Xi urges UN to play central role in global governance

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) meets with Peter Thomson (L), president of the 71st session of United Nations General Assembly, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Geneva, Switzerland, Jan. 18, 2017. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)

GENEVA, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Wednesday that the United Nations, the most universal, representative and authoritative inter-governmental organization, should play a central role in global governance.

Xi made the remarks while meeting with Peter Thomson, president of the 71st UN General Assembly, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the UN office in Geneva.

China will stick to the path of multilateralism, safeguard UN charters and related principles, and support the world body's bigger role in maintaining world peace and promoting common development, he said.

In the current situation, the UN's role needs to be strengthened instead of being weakened, he said, adding that multilateralism should be upheld in face of all kinds of global threats and challenges.

The Chinese president also said that while economic globalization is a result of growth in productivity and the tide of history, it needs to be properly managed and guided, so as to unleash more of its dividends.

"The interests of all nations are connected, while their future is shared. The old way of chasing profits and hegemony must be banished, and should be replaced with a new pattern of using rules and institutions to better coordinate relationships and interests," he said.

He said China always advocates that all nations are equal and can follow the development path which can best accommodate their different conditions, adding that Beijing would like to, via the United Nations, share its experience in running the country.

"We should advance democracy in international relations and reject dominance by just one or several countries. All countries should jointly shape the future of the world, write international rules, manage global affairs and ensure that development outcomes are shared by all," he said.

For their part, Thomson and Guterres noted that the Chinese president had reaffirmed China's commitment to multilateralism in his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos Tuesday.

Xi's statement, which has been highly regarded by the international community, is a key guarantor for the UN and the multilateral enterprise, they noted.

They also applauded China's long-term contribution to combating climate change, reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development, and supporting peacekeeping missions.

The UN is willing to join China in promoting world peace and development, and in realizing the goal of building a community of shared future for mankind, said the two senior UN officials.


In his speech delivered at the Palace of Nations, Xi listed such priorities as partnership, security, growth, inter-civilization exchanges and ecosystem in building a community of shared future for mankind.

"We should stay committed to building a world of lasting peace through dialogue and consultation," he said, noting that countries should foster partnerships based on dialogue, non-confrontation and non-alliance.

"Nuclear weapons, the Sword of Damocles that hangs over mankind, should be completely prohibited and thoroughly destroyed over time to make the world free of nuclear weapons," the president said.

He urged the international community to build a world of common security for all through joint efforts, saying that all countries should pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.

China has decided to provide an additional 200 million yuan (about 29 million U.S. dollars) of humanitarian assistance for refugees and the displaced of Syria, he announced.

In his vision of building a world of common prosperity through win-win cooperation, Xi advocated building an open world economy while warning against protectionism.

"Trade protectionism and self-isolation will benefit no one," he said.

"We should strengthen coordination and improve governance so as to ensure sound growth of economic globalization and make it open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all," he said.

Xi also suggested that the international community build an open and inclusive world through exchanges and mutual learning, and make the world clean and beautiful by pursuing green and low-carbon development.

"We should pursue green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable way of life and production, advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in a balanced manner and explore a model of sound development that ensures growth, better lives and a good environment," he said.


In his speech, President Xi said that China remains unchanged in its commitment to upholding world peace.

"For several millennia, peace has been in the blood of us Chinese and a part of our DNA," said Xi.

"Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you," he quoted from Confucius, a great ancient Chinese sage.

He noted that China has grown from a poor and weak country to the world's second largest economy not by committing military expansion or colonial plunder, but through the hard work of its people and their efforts to uphold peace.

"China will never waver in its pursuit of peaceful development. No matter how strong its economy grows, China will never seek hegemony, expansion or sphere of influence. History has borne this out and will continue to do so," he vowed.

The Chinese leader also pledged that China will remain unchanged in its commitment to pursue common development.

"China's development has been possible because of the world, and China has contributed to the world's development. We will continue to pursue a win-win strategy of opening-up, share our development opportunities with other countries and welcome them aboard the fast train of China's development," said Xi.

According to Xi, China has provided foreign countries with over 400 billion yuan (about 58.4 billion U.S. dollars) of aid between 1950 and 2016, while since the outbreak of the international financial crisis, China has contributed to over 30 percent of global growth each year on average.

He went on by saying that in the coming five years, China will import eight trillion dollars of goods, attract 600 billion dollars of foreign investment, make 750 billion dollars of outbound investment, adding that Chinese tourists will make 700 million outbound visits.

"China remains unchanged in its commitment to foster partnerships," he said in the speech.

He also said that China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace, and is ready to enhance friendship and cooperation with all other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

China has formed partnerships of various forms with over 90 countries and regional organizations, and will build a circle of friends across the world, he said.

The Chinese president said China will strive to build a new model of major country relations with the United States, a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination with Russia, partnership for peace, growth, reform and among different civilizations with Europe, and a partnership of unity and cooperation with BRICS countries.

China is also going to remain unchanged in its commitment to multilateralism, said the president.

He hailed multilateralism as an effective way to preserve peace and promote development, saying that for decades, the UN and other international bodies have made a universally recognized contribution to maintaining global peace and sustaining development.

China will firmly uphold the international system with the UN as its core, the basic norms governing international relations embodied in the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, the authority and stature of the UN, and its core role in international affairs, he added.

Also on Wednesday, the Chinese government presented a cloisonne vase to the UNOG, which was unveiled by President Xi and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.



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