Chinese President Xi Jinping held a video conference with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on September 23.
What signals did the online meeting send to the world?
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented global change, how will China better support the role of the UN?
This article offers some answers.
Xi has a videoconference with UN chief Antonio Guterres on September 23, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
Firm stand: Support the central role of the UN
In the world, there is only one system, namely the UN-centered international system, and only one set of rules — the basic norms of international relations based on the UN Charter, Xi said during the videoconference with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
On September 21, Xi delivered an important speech at the summit commemorating the 75th anniversary of the UN. On September 22, Xi made a statement at the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly. On September 23, Xi had a videoconference with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The three consecutive events in three days reflect the support of the top Chinese leader for the work of the UN.
In fact, this is the eighth time the two have met since Guterres was elected secretary-general of the United Nations in 2016.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will firmly support the UN in playing a central role in international affairs, Xi said.
At present, COVID-19 is still ravaging the world, some countries have been going further down the path of unilateralism, and the international system and rules are seriously challenged.
“China firmly supports the key leadership of the UN system, especially the World Health Organization, in battling the pandemic.”
“The UN Security Council should play the role of a collective security mechanism and the Security Council permanent members should play an exemplary role,” said Xi. “Pursuing unilateralism and seeking hegemony are unpopular and will surely be rejected.”
Xi’s words were powerful.
Just a day before, Xi announced a series of new Chinese measures to support the central role of the UN in international affairs:
These including increasing support for the UN COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan, establishing the third China-FAO South-South Cooperation Trust Fund, extending the Peace and Development Trust Fund between the UN and China by five years after it expires in 2025, and setting up a UN Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Center and an International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals.
“With China’s support, the UN can better perform its duties,” Guterres said during the meeting.
Clear attitude: China never seeks hegemony
“China never pursues ideological confrontation, advocates ‘decoupling’ or seeks hegemony. What we care about the most is to enable 1.4 billion Chinese people to live a better life and make greater contributions to mankind,” Xi told Guterres.
For more than 10 consecutive years, China’s contribution rate to world economic growth has exceeded 30 percent, and China’s poverty reduction efforts have contributed more than 70 percent of the poverty reduction in the world.
Members of the Chinese anti-epidemic medical expert team communicate with local frontline medical staff at a new corona virus testing facility in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, August 21, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
China, the largest developing country in the world, is committed to peaceful, open, cooperative and common development, and has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of international order.
However, some countries continue to maliciously smear, suppress and attack China, violating international norms step by step.
Xi also said China will not sit idly by and allow its national sovereignty, dignity and development to be undermined. Instead, China will firmly safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and uphold international equity and justice.
“Countries may engage in competition, but such competition should be positive and healthy in nature. When in competition, countries should not breach moral standards and should comply with international norms,” Xi said in the general debate of the UN General Assembly.
Historic responsibility: Build a better world together
When talking with Guterres, Xi said although the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the problems of maladaptation and mismatch in the global governance system, all parties should think about how to improve it, instead of tearing it down and setting up another one.
Based on the current situation, Xi emphasized that efforts are needed to reduce the impact of the epidemic on the economy and people’s livelihood, mobilize global resources and forces, encourage all parties to take timely and strong measures in debt relief and international assistance to help developing countries grow and narrow the wealth gap.
UN Headquarters, September 14, 2020 (Photo: Xinhua)
With a long-term perspective, Xi pointed out that development must be sustainable and the relationship between humanity and nature needs to be handled well. China not only strengthens its own ecological measures, but also takes the initiative to assume international responsibility for climate change, transcending the boundaries of countries, nations, cultures, and ideologies. China promotes the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind, jointly building the earth on which we live.
These are the plans and practice of a responsible major country to contribute to the future of mankind.
Guterres said the UN hopes to continue strengthening cooperation with China and expects China to play a leading role.
(Translated by Zhu Naiqing; Inforgraphic by Chen Yanan; Edited by Huang Jingjing; Source: Xinhua)