power, have equal rights and opportunities in the international system.

Non-Interference: Avoiding intervention in the internal affairs of other countries, respecting their right to self-determination.

Mutual Benefit: Promoting cooperation that benefits all parties involved, rather than exploiting one nation for the gain of another.

Solidarity and Cooperation: Building alliances and partnerships based on mutual respect and common interests, rather than dominance and coercion.

Rule of Law: Ensuring that international laws and norms are respected and upheld by all countries, promoting accountability and fairness.

Practical Applications

Economic Reforms: Advocating for changes in international trade and financial systems to address imbalances and ensure fair access to markets and resources for developing countries.

Political Reforms: Supporting reforms in international organizations like the United Nations to make them more representative and democratic.

Social and Environmental Justice: Addressing global challenges such as poverty, inequality, and climate change through collaborative and equitable approaches.

Examples and Initiatives

BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa): This group of emerging economies seeks to reform global financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank to better represent developing countries.

Non-Aligned Movement: A group of states that are not formally aligned with any major power bloc, advocating for the interests of developing countries and opposing colonialism and imperialism.

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): These goals provide a framework for addressing global challenges and promoting a more just and equitable world.

In summary, the principles contribute to reforming the international order by challenging outdated power structures and advocating for a system where all nations can participate equally and fairly. This involves a commitment to justice, equity, and cooperation on a global scale.

Contemporary Relevance and Future Vision

Community with a Shared Future for Mankind:

Xi connects the Five Principles to China's vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. This vision is presented as an extension of the principles, rooted in traditional Chinese values and the diplomatic tenets of the Communist Party of China.

Global Cooperation and Governance:

He advocates for a new model of international relations based on equality, cooperation, and mutual benefit. The vision includes initiatives like the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative, aiming to promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

Multipolarity and Globalization:

Xi highlights the importance of embracing multipolarity and economic globalization. He underscores China's efforts to work with all sides to build a community with a shared future, fostering peace, stability, and development.

Actionable Steps and Commitments

Specific Initiatives:

Xi announces several initiatives to support Global South cooperation, including establishing a Global South research center, providing scholarships, launching a youth leaders program, and making financial contributions to various funds.

Long-term Resolve:

He reaffirms China's commitment to peaceful development, expanding global partnerships, promoting common development, and practicing true multilateralism.


Call to Action:

Xi concludes by calling for unity and cooperation to meet global challenges. He emphasizes the importance of enhancing understanding and dialogue among civilizations and building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Analysis and Implications

Strategic Positioning:

The speech positions China as a leader in promoting peace, development, and global governance. It emphasizes China's role in shaping a multipolar world order and advocating for the interests of developing countries.

Diplomatic Philosophy:

The consistent reference to the Five Principles and the vision of a shared future reflects China's diplomatic philosophy of mutual respect, non-interference, and peaceful coexistence.

Geopolitical Messaging:

The speech sends a clear message against unilateralism, protectionism, and power politics, advocating for a collaborative approach to global challenges.

Domestic and International Audience:

Domestically, the speech reinforces China's commitment to its constitutional principles and national rejuvenation. Internationally, it seeks to reassure the global community of China's peaceful intentions and cooperative spirit.

In summary, President Xi Jinping's speech is a robust articulation of China's historical and contemporary diplomatic principles, highlighting their significance in the current global context and outlining a vision for future international cooperation and governance. I respectfully call on African leaders to match up with the expectations and work the work for the interest of all. This road map will bring peace and harmony in the world and inclusive governance that will eliminate poverty in Africa.


About the author:

Alpha Mohamed Jalloh, Director of China Africa Institute, University of Makeni, Sierra Leone, PhD Candidate University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (UCASS)