From September 26-28, Chinese President Xi Jinping traveled to New York for a series of events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. President Xi made four important speeches, where he highlighted China’s commitment to promote common development of the world as a responsible major developing country.
At the Sustainable Development Summit, President Xi elaborated the concept of common development with a four-point proposal, and made a major pledge to promote South-South cooperation. Common development should be underpinned by equitable, open, comprehensive and innovation-driven development. In order to advance the post-2015 development agenda, a successor development plan to the Millennium Development Goals, President Xi offered a four-point proposal on development, including building capabilities, improving the environment for development, upgrading partnerships, and strengthening coordination.
It was also announced that China will set up a fund, with an initial contribution of $2 billion, to support South-South cooperation and assist developing countries in implementing their post-2015 development agenda. The fund is expected to reach $12 billion by 2030. China will also exempt interest-free loans due by 2015 year end owed by LDCs to China.
At the South-South Cooperation Roundtable, President Xi announced a series of initiatives to promote South-South cooperation at a session he co-chaired. China proposed that developing countries should: First, explore diversified paths of development; second, conjoin their development strategies; third, strive for practical development results; fourth, make concerted efforts to improve the global development framework. In order to help other developing countries to grow their economies and improve people’s livelihood, China will carry out the “Six 100s” initiative, according to which it will make available to other developing countries in the next five years 100 poverty-reduction programs, 100 agricultural cooperation projects, 100 trade promotion and aid programs, 100 environmental protection and climate change programs, 100 hospitals and clinics, and 100 schools and vocational training centers. These initiatives are applauded by other governments and international organizations, hailing China’s leadership role in this regard. Speaking at the Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, President Xi pledged China’s full support to the cause of women, by fulfilling women’s important role as “holding up half the sky”. The president put forward a four-point proposal on promoting gender equality and women’s all-round development worldwide. First, the world should strive for women’s development in tandem with social and economic progress; second, women’s rights and interests should be better protected in all countries; third, joint efforts should be made to build harmonious and inclusive societies; fourth, work to foster a global environment favorable for women’s development.
To support these proposals, China will launch a series of initiatives. It will donate $10 million to UN Women. In the coming five years, it will help other developing countries build 100 “health projects for women and children,” and implement 100 “happy campus projects” to finance the schooling of poor girls and raise girls’ school enrollment rate. Also, China will host 30,000 women from developing countries for training programs in China and provide 100,000 skills-training opportunities in local communities for other developing countries.
At the UN General Assembly, President Xi made a stellar debut at the assembly, delivering an address entitled “Working Together to Forge a New Partnership of Win-Win Cooperation and Create a Community of Shared Future for Mankind”. He shared his insights on the way forward to settle conflicts in order to foster peace and harmonious growth.
In his address, President Xi called for the international community to build a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation at the core, and foster a community of common destiny based on five pillars.
First, on the political front, the world should be committed to multilateralism based on partnership on an equal footing and mutual accommodation. We should adopt a new vision that seeks win-win outcomes for all and resolve disputes and differences through dialogue and consultation. All countries should follow the principles of no conflict, no confrontation, and forge partnership but not alliance in managing state-to-state relations.
Second, on the security front, the Cold War mentality must be abandoned, in favor of a new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. We should give full play to the central role of the United Nations and its Security Council in ending conflict and keeping peace.
Third, in order to advance economic growth, countries should strive for open, innovative, inclusive growth that benefits all. Efforts must be made to create synergy between the market forces and government functions and achieve both efficiency and fairness.
Fourth, in their interactions, civilizations must accept differences. Only through mutual respect, mutual learning and harmonious coexistence can the world maintain its diversity and thrive.
Fifth, on the ecology front, all members of the international community should respect nature, follow nature’s ways and protect nature. We should firmly pursue green, low-carbon, and sustainable development.
In his speech, President Xi further expounded on China’s role in the global system, both in the present and the future. China will continue to participate in building world peace, and be committed to peaceful development. No matter how the international landscape may evolve, China will never pursue hegemony, expansion or a sphere of influence.
President Xi announced three new endeavors by China to promote peace in the world, including the establishment of a 10-year, $1 billion China-UN peace and development fund to support the UN’s work. Also, China will join the new UN Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System and build a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops. In addition, China will provide a total of US$100 million in free military assistance to the African Union in the next five years to support its military capacity building.
The four addresses made by President Xi at the UN summits serve to uphold the modern global system anchored by the purpose and principles of the UN Charter, and reflect positively on China’s international standing. Going forward, China will remain committed to supporting the cause of the UN, and live up to its distinctive responsibilities of promoting world peace and development.