Xi unveils development-aid projects

President Xi Jinping announced China's participation in 600 new projects that aim to help developing countries on trade, poverty reduction and other areas, saying that China remains "as committed as ever" to South-South cooperation.

South-South cooperation refers to the mutual sharing of development solutions among developing countries, primarily in the Southern Hemisphere.

In the next five years, China will initiate 100 new poverty-reduction projects, 100 agricultural projects, 100 trade projects, 100 projects on ecological preservation and climate change, 100 new hospitals and clinics, and 100 schools and vocational training centers, Xi said.

China will set up a South-South Cooperation and Development Academy and offer $2 million in cash assistance to the World Health Organization, in addition to training half a million technical personnel from developing countries, Xi said in opening remarks at a round table on South-South cooperation at United Nations headquarters in New York on Saturday.

"There should be more communication and exchanges with developed countries and greater participation of businesses and the private sector to build multitiered partnerships and create a community of shared interests among various stakeholders," he said.

Xi said that South-South cooperation should deliver practical results rather than "just being empty talk". Projects should help create better economic, social and environmental impacts for the benefit of the general public, he said.

Ban 'deeply grateful'

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, co-host of the round table with China, said he is "deeply grateful" for China's support and commitment to nations of the global south.

"All this support will go a long way to addressing the needs of the poor and the most vulnerable and contribute political momentum for the success of the climate negotiations in Paris in December," he said. "As we implement the 2030 sustainable-development agenda, it will be important to widely share the effective policies and practices that China and other fast-growing economies in the global south are employing."

China contributes more than $4 billion a year toward South-South cooperation.

Before the round table, Gyan Chandra Acharya, undersecretary-general at the UN and representative of the least-developed countries, said that China is an example of a developing country that was able to transform its economy and lift millions out of poverty, setting an example for other nations.

"It is possible to really change the narrative of the world - which is, 'Oh, you have too many challenges, you have too many big issues'-no, you have to look at the possibilities. We can really go toward success if there is global collaboration and cooperation. I think that message coming from China will be very strong, because it has over one generation completely transformed its economy," he said.

Xi said that China, as a developing country, looks to enhance solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries - an "unshakable foundation" of China's foreign relations. The country will share more development opportunities with developing countries, he added.

"The profound friendship between the Chinese people and people of other developing countries is our most valuable asset," Xi said. "We will, as always, promote our development along with the common development of all developing countries, align our efforts to realize the Chinese Dream with the endeavors by other developing countries to attain their dreams for a better life for their peoples, and pursue common progress of all developing countries. China will never waver on this commitment, not under any circumstances."

Broad agreements

Zhang Jun, director-general for international economic cooperation at China's Foreign Ministry, said, "There were broad agreements among the leaders that South-South cooperation will play a very important role in implementing the post-2015 sustainable development goals."

Zhang added, "There is an important outcome, which is that lots of the main international organizations, including the World Bank, UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Monetary Fund are involved in today's meeting, and they all expressed their willingness to play a more active role in promoting South-South cooperation."

Xi met with Ban on Saturday during his first visit to the world body's headquarters in New York, and said China will uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and deepen China's relationship with the UN.

A call for aid

"That so many top leaders gather here in New York shows member states' support and expectations for the United Nations," said Xi. "The 70th anniversary of the UN is an important opportunity for the international community to seek multilateral cooperation, uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and defend the authority of the UN. Countries should work together to achieve peace and development for all."

Xi urged developed countries to assume their international responsibilities by providing financial and technological aid to developing countries, and encouraged the UN to play its leading role in solving global issues, including terrorism. "The UN is the best platform to combat terrorism. Member states should follow the decisions and solutions made at the UN, and work together to eliminate terrorism," Xi said.

He said China advocates building a new type of international relations of "win-win cooperation, taking the road of peaceful development."

"We all hope that the United Nations will continue to solve international hot issues in the next decade," Xi said, "and continue to settle differences and disputes peacefully through dialogue and consultation. We expect the UN to keep advancing global development and coordinating investments in developing, and follow the principle of 'common goal but different responsibilities'."

In welcoming Xi, Ban said China is an important member of the international community, and an important partner of the UN. "China has made significant contributions in promoting world peace and development, and in solving global and regional issues," he said.

Ban praised Xi's first-ever address to the UN, which he made earlier Saturday at the UN Sustainable Development Summit. Xi announced that China will launch a "South-South" assistance fund for developing countries with an initial investment of $2 billion, and will do its best to raise its investment in the least-developed countries to $12 billion by 2030.

Ban said he wanted China and the UN to strengthen cooperation in advancing development, solving hot issues, and reaching a new agreement on climate change.

  Source: China Daily  2015-10-23

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