Below is the full statement of Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, during his contribution to the general debate at the 76th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly held in New York City on Tuesday, September 21:
The year 2021 is a truly remarkable one for the Chinese people. This year marks the centenary of the Communist Party of China. It is also the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations, a historic event [that] will be solemnly commemorated by China. We will continue our active efforts to take China’s cooperation with the United Nations to a new level and make new and greater contributions to advancing the noble cause of the UN.
A year ago, global leaders attended the high-level meetings marking the 75th anniversary of the UN and issued a declaration pledging to fight COVID-19 in solidarity, tackle challenges together, uphold multilateralism, strengthen the role of the UN, and work for the common future of present and coming generations.
One year on, our world is facing the combined impacts of changes unseen in a century and the COVID-19 pandemic. In all countries, people long for peace and development more than ever before, their call for equity and justice is growing stronger, and they are more determined in pursuing win-win cooperation.
Right now, COVID-19 is still raging in the world, and profound changes are taking place in human society. The world has entered a period of new turbulence and transformation. It falls on each and every responsible statesman to answer the questions of our times and make a historical choice with confidence, courage and a sense of mission.
Firstly, we must beat COVID-19 and win this decisive fight crucial to the future of humanity
The history of world civilisation is also one of fighting pandemics. Rising to challenges, humanity has always emerged in triumph and achieved greater development and advancement. The current pandemic may appear overwhelming, but we humanity will surely overcome it and prevail.
We should always put people and their lives first, and care about the life, value and dignity of every individual. We need to respect science, take a science-based approach, and follow the laws of science. We need to both follow routine, targeted COVID-19 protocols and take emergency response measures, and both carry-out epidemic control and promote economic and social development. We need to enhance coordinated global COVID-19 response and minimize the risk of cross-border virus transmission.
Vaccination is our powerful weapon against COVID-19. I have stressed on many occasions the need to make vaccines a global public good and ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries. Of pressing priority is to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines globally. China will strive to provide a total of two billion doses of vaccines to the world by the end of this year. In addition to donating 100 million US dollars to COVAX, China will donate 100 million doses of vaccines to other developing countries in the course of this year. China will continue to support and engage in global science-based origins tracing, and stands firmly opposed to political manoeuvring in whatever form.
Second, we must revitalise the economy and pursue more robust, greener and more balanced global development
Development holds the key to people’s well-being. Facing the severe shocks of COVID-19, we need to work together to steer global development toward a new stage of balanced, coordinated and inclusive growth. To this end, I would like to propose a Global Development Initiative:
- Staying committed to development as a priority
We need to put development high on the global macro policy agenda, strengthen policy coordination among major economies, and ensure policy continuity, consistency and sustainability. We need to foster global development partnerships that are more equal and balanced, forge greater synergy among multilateral development cooperation processes, and speed up the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- Staying committed to a people-centred approach
We should safeguard and improve people’s livelihoods and protect and promote human rights through development, and make sure that development is for the people and by the people, and that its fruits are shared among the people. We should continue our work so that the people will have a greater sense of happiness, benefit and security, and achieve well-rounded development.
- Staying committed to benefits for all
We should care about the special needs of developing countries. We may employ such means as debt suspension and development aid to help developing countries, particularly vulnerable ones facing exceptional difficulties, with emphasis on addressing unbalanced and inadequate development among and within countries.
- Staying committed to innovation-driven development
We need to seize the historic opportunities created by the latest round of technological revolution and industrial transformation, redouble efforts to harness technological achievements to boost productivity, and foster an open, fair, equitable and non-discriminatory environment for the development of science and technology. We should foster new growth drivers in the post-COVID era and jointly achieve leapfrog development.
- Staying committed to harmony between man and nature
We need to improve global environmental governance, actively respond to climate change and create a community of life for man and nature. We need to accelerate the transition to a green and low-carbon economy and achieve green recovery and development. China will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. This requires tremendous hard work, and we will make every effort to meet these goals. China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad.
- Staying committed to results-oriented actions
We need to increase input in development, advance on a priority basis cooperation on poverty alleviation, food security, COVID-19 response and vaccines, development financing, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity, among other areas, and accelerate implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, so as to build a global community of development with a shared future. China has pledged an additional three billion US dollars of international assistance in the next three years to support developing countries in responding to COVID-19 and promoting economic and social recovery.
Third, we must strengthen solidarity and promote mutual respect and win-win cooperation in conducting international relations
A world of peace and development should embrace civilizations of various forms, and must accommodate diverse paths to modernisation. Democracy is not a special right reserved to an individual country, but a right for the people of all countries to enjoy. Recent developments in the global situation show once again that military intervention from the outside and so-called democratic transformation entail nothing but harm. We need to advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity, and reject the practice of forming small circles or zero-sum games.
Differences and problems among countries, hardly avoidable, need to be handled through dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect. One country’s success does not have to mean another country’s failure, and the world is big enough to accommodate common development and progress of all countries. We need to pursue dialogue and inclusiveness over confrontation and exclusion. We need to build a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation, and do the best we can to expand the convergence of our interests and achieve the biggest synergy possible.
The Chinese people have always celebrated and striven to pursue the vision of peace, amity and harmony. China has never and will never invade or bully others, or seek hegemony. China is always a builder of world peace, contributor to global development, defender of the international order and provider of public goods. China will continue to bring the world new opportunities through its new development.
Fourth, we must improve global governance and practice true multilateralism
In the world, there is only one international system, i.e. the international system with the United Nations at its core. There is only one international order, i.e. the international order underpinned by international law. And there is only one set of rules, i.e. the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
The UN should hold high the banner of true multilateralism and serve as the central platform for countries to jointly safeguard universal security, share development achievements and chart the course for the future of the world. The UN should stay committed to ensuring a stable international order, increasing the representation and say of developing countries in international affairs, and taking the lead in advancing democracy and rule of law in international relations. The UN should advance, in a balanced manner, work in all the three areas of security, development and human rights. It should set common agenda, highlight pressing issues and focus on real actions, and see to it that commitments made by all parties to multilateralism are truly delivered.
The world is once again at a historical crossroads. I am convinced that the trend of peace, development and advancement for humanity is irresistible. Let us bolster confidence and jointly address global threats and challenges, and work together to build a community with a shared future for mankind and a better world for all.”