|Written Statement by Wang Zhigang, Minister of Science and Technology of China, at the Eighth Multi-stakeholder Forum On Science, Technology and Innovation for The Sustainable Development Goals|
It gives me great pleasure to attend the Eighth Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals and speak on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.
Since the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted at the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development in 2015, it has become a shared mission for all countries to promote green growth and economic transformation for future development. As the world’s largest developing country, China has always been an important participant and promoter of global sustainable development. Chinese President Xi Jinping attaches great importance to ecological progress in China as well as global sustainable development, announcing in September 2020 at the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly that China aims to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. In September 2021, President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Development Initiative (GDI), which has received active support from over 100 countries and many international organizations.
In order to advance the 2030 Agenda and GDI, the Chinese Government rolled out China National Program for Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, established “the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund”, and drafted a list of items for practical cooperation in response to the expectations of developing countries about poverty reduction, food security, anti-pandemic and vaccine access, green and low-carbon development, and economic restructuring.
China has always regarded STI as a foundational pillar for promoting sustainable development and has implemented the innovation-driven development strategy. China’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index has moved up from 34th in 2012 to 11th in 2022. We have set up 11 national innovation demonstration zones for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, formulated the 2022-2030 Science and Technology Action Plan on Carbon Peaking and Neutrality and implemented the “three action plans” for air, water and soil pollution control, greatly improving the environment nationwide and making “Building a Beautiful China” a social consensus. Science, technology and innovation has provided practical solutions to disease control and treatment, public healthcare, population aging, targeted poverty alleviation and rural revitalization, creating a poverty reduction magic in world history. China has taken early measures in the R&D, promotion and application of green and low-carbon technologies. The industry scale of solar PV, wind power and new energy vehicles all rank world top. Through years of practice, China has developed its mature and effective solutions targeting the 2030 Agenda, contributing Chinese wisdom and experience which can be promoted to other countries.
The Chinese Government has always acted on the principle of openness, inclusiveness and mutual benefit in carrying out international STI cooperation. We have been committed to building an internationalized environment for scientific research, working with other countries to address global challenges, and bringing more knowledge and certainties to human progress against the unknown and uncertainties. We have made active efforts to initiate and participate in international big science programs and projects, and implement the Action Plan for Belt and Road STI Cooperation. We have launched the BRICS Vaccine R&D center, established the South-South Cooperation Center for Technology Transfer, deepened scientific and technological cooperation with developing countries, and conducted joint demonstration projects in fields such as renewable energy technology transfer. We have actively responded to the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science, and promoted global cooperation in the advancement and governance of open science in accordance with the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. We have earnestly fulfilled our international obligations and solemn commitments of making vaccines a global public good, providing vaccine assistance to nearly 100 countries. This is a concrete action to support global public health.
At present, China has embarked on a new journey to socio-economic high-quality development and build a modern socialist country in all respects. The Chinese modernization has not only benefited the 1.4 billion Chinese people, but will also have a significant impact on world civilization progress and sustainable development. Both history and reality tell us that STI is the key force in advancing human civilization and tackling common challenges for humanity. We need to seek new approaches and solutions from STI. Only by open cooperation based on equality and mutual benefit can we promote global efforts in 2030 Agenda and better enjoy the fruits of sustainable development. Let us join hands in enabling STI to light up humanity’s way toward sustainable development.