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Ambassador Zhang Jun Briefs Chinese and Foreign Media on President Xi Jinping's Statement at the General Debate of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly and the Participation of the Chinese Delegation at High-level Meetings

2021-09-28 19:59

On September 28, Ambassador Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of the China to the United Nations, briefed Chinese and foreign media via video link on President Xi Jinping's statement at the General Debate of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly and the participation of the Chinese delegation at the high-level meetings. He also answered questions on the 50th anniversary of the restoration of China's lawful seat in the UN, the Global Development Initiative, Afghanistan, China-US relations, etc. Below is the full text of his briefing:

Yesterday we wrapped up the high-level week of the 76th Session of UNGA. With profound changes and the pandemic unseen in a century, the world has entered a period of new turbulence and transformation. Against such background, this year's high-level week has drawn a lot of attention.

China attaches great importance to this year's General Assembly. President Xi Jinping attended the General Debate with a pre-recorded statement. In his statement, President Xi proposed a Global Development Initiative, and laid out China's propositions on COVID-19 response, economic recovery, international relations and global governance, offering China's solutions to global challenges as the world is again at a historical crossroads. During the high-level week, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended virtually the high-level meeting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, the meeting of P5 foreign ministers and the G20 foreign ministers' meeting on Afghanistan. He also had video meetings with Secretary-General Guterres and President Shahid of the General Assembly. In addition, the Chinese delegation attended a couple of high-level meetings on issues including climate change, food security and energy. With concrete actions, China has contributed to meeting global challenges and supporting the UN in playing a bigger role.

First, China is committed to international cooperation against COVID-19. To prevail over the still ravaging pandemic, we need solidarity and cooperation, instead of stigmatization; we need joint prevention and control, instead of blame-shifting; we need actions, instead of empty slogans; we need greater vaccine cooperation, instead of letting vaccine nationalism out of control. In fighting the pandemic, China has made great efforts, achieved significant progress at home, and is contributing to the international anti-COVID cooperation. President Xi stressed the importance to make vaccines global public goods and ensure the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries. Of pressing priority is to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines globally. President Xi announced that China will strive to provide 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. These measures have strongly boosted the global confidence in fighting the pandemic. Many state leaders have expressed their appreciation for the Chinese government in his UNGA statements.

Second, China is committed to global common development. Development holds the key to all problems. The pandemic has dealt a severe blow to world economy and widened the development gap between the North and the South. Faced with such challenge, we should focus on the immediate needs to contain the pandemic while holding a long-term perspective to promote balanced, coordinated and inclusive global development.

The Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi grasps the pressing needs of post-COVID recovery and focuses on sustainable development for future generations. It aims to address a series of key questions about how to develop, develop for whom, and develop by whom. The initiative was well received by the international community. We are confident that China's development will continue providing important opportunities to other countries, and that the Global Development Initiative will broaden the space for international cooperation. 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. We welcome countries around the world to join this initiative to form greater synergy between our development strategies and fully implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Third, China is committed to addressing climate change with concrete actions. Climate change is a common challenge to all humanity. No country can stay unaffected. Therefore, it requires actions at the global scale. China has been taking concrete actions in dealing with climate change. Last year, President Xi announced that China will strive to peak its CO2 emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. This time, he further announced that China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build any new coal-fired power projects abroad. This is another important step China takes to deal with climate change. It was one of the most discussed and well received topics during the high-level week, and was highly praised by Secretary-General Guterres and many state leaders. China also actively participated in the UN climate change summit, the food systems summit, the high-level dialogue on energy, the Security Council open debate on climate and security, etc., offering China's wisdom to global challenges. We hope all countries, especially developed ones, will actively honor their commitments and make due contribution to addressing climate change.

Fourth, China is committed to true multilateralism. The UN is the core organization in today's international system, and multilateralism is the core ideal of today's international order. At present, the international situation is undergoing profound changes and the world is full of uncertainties and instability. At this historical crossroads, it is all the more important to uphold multilateralism and the authority of the UN. China's support for the UN is predicable, sustainable and reliable. As President Xi stressed, there is only one international system, i.e. the international system with the UN 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. This is the fundamental approach of multilateralism. During his meeting with the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi reaffirmed China's firm support to the UN and its solemn commitment to multilateralism. At the P5 foreign ministers' meeting, he highlighted the due responsibilities of the P5, and called on major countries to set a good example in upholding multilateralism, so as to boost world confidence and stability. We hope all countries will follow this direction to strengthen cooperation, instead of pursuing unilateralism or hegemony in the name of multilateralism.

Fifth, China is committed to political settlement of hotspot issues. The world we are living in is yet to be a safe place, with hotspot issues here and there. China believes that to resolve hotspot issues, we should abide by the UN Charter, leverage good offices and mediation, make good use of peacekeeping operations, exercise caution in using coercive measures, and refrain from the willful use of force. As President Xi stressed, we need to pursue dialogue and inclusiveness over confrontation and exclusion, and build a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation. This is the fundamental guidance for China's approach to hotspot issues. There are many lessons to learn from the hotspot issues that remain unresolved for many years. Recent developments in Afghanistan show once again that military intervention from the outside and so-called democratic transformation entail nothing but harm. Relevant countries must draw lessons from it and earnestly shoulder their due responsibilities. During the high-level week, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the P5 foreign ministers' meeting and the G20 foreign ministers' meeting on Afghanistan to have in-depth exchange of views on the Afghan situation, and stressed the importance to help Afghanistan deal with the humanitarian, counter-terrorism, political and economic challenges. China always stands with fairness and justice to advance the political settlement of hotspot issues and contribute to international peace and security.

In short, President Xi's UNGA statement and the participation of the Chinese delegation during the high-level week again shows that China is always a builder of world peace, a contributor of global development, a defender of international order, and a provider of public goods.

This year marks the centenary of the Communist Party of China and the 50th anniversary of the restoration of China's lawful seat in the UN. Under the CPC leadership, the Chinese people have found a development path suited to our national conditions, become the real master of the country and translated into reality the ideals of democracy, freedom, human rights and equality. This is not only China's success, but also great contribution to world peace, development and progress of humanity. As we are embarking on a new journey to fully build a modern socialist country, we will continue to bring the world new opportunities through new development, and make even greater contribution to world peace, security and stability.

On the 50th anniversary of the restoration of China's lawful seat in the UN, Ambassador Zhang said that 50 years ago on October 25, the 26th Session of the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758, deciding to restore all its rights to the People's Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the UN. This was a milestone in the history of China's diplomacy. It was a victory for New China's diplomacy, a victory for justice and fairness in the world, and a victory for the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Chins has held and will continue to hold various kinds of commemorative events to review the past, look forward to the future and deepen China-UN cooperation.

In the past 50 years, the world has undergone major changes and China has made great achievements in its development, moving ever closer to the center of world stage. My diplomatic career has been closely intertwined with the UN. Now serving as the Permanent Representative, I deeply feel that China is playing a bigger role in and making greater contribution to international affairs.

50 years on, China has been contributing greatly to world peace. China is the second largest contributor to UN regular budget and peacekeeping assessments and the top troop-contributing country among the P5, making important contribution to UN peacekeeping operations. We also advance political settlement of hotspot issues, to turn confrontation into cooperation and beat swords into plowshares. China has been fully supporting global development. We have provided nearly 400 billion yuan of development aid to 166 countries and international organizations, and supported more than 120 developing countries in implementing the Millennium Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. China has made the biggest contribution to global growth for 15 consecutive years. China has been firmly upholding the international order. China has set a good example in practicing multilateralism. We have joined almost all universal inter-governmental organizations, signed more than 600 international conventions, earnestly fulfilled our international obligations, honored our international commitments, and never arbitrarily withdrawn from international treaties or organizations. China has been actively providing public goods to the world. China advocates peaceful co-existence and win-win cooperation, promotes the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and advances high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, all of which presenting China's visions and solutions to global challenges.

China's support to the UN has been consistent, enduring and reliable. Moving forward, China will remain true to its original aspiration. We will continue to join like-minded partners to make even greater contribution to promoting world peace and development, defending and practicing true multilateralism, and upholding the authority and role of the UN.

On the Global Development Initiative, Ambassador Zhang said that many challenges facing today's world have their roots in the unbalanced, insufficient development. The Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping calls on the international community to speed up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Against the backdrop of the global pandemic, it is a highly relevant initiative with far-reaching impacts. As the largest developing country in the world, China knows very well the importance of development. Nothing can be achieved without development. At the same time, what we should pursue is sustainable, inclusive and high-quality development. The Global Development Initiative has six core commitments, namely the commitments to development as a priority, to a people-centered approach, to benefits for all, to innovation-driven development, to harmony between man and nature and to results-oriented actions. This summarizes China's own development experience, and also chimes with the development needs of countries around the world, especially developing countries.

To implement the Global Development Initiative, we must act in the spirit of extensive consultation, jointed contribution and shared benefits. We must strengthen international solidarity and cooperation for win-win outcomes and common development. We must promote the UN and the international community to further prioritize the issue of development, fully realize the urgency to deliver on SDGs, and make more pragmatic plans for their implementation. We must take actions to advance, on a priority basis, practical 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, to share the benefits of development. We must further increase the input for developing countries, focus on their actual needs, and urge developed countries to honor their commitments to offer financial, technological and capacity-building support, so that no country and no individual will be left behind.

On Afghanistan, Ambassador Zhang said that recent developments in Afghanistan have drawn wide attention from the international community. As a regional country and the largest neighbor of Afghanistan, China has been closely following the developments in the country. At present, Afghanistan faces four challenges on the humanitarian, count-terrorism, economic and political fronts. The international community should work together to help Afghanistan tide over the trying time and realize peace and stability as soon as possible. The pressing task right now is to deal with the humanitarian crisis. The international community should increase and speed up the assistance for Afghanistan, especially by providing food, materials for winter, vaccines and medicines in a timely manner. Unilateral sanctions and restrictions targeting Afghanistan must be lifted as soon as possible. The freezing of much of Afghanistan's overseas assets has intensified the humanitarian situation in the country. Those assets belong to Afghanistan and should be used for Afghanistan. They should not be used as a leverage to exert political pressure onto Afghanistan.

The Afghan Taliban's domestic and foreign policies are still in the making. The international community should take a rational and pragmatic approach to encourage and guide the Afghan Taliban to foster a broad and inclusive political structure, respect the basic rights of minorities, women and children, adopt moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, make a clean break with and crack down on all terrorist groups, including the ETIM, and develop friendly relations with countries around the world, especially its neighbors.

Ambassador Zhang stressed that Afghanistan belongs to the Afghan people. The international community must respect Afghanistan's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and thoroughly follow the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned principle, so that the future of Afghanistan will be decided by the Afghan people. Relevant countries should realize that withdrawal is not the end of responsibility, but the beginning of reflection and correction. They should shoulder responsibilities and increase economic, livelihood and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan for the peaceful reconstruction of the country. They should also draw lessons from their wrongdoings and realize that military intervention from the outside will not work, so as to avoid repeating their mistakes elsewhere.

As for the recognition of the new Afghan government and its representation in the UN, China will consider various factors and make decision based on full analysis. As a member of the Credentials Committee, China will fully consult with other members and properly handle relevant issues in accordance with international law and the rules and general practices of the General Assembly.

On China-US relations, Ambassador Zhang said that China and the US are respectively the biggest developing country and the biggest developed country. They are also the largest two economies in the world and permanent members of the Security Council. China-US relationship is very important. Both countries and the wider world will benefit from China-US cooperation and lose from China-US confrontation. China always advocates to build a China-US relationship featuring no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. At the same time, we will firmly safeguard our sovereignty, security and development interests. As President Xi said in his UNGA statement, 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. This has charted the course forward for China-US relations and other major-country relations. We noticed that President Biden said in his UNGA statement that the US is not seeking a new Cold War. We hope the US will also walk the walk by truly abandoning the Cold War mentality, stopping provoking confrontation, and stopping interfering in China's internal affairs in the name of human rights. We hope they will translate President Biden's words into concrete actions and work with China to bring China-US relations back onto the right track.

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