Making Every Effort for Peace and Development and Shouldering the Responsibility for Solidarity and Progress
Statement by H.E. Wang Yi
State Councilor and Foreign Minister of
The People's Republic of ChinaAt the General Debate of the 77th Session of
The United Nations General Assembly
New York, September 24, 2022
We are at a time fraught with challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has kept resurfacing. Global security faces uncertainty. Global economic recovery is fragile and unsteady, and various risks and crises are emerging. The world has entered a new phase of turbulence and transformation. Changes unseen in a century are accelerating.
But we are also at a time full of hope. The world continues to move toward multi-polarity; economic globalization is deepening, and our societies are becoming increasingly digitized and culturally diversified. Indeed, countries are becoming ever more interconnected and interdependent. Peace and development remain the underlying trend of our times. Around the world, the people's call for progress and cooperation is getting louder than ever before.
How should we respond to the call of our times and ride on the trend of history to build a community with a shared future for mankind? China's answer is firm and clear:
First, we must uphold peace and oppose war and turbulence. Chinese President Xi Jinping notes that peace, like air and sunshine, is hardly noticed when we are benefiting from it. But none of us can live without it. Peace is crucial for our future and it underpins common security of all countries. Turbulence and war can only open Pandora's box, and he who instigates a proxy war can easily burn his own hands. Pursuing one's own absolute security can only undermine global strategic stability. We should remain committed to addressing differences through peaceful means and resolving disputes through dialogue and consultation.
Second, we must pursue development and eliminate poverty. Development holds the key to resolving difficult issues and delivering a happy life to our people. We should place development at the center of the international agenda, build international consensus on promoting development, and uphold all countries' legitimate right to development. We should foster new drivers for global development, forge a global development partnership, and see that everyone in every country benefits more from the fruits of development in a more equitable way.
Third, we must remain open and oppose exclusion. President Xi Jinping once pointed out that openness is the sure way to realize human prosperity and advancement. Protectionism can only boomerang and decoupling and supply chain disruption will hurt both those who practice them and others. We should stay true to openness and inclusiveness and tear down fences and barriers that hinder the free flow of factors of production. We should uphold the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core and endeavor to build an open world economy.
Fourth, we must stay engaged in cooperation and oppose confrontation. As we face a host of global challenges, our biggest strength will come from solidarity; our best strategy is to stick together through thick and thin; and the brightest prospect is win-win cooperation. It is only natural that countries sometimes have problems and differences among them, but they should increase mutual understanding on the basis of equality and respect. We should engage in dialogue, consultation and win-win cooperation, and reject conflict, coercion and zero-sum game. We should jointly oppose group politics and bloc confrontation.
Fifth, we must strengthen solidarity and oppose division. President Xi Jinping once stated that countries around the world are like passengers aboard the same ship who share a common stake. All of us passengers should pull together to navigate the ship through storm toward a bright future. Our world must embrace diverse civilizations if it is to make continuous advances, and mankind must pursue an inclusive path if it is to achieve modernization. Peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom are common values of humanity. Difference in system should not be used as an excuse to create division; still less should democracy and human rights be used as tools or weapons to achieve political ends. We should stand against drawing lines on ideological grounds, and we should work together to expand common ground and convergence of interests to promote world peace and development.
Sixth, we must uphold equity and oppose bullying. Mutual respect and equality of countries big and small is a primary principle of the UN Charter. Major international issues should be handled by all countries, and international rules should be drawn up by all countries together. No country is above others, and no country should abuse its power to bully other sovereign countries. We should promote and practice true multilateralism, promote equality of all countries in terms of rights, rules and opportunities, and build a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, equity and justice, and win-win cooperation.
China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the world's largest developing country, is committed to boosting solidarity and cooperation with other countries. It will follow the trend of the times and pursue the shared interests of the vast majority of countries.
China has been a builder of world peace. We have actively promoted the cause for international peace and participated in the international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation process. China is the top contributor of peacekeeping personnel among the permanent members of the UN Security Council; and it is the second largest funding contributor to both the UN and its peacekeeping operations. China is the only country in the world that pledges to "keep to a path of peaceful development" in its Constitution. It is the only one among the five Nuclear-Weapon States that is committed to no-first-use of nuclear weapons. China has thus made important contribution to maintaining global strategic stability.
In response to various security challenges facing the world, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Security Initiative. He called on the international community to pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, to abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, to take the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously, to peacefully resolve disputes through dialogue and consultation, and to maintain security in both traditional and non-traditional domains. By putting forward this initiative, he has contributed China's vision to reducing the peace deficit facing humanity and provided China's input to meeting global security challenges.
China has been a contributor to global development. We have endeavored to build a system of high-standard opening-up and safeguard the security and stability of global industrial and supply chains. China is a major trading partner of over 130 countries and regions. Contributing about 30 percent of annual global growth, China is the biggest engine driving the global economy. China is a pacesetter in implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It has met the poverty reduction goal ten years ahead of the envisioned timeframe and accounts for 70 percent of the gains in global poverty reduction. China is also an active participant in global governance and South-South cooperation. It set up the China-UN Peace and Development Trust Fund and the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund. It has provided development aid to more than 160 countries in need, and extended more debt-service payments owed by developing countries than any other G20 member state.
At the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative. Putting the people at the center, this initiative is a rallying call to refocus attention of the international community on development and build a global community of development. At the recent High-level Dialogue on Global Development he chaired, President Xi Jinping announced several dozen concrete major steps to implement this initiative, generating strong impetus for accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. On the margins of this General Assembly session, China has hosted a ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative, building more consensus on pursuing this initiative. As China forges ahead, its fast train of development will continue to drive global growth and deliver more benefits to the people of all countries.
China has been a defender of the international order. We are committed to upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, the international system with the UN at its core and the international order based on international law. China has been involved in multilateral affairs in all fields. It is a member of almost all universal inter-governmental organizations and a party to over 600 international conventions. It has concluded more than 27,000 bilateral treaties and fulfilled in good faith its international obligations. China abides by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and has made relentless efforts to protect and strengthen its human rights. At the same time, China is firmly against attempts to politicize human rights and has worked to advance the healthy development of international human rights cooperation.
As a member of the developing world, China will forever stand together with other developing countries. We are heartened to see the rapid progress achieved by the developing world in recent years, and we will continue to speak up for other developing countries, help them overcome difficulties and fully support efforts in raising the representation and say of developing countries in international affairs. Developing countries are no longer the "silent majority" in international and multilateral processes. With stronger solidarity among ourselves, we China and other developing countries have spoken out for justice, and we have become a pillar of promoting development cooperation and safeguarding equity and justice.
China has been a provider of public goods. In the face of COVID-19, China has made all-out efforts to advance and engage in global cooperation against the pandemic. We have done our best to provide anti-pandemic supplies and shared our practices on combating the virus. China is among the first to promise making COVID-19 vaccines a global public good and to support waiving intellectual property rights on the vaccines. China has provided over 2.2 billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations.
In response to tough challenges confronting global development, President Xi Jinping proposed to advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, an initiative that has been widely endorsed by the international community. China has signed cooperation documents with 149 countries and 32 international organizations. We have set up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund, thus building the most extensive, inclusive and largest platforms for international cooperation.
In response to the shared concerns of various countries about data security, we launched the Global Initiative on Data Security as our contribution to formulating rules on global data security.
In response to climate change, China is committed to pursuing a development path that puts ecological conservation first, one of green and low-carbon growth. We announced the ambitious carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals and are working to implement the Paris Agreement. China accounts for one-fourth of all the trees planted globally. We have been making unremitting efforts to foster a community of life for man and Nature.
In response to global food security challenges, China has put forth a cooperation initiative on global food security. This year, we have provided over 15,000 tons of emergency humanitarian food assistance to other developing countries in need.
China has been a mediator of hotspot issues. As a responsible major country, China has explored workable Chinese approaches to solving hotspot issues. While adhering to the principle of non-interference in others' domestic affairs and respecting the will and needs of the countries concerned, China has endeavored to help settle hotspot issues in a constructive way. Our approach is one of promoting peace through negotiation, one that is both fair and pragmatic and that aims to address both the symptoms and root causes of hotspot issues.
China supports all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis. The pressing priority is to restore peace through negotiation. To achieve a fundamental solution, it is important to address the legitimate security concerns of all parties concerned and build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture. We call on all parties concerned to keep the crisis from spilling over and protect the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.
The Palestinian question is at the heart of the Middle East issue. Justice is already late in coming, but it must not be absent. The two-state solution is crucial for upholding fairness and justice. China will continue to support the Palestinian people in pursuing their just cause of restoring legitimate national rights.
To resolve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, it is important to address its root cause. We need to follow the dual-track approach and take phased and synchronized steps. We should jointly uphold peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and resolve the issue through dialogue and consultation.
Afghanistan is in a critical transition from chaos to order. The right way forward is to put in place an inclusive political framework and adopt moderate policies. The goal should be to resume economic growth and improve people's lives. To achieve this goal, Afghanistan should combat terrorism and integrate itself into the region.
A small number of countries have arbitrarily imposed unilateral sanctions, cut off development aid and frozen lawful assets of other countries. This is an unacceptable practice that must be corrected. China firmly supports the Cuban people in their just struggle to defend their sovereignty and oppose external interference and blockade.
The abuse of guns is becoming an increasingly serious problem across the world. Here, I announce that China has decided to launch its domestic procedure to ratify the UN's Firearms Protocol, a step that will contribute to strengthening global cooperation on gun control and closing the security deficit.
Since ancient times, Taiwan has been an inalienable part of China's territory. China's sovereignty and territorial integrity has never been severed and the fact that the mainland and Taiwan belong to one and same China has never changed. All of us Chinese have never ceased our efforts to realize China's reunification.
It is explicitly stated in the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation issued 70-odd years ago that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, including Taiwan and the Penghu Islands, shall be restored to China. This constitutes an important part of the post-war international order. Fifty-one years ago, right in this august hall, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758 with an overwhelming majority, which decided to restore the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China in the UN and to expel the "representatives" of the Taiwan authorities from the place which they had unlawfully occupied. The so-called "dual representation" proposal put forth by the United States and a few other countries to keep Taiwan's seat in the UN became a piece of waste paper. Once and for all, Resolution 2758 resolved, politically, legally and procedurally, the issue of the representation of the whole of China, including Taiwan, in the UN and international institutions. It completely blocked any attempt by anyone or any country to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan".
The one-China principle has become a basic norm in international relations and a general consensus of the international community. When entering into diplomatic relations with China, 181 countries all recognized and accepted that there is but one China in the world and Taiwan is a part of China, and that the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. By firmly upholding the one-China principle, China is not only upholding its sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also truly safeguarding peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and non-interference in others' internal affairs, a basic norm of international relations that is of vital importance to the large number of developing countries.
China will continue to endeavor to achieve peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and greatest efforts. To realize this goal, we must combat "Taiwan independence" separatist activities with the firmest resolve and take the most forceful steps to repulse interference by external groups. Only by resolutely forestalling in accordance with the law separatist activities can we forge a true foundation for peaceful reunification. Only when China is completely reunified can there be enduring peace across the Taiwan Strait. Any scheme to interfere in China's internal affairs is bound to meet the strong opposition of all us Chinese, and any move to obstruct China's cause of reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history.
The international community closely follows China's development. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) convened ten years ago, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. In the past decade, China has made historic achievements and transformation in pursuing economic and social development. In this decade, it has also realized a historic leap in its relations with the world and made historic contributions to the international community.
China is fully implementing a new development philosophy featuring innovative, coordinated, green and open development for all, and it is pursuing high-quality development and fostering a new development paradigm. With the strong leadership of the CPC, concerted efforts of the 1.4 billion people, the notable strengths of socialism with Chinese characteristics, a solid foundation underpinning sustained rapid development, and strong confidence in achieving development through its own efforts, China will enjoy sustained and sound development, usher in even brighter prospects, and make more splendid miracles come true.
As China has one-fifth of the global population, its march toward modernization has important, far-reaching significance for the world. The path that China pursues is one of peace and development, not one of plunder and colonialism; it is a path of win-win cooperation, not one of zero-sum game; and it is one of harmony between man and Nature, not one of destructive exploitation of resources. We will continue to contribute our input to meeting the challenges facing human development, and make our contribution to creating a new form of human advancement.
Next month, the CPC will convene its 20th National Congress in Beijing. This Congress will, in response to the expectation of all the Chinese people, set well-conceived goals and tasks for China's development in the next five years and beyond, and it will draw an overarching plan for China's future development. Having reached a new historical starting point, China will follow the Chinese path to modernization to achieve the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. China will work with other countries to make every effort for peace and development, shoulder the responsibility for solidarity and progress, build a community with a shared future for mankind, and embrace an even better world.
Thank you all!