Home NEWS International News China Media Group picks the world’s top 10 news events of 2023

China Media Group picks the world’s top 10 news events of 2023

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, attends the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting via video link and delivers a keynote address in Beijing, on March 15, 2023.

China Media Group on Wednesday unveiled its picks for the top 10 international news stories of 2023, at a press conference at the Media Center in Beijing.

  1. Chinese leadership’s diplomacy injects stability into a turbulent world

During a state visit to Russia in March, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era. In November, in San Francisco, Xi and U.S. President Joe Biden charted the course for improving ties between the world’s two largest economies.

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In March, Xi proposed the Global Civilization Initiative at the Communist Party of China in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting. In May, at the China-Central Asia Summit in northwest China’s Xi’an City, the Chinese president and his counterparts launched the China+Central Asia (C+C5) cooperation mechanism.

In August, Xi attended the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, and paid a state visit to the country.

In December, Xi paid a state visit to Vietnam, reaching a bilateral agreement to build a China-Vietnam community with a shared future that carries strategic significance.

Xi also met with many leaders, senior politicians and heads of international organizations throughout the year.

  1. China announces eight major steps for global modernization as BRI turns 10

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative. Over the past decade, over 150 countries and over 30 international organizations have signed cooperation documents. In October, China hosted the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

  1. New round of conflict breaks out between Hamas and Israel

On October 7, a new round of conflict erupted between Hamas and Israel, resulting in over 20,000 fatalities on both sides combined, an overwhelming majority of them Palestinians. Israel’s military actions in the Gaza Strip and the blockade of it have led to a humanitarian disaster. Despite a temporary humanitarian ceasefire mediated by the international community, a lasting and sustainable ceasefire has yet to be achieved. Meanwhile, ongoing risks of the conflict spilling over persist.

The international community has been calling for an immediate ceasefire and a return to the path of resolving the Palestine-Israel issue through the two-state solution. China, as the rotating president of the United Nations Security Council for November, played a role in passing the first resolution on the issue at the Security Council since late 2016. Regional and international organizations such as the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation are actively engaged in mediation efforts.

  1. China brokers Saudi-Iran reconciliation, driving further rapprochement efforts across the Middle East

In March 2023, China, Saudi Arabia and Iran issued a trilateral statement in Beijing, announcing Riyadh and Tehran agreed to resume diplomatic ties. The agreement was officialized the following month.

The China-brokered reconciliation has generated a ripple effect across the Middle East: diplomatic ties were also revived between Bahrain and Qatar in April, Egypt and Türkiye in July, and Syria and Saudi Arabia in December.

  1. Global economic recovery stutters, with China a bright spot

The world economy remains in recovery, but at a slow and uneven pace. The International Monetary Fund predicts advanced economies will see a 1.1 percent drop in economic growth in 2023. Developing nations and emerging economies are poised to show stronger-than-expected resilience. Major international organizations project a growth rate of five percent for China in 2023, making it a major growth engine for both the Asia-Pacific and the world.

  1. Russia-Ukraine conflict reaches deadlock

The Russia-Ukraine conflict, which began in February 2022, fell into a deadlock in 2023. Ukraine’s summer counter-offensive failed to achieve a major breakthrough, and Russia announced a planned expansion of its armed forces.

Despite continued Western support to Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, the U.S. Congress rejected a new aid bill, and the EU failed to agree on a new aid package.

  1. SCO and BRICS expand, African Union joins G20

In July, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization granted Iran full membership at its meeting of the Council of Heads of State.

In August, at the BRICS Summit in South Africa, it was announced that six countries would be offered membership in the bloc – Iran, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Upon acceptance, membership in the group will take effect on January 1, 2024.

In September, at the G20 summit, the African Union became the second regional organization to join the bloc, after the European Union.

  1. El Nino leads to frequent extreme weather events in ‘warmest year’ on record

The year 2023 saw frequent extreme weather events due to climate change. There were cyclones in southeastern Africa and South Asia, record high temperatures in southern Europe and North Africa, and deadly wildfires in North America, Europe, and Australia. The World Meteorological Organization has said that 2023 is set to become the “warmest year” on record.

  1. AI embraces exponential growth amid calls for balance between development and governance

The application of artificial intelligence saw a surge in 2023, with regulation and governance becoming a global concern. In July, the UN called for containment of technological risks and strengthening of global governance.

In October, China proposed the Global AI Governance Initiative to make AI technologies more secure, reliable, controllable and equitable.

The UK hosted the first global AI Safety Summit in November, producing the ground-breaking Bletchley Declaration.

In December, the EU’s Parliament and Council negotiators reached what looks set to become the world’s first-ever comprehensive legal framework on artificial intelligence.

  1. Kevin McCarthy ousted as U.S. House speaker as political polarization worsens

U.S. politics continued to polarize and divide in 2023. In January, Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy became House Speaker after 15 rounds of voting in four days. But just nine months later, he became the first House speaker to be ousted, following a no-confidence vote.

The two parties’ standoff on the debt ceiling and federal budget twice threatened a federal government shutdown. Hope remained dim for gun control legislation, despite the fact that gun violence claimed over 40,000 lives in 2023.

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