A Sustainable Community of Shared Future for Mankind: Origin, Evolution and Philosophical Foundation

Sustainability 13 (16):1-12 (2021)
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Abstract

The Community of Shared Future for Mankind (CSFM) concept is a comprehensive Chinese proposal for a better future of mankind. In this article, we provide a comprehensive analysis of this concept by focusing on its origin, evolution and philosophical foundation. This article deals with the origin and evolution of the CSFM concept. We show that the concept originated during the presidency of Hu Jintao, who initially used it for the domestic affairs of China. However, the usage of the concept was later extended from domestic to international affairs. Though Hu Jintao conceived the CSFM concept, it is president Xi Jinping who became its greatest advocate. We explore the CSFM concept’s development and evolution into one of the most influential, diverse and dominant concepts of international relations under president Xi. Furthermore, the article explores the philosophical foundation of the CSFM concept. We argue that although CSFM concept is seen as a 21st century Chinese idea, the roots of the concept can be traced back to much earlier time in history. The concept is based on three major philosophical thoughts: Marxism, Confucianism and the philosophy of Mencius. We show that the CSFM concept is greatly influenced by Marx’s ideas such as the transformation of the world, the free association of producers, historical materialism and dialectics. We also point to a number of Confucian principles that are adopted by the CSFM concept. The CSFM concept not only adopts Confucian principles but also extends their scope from the individual level to international relations. Similarly, we also highlight that the CSFM concept is influenced by Mencius’ concepts such as universal brotherhood, responsibility towards the betterment of the world, humane governance, free trade, equal sharing of wealth and the conservation of natural resources.

Author's Profile

Ishraq Ali
Zhejiang University

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