In 2013, during a lecture at MGIMO, Chinese President Xi Jinping introduced the concept of a “community with a common destiny for mankind” on the international stage for the first time. Subsequently, at the 19th Congress of the CPC in 2017, this concept was incorporated into the Party Charter, and within a year, it was enshrined in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China. Presently, this concept forms the cornerstone of China’s foreign policy and its interactions with neighboring nations, among which the relationship with Kazakhstan holds significant importance for Zhongnanhai.


As highlighted during the CPC Central Committee Meeting on Foreign Policy Work in December 2023, the pursuit of constructing a community with a shared future for mankind stands as a lofty objective within the diplomatic endeavors of a nation characterized by Chinese attributes in the contemporary era. Concurrently, the nation calls upon its counterparts to collaboratively engage in establishing a community of shared destiny, echoing the reiterated sentiments of its leader that “humanity resides in the same global village, navigating the same vessel.” This notion resonates with the collective aspirations of global citizens and signifies the appropriate trajectory of human advancement during this pivotal juncture marked by profound global transformations. Therefore, as articulated by Xi Jinping, it is imperative for the international community to collectively surmount historical, cultural, geopolitical, and institutional disparities in the face of global challenges and threats, working collectively for the betterment of our shared planetary abode – Earth [1].


Indeed, the world today needs unity, not division, a unity consisting of many communities. At the same time, as noted by the German educator of the 18th century I.G. Herder: “Every nation must learn to feel that it becomes great, beautiful, noble, rich, organized, active and happy not in the eyes of others, not in the mouths of posterity, but only within itself, in itself, and that only in this case, respect for neighbors and descendants happens…” [2, p. 296].


In this context, reflection on the “community of a common destiny” of our countries and peoples in the definitions of existentialist content, which are so rich in the worldview of both the Kazakhs and the Chinese, based on two philosophical categories: life (“omir” and “min” /命) and existence (“өmir suru” and “dao” /道), indicates that in this sense the fate of the Kazakh and Chinese peoples is a vivid embodiment of this conceptual ethnic worldview.


In Kazakh worldview, life is the most important among other values surrounding a person, the basis and indispensable prerequisite for all other values, whereas in Chinese culture, as the ancient Chinese poet and thinker Jia Yi (201 – 168 BC) noted in the famous ode “Bird of Death” BC): “life is just swimming with the flow” [3]. Despite the fact that in the Chinese language the character “ming” /命(life, fate) does not have a close connection with the future, the circumstances of life in the future, nevertheless, it expresses the meaning of the highest law, a given development, without which it cannot exist and life itself [4].


These reflections are not at all accidental, since there are not many countries in the world that have such an ancient, but at the same time, such a young history as the Republic of Kazakhstan (1991) and the People’s Republic of China (1949). Both countries, located both in the very center (Kazakhstan) and in the east of the Eurasian continent (China), were the “melting pots” of many peoples who have now sunk into oblivion, but the Kazakhs and the Chinese were destined to stay here forever, to give their lands a historical name and build their states.


Kazakhstan over the years of independence has become a regional leader and one of the most dynamically developing states in the post-Soviet space, and China today is rightfully one of the world powers on which political and economic stability largely depends not only in Eurasia, but throughout the world.

All this taken together evokes a feeling of pride among our fellow citizens and foreign compatriots ( kandas and huaqiao /华侨), laying the foundation of the national idea, where the main slogan for the Kazakhs was and remains “Zher-uyyk” (“the promised country” or in the modern interpretation “Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan” ), and for Zhongguo (中國, “middle state”) the principle of “One China”, following the path of “building socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era” and realizing the “Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”.


The historical and cultural evolution that occurred during the years of independence in Kazakhstan and China also affects the pace of modernization processes in the two countries. If Kazakhstan, as the “Country of the Great Steppe,” overcoming the “incompleteness” of Soviet modernization and bringing forgotten traditions back to life, is at the initial stage of development (having achieved success in some places, but suffering failures in others), then the modernization of the Celestial Empire in the “Chinese style” opened up to humanity the path “to a new form of civilization”, becoming the path “to building a powerful country and reviving the nation” [5].


At the same time, the development of Chinese civilization cannot be imagined without the spiritual and philosophical heritage of Confucius, whose ideas about social order largely shaped the mentality of the Chinese nation, laying the foundation for its national character, where the ethics of Confucianism underlies all political and economic reforms of the Celestial Empire. As the Kazakh culturologist Tursun Gabitov correctly notes: “Combining the values of modernization with national cultural identity creates the possibility of implementing an optimistic scenario for the path of entry into modern civilization ” [6, p.46 ]. The vitality of this core feature of a constructive and practically effective cultural policy has shown itself well during the modernization of China.


Acting as an active conductor of bringing the principles of Confucian culture into modernization processes to build “socialism with Chinese characteristics in a “new era,” the slogan “antiquity in the service of modernity” demonstrates the CPC’s devotion to traditions characteristic of the Chinese mentality. The relevance of the ideas of Confucius and Confucian thinkers was largely due to the fact that the main theme of their reasoning was man, society and the state. The socio-political norms and principles they laid down are used by Chinese communists for theoretical development of problems of social and state development.


Referring to the concept of a “community with a common destiny for humanity”, one can also see the influence of Confucianism. For example, in the famous Confucian treatise “Li Ji ” (礼记) there is such a concept as “da tong” (大同) – “great unity”. It was this ideal that became the basis for the development of strategic plans for the political, economic, and cultural modernization of Chinese society at the turn of the 20th – early 21st centuries. If the most important goal of modern Chinese state policy, designed for the period until the middle of the 21st century, was the formation of a society of “average income”, a “society of small prosperity”, then the concept of a “community of common destiny” should lead to the implementation of the ideal of a society of “great unity” on a global scale.


This observation leads to the deduction that contemporary Chinese reforms represent a methodical and continuous endeavor aimed at reshaping Chinese society, devoid of abrupt and ill-prepared advancements that marked earlier epochs in the history of the Chinese nation. An examination of reforms implemented since 1978 indicates that the contemporary Chinese paradigm of societal progress is constructed upon a nuanced comprehension of the accrued historical wisdom of Confucianism, integrating both traditional elements and innovative approaches.


Lanting ” (“Blue Hall”) forum held on April 21, 2023 in Shanghai themed “Chinese modernization and the world”, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping noted that the implementation of modernization has been the tireless striving of the Chinese people since the beginning of modern history, as well as the common desire of all peoples of the world [7]. In this aspect, the development of a new development path is relevant for the Republic of Kazakhstan, because the “Kazakh path” of modernization, carried out during the years of the so-called the “First Republic” (1991-2019), supported by the Development Strategy “Kazakhstan-2030” and “Kazakhstan-2050” has reached a dead end and requires its renewal, where the Chinese experience of modernization can be taken as a basis, since the results of Chinese modernization speak for themselves, making a positive and important impact on the world. This will allow, firstly, to give a new impetus to the political, socio-economic and cultural development of Kazakhstan, and secondly, to form in the minds of the country’s citizens the idea of a “common destiny” and their involvement in its successes and achievements, thereby setting the “image of the future”.


“Image of the Future” can give (1) stability to Kazakhstani society in its movement and development, (2) give it a vector and goal. Both of these conditions are necessary for the existence of complex systems, which are the Kazakh society and the people of Kazakhstan. The image of the future, giving the people the “arrow of time,” includes the people in the historical process, since it allows them to connect the past, present and future (S. Kara-Murza) [8, p. 11], connecting the connection of times on the way to the “community of a common destiny” in its Kazakhstan version.


Why is the example of Chinese modernization so important for Kazakhstan?


The answer lies in the fact that Chinese modernization is giving a powerful impetus to global development towards a “new form of civilization”. Over the past ten years, China’s economy has grown at an average annual rate of 6.6% and its average contribution to global economic growth exceeds 30%, bringing stability and strength to global economic development. Chinese modernization has enabled its population of 1.4 billion to transition to a modern society, with its emphasis on shared prosperity as a distinct feature from Western modernization. Along this path, China achieved the poverty reduction target set in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2015) 10 years earlier. As a result, 770 million poor people were lifted out of poverty, representing more than 70% of the world’s population reducing poverty over the same period [9].


Over 45 years of reform, the Middle Kingdom has become the world’s second largest economy, the largest trading nation, the country with the largest foreign exchange reserves and the largest manufacturing country. This marked a turning point in the fortunes of the country and the Chinese nation, moving from decline to rise and from adversity to triumph, showing the world that Chinese modernization or a “new form of civilization” was inevitable a historical choice and a mandatory requirement that contributes to the revival of other countries and peoples following the path of peaceful development.


Guided by the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind, China today is ready to “hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit”. This has been demonstrated by Beijing’s consistent promotion of important proposals that meet the challenges of the times, such as the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, indicating that China continues to firmly adhere to genuine multilateralism and justice, and actively promotes peace and resolving issues through dialogue, which is clearly outlined by President Xi Jinping in three principles: mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation [10]. Although it was expressed by the Chinese leader in the context of China-US relations in the new era, it is applicable to other countries and regions of the world.


Thanks to these principles, China was able to attract the countries of Central and Southeast Asia to the formation of a community of common destiny. In the development of a community of common destiny, new successes have been achieved on such platforms as China – Africa, China – ASEAN, China – Arab states, China – Latin America, as well as bringing cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative to a qualitatively new level.


A new era in Chinese-Kazakh relations was marked by such principles as honesty, efficiency, friendliness and sincerity.


Their correct understanding will allow the construction of a community with a common destiny for Kazakhstan and China to enter a trajectory of high-speed development. Record indicators of trade turnover between our countries at the end of 2023 and the introduction of a visa-free regime contribute to expanding the scope of cooperation, which certainly leads to the rapprochement of our countries and peoples. With all this, Kazakhstan and China consistently advocate maintaining the current position of the UN in the modern world, believing that it cannot be replaced by something else, since this organization is the core of both the system of international relations and the guarantor of international security.


Thus, given that today “China is a country that turns the impossible into the possible”, and calls on a community of solidary nations to jointly form a community with a common destiny for humanity, then for us, researchers of China, striving to convey this to the citizens of Kazakhstan, this is not only a duty, but a mission of friendship and respect for a country with a five-thousand-year history, which “does not have a constant reflection on the self-dying of civilization and the fear of the death of civilization” (A. Maslov), as Chinese thinking is always positive. “This gives some confidence in further development –  five thousand years are behind, and five thousand years are ahead, thus there is nothing to be afraid of” [11, p. 121]. Therefore, the secret on the path to a “new form of civilization” depends not only on high rates of economic development, but also on the harmonious combination of historical and cultural traditions and technological modernization, as well as on the careful preservation of the heritage of our ancestors.


List of sources and literature:


  1. Answers to questions from Chinese and foreign media by member of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee, Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Chinese foreign policy and international relations //    Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China – URL : ­202403/ ­t20240308 ­_11256391.html?, 08.03. 2024.
  2. Herder I.G. Selected works / Translations edited by V.M. Zhirmunsky and N.A. Seagal. – M.-L.: State Publishing House of Fiction, 1959. – 392 p.
  3. Jia Yi . Bird of Death / translation from Chinese by Yana Boevaya and Evgeniy Torchinov // Religions of China: a reader. Compilation by E.A. Torchinova . – St. Petersburg: Eurasia Publishing House, 2000. – P. 26-29
  4. Liang Jing . Russian concept of fate against the background of Chinese // Spring . Grodzen . dzyarzh . un-ta. Ser. 3. Philalogy , pedagogy , psychology . – 2008. – No. 2. – P. 72-76.
  5. The Chairman of the People’s Republic of China called modernization in the Chinese style the path to building a powerful country and reviving the nation // And TASS news agency – URL : ­20112283­  02/29/2024.
  6. Gabitov T.Kh. National idea of Kazakhstan in the context of cultural heritage // Science. Philosophy. Religion. Materials of the International Scientific Conference. – Almaty: KazNPU named after. Abaya, 2008. – pp. 43-47
  7. Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the participants of the Lanting forum on the topic “Chinese modernization and the world” // Russian . News. Cn – URL: ­9125e1ead1bf4515b6f399cafcaa7001/ ­c.html , 04/21/2023.
  8. Kara-Murza S.G. Development management: foresight and design of the future // Development management: from predicting the future to its construction (ideas, methods, institutions). Materials of the scientific seminar. Vol . No. 9. – M.: Scientific Expert, 2011. – pp. 5-28.
  9. Tsui Shaochun . Chinese modernization opens up new opportunities for the world // Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Yekaterinburg – URL : ­_11087135.htm ­, 06/01/2023.
  10. Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden met via video conference // China Global Television Network ( CGTN): – URL : ­, 11/16/2021 .
  11. Maslov A.A. Traditional political culture of China, identity ­and new forms of implementation of soft power // Notebooks on conservatism: Almanac of the ISEPI Foundation: No. 5. – M.: Non-profit Fund – Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Research (ISEPI Foundation), 2015. – P. 119 -121.


Erkin Baidarov specially for the China Studies Centre