Editor's Note: As spring approaches, the new year is about to begin. Over the past three years, Beijing has carried out Covid-19 response and pursued economic and social development in a well-coordinated way, and also made unremitting efforts in foreign exchanges, especially the people-to-people diplomacy. National industry associations and chambers of commerce based in Beijing, municipal-level social organizations, and municipal universities and enterprises have taken the initiative to adapt to the evolving developments with new approaches, and achieved remarkable results.
Among these achievements are bold actions of standing up for the country to uphold justice, concrete moves of spreading Chinese culture and contributing China's wisdom to global governance, gratifying results of fulfilling social responsibilities to improve people's lives, and the tremendous compassion of reaching out to each other to fight against the Covid-19.
Now, let's take a look at some highlights in this endeavor and work together to write a new chapter of people-to-people diplomacy in Beijing in the year of rabbit.
In recent years, social organizations in Beijing have all risen up to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and delivered solid outcomes in international exchanges by tapping into their strengths.
I. Serve China's overall diplomacy
Through online and offline participation in major international conferences such as the Civil Society 20 (C20), China-Africa People's Forum, BRICS Civil Forum, and International Civil Society Solidarity Conference on the Global Development Initiative, Guangming Charity Fund, Beijing Crafts Council, and dozens of other social organizations shared China's experience and achievements in poverty reduction, green development, and anti-Covid-19 cooperation with the world. Through such efforts, they have promoted the initiative of building a human community with a shared future and helped create a favorable atmosphere for state leaders' participation in major diplomatic events.
II. Participate in global governance and speak out for the motherland
More than ten social organizations were granted special consultative status with the UN ECOSOC, including Beijing Children's Legal Aid and Research Center, Chunhui Children, and China Globalization Think Tank Foundation. They participated in the 42nd to the 51st sessions of the UN Human Rights Council and held a series of side events. Their written and video statements presented China's notable achievements in "following a Chinese path of human rights development, actively participating in global human rights governance, and promoting all-around advancement of human rights" by telling facts and vivid depictions, and told the story of China's human rights development from the perspective of the civil society.
Representatives at the UN Human Rights Council
In 2022, many social organizations, including Greenovation Hub, Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology (SEE), and Global Environmental Institute (GEI), participated in the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27). Together with their domestic counterparts, they told China's stories in building a community of life for humanity and nature, elaborated on China's policies on climate change, and shared China's successes in ecological conservation.
The 27th session of the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27)
III. Contribute to international cooperation against Covid-19
In response to General Secretary Xi Jinping's initiative of building a global community of health for all, social organizations in Beijing have engaged in international cooperation against Covid-19. In March 2020, Dragon Design Foundation (DDF) and 156 organizations launched the "Green Ribbon Charity Activity - 2020 Global Aid Against Epidemics" initiative, donating more than 40 batches of masks, ventilators, and oxygen concentrators, and other anti-pandemic supplies with a total worth of more than six million yuan to 25 countries, including Italy, Belgium, Iran, Bulgaria, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. The New Sunshine Charity Foundation raised more than 40 million yuan from 2020 to 2021 and donated anti-epidemic supplies to 28 countries, including Afghanistan, Iran, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Indonesia, and Spain.
Anti-Pandemic Donations to Myanmar
Anti-Pandemic Donations to Iran
IV. Strengthen people-to-people ties through cooperation in livelihood programs
Social organizations in Beijing have been active participants in the Silk Road Community Building Initiative, and organized programs in multiple countries that aim at improving the well-being of local people and bringing people together, which were very well received in local communities. A case in point is Peaceland Foundation, which provided grants and daily necessities to more than 60 orphans in the Arsal refugee camp at the Syrian border; donated more than five million yuan of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan; and sent rescue teams to help earthquake victims build camps, deliver drinking water and rescue supplies, and assist the local community in developing comprehensive rescue capabilities in response to earthquakes and floods. Peaceland also donated close to 10,000 energy-saving stoves to Cambodian farmers, contributing to poverty alleviation and green development. In addition, it sent flood relief teams to Pakistan to disinfect the affected villages and distribute bed nets, mosquito repellent, and other supplies to prevent epidemics; and donated drones and emergency supplies to Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania in response to mountain fires to facilitate local disaster management, environmental monitoring, anti-poaching patrols and more.
Humanitarian Aid in Syria
Donations to and Emergency Rescue Training in Afghanistan
Donation of Energy-Saving Stoves to Cambodia