China’s ambassador to South Africa, Chen Xiaodong. Picture: Supplied
China’s ambassador to South Africa, Chen Xiaodong. Picture: Supplied

Building synergy for development toward a brighter future

By Chen Xiaodong Time of article published Nov 5, 2021

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OPINION: China and South Africa have always maintained close co-operation under G20 and other multilateral mechanisms, and firmly support the G20 in actively leading the international community to respond to the epidemic and promote economic recovery, writes Chen Xiaodong.

From October 30 to 31, President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech at the 16th G20 Leaders’ Summit via video link. At Session I of the summit, President Xi put forward a five-point suggestion: first, work in solidarity to combat Covid-19; second, strengthen co-ordination to promote recovery; third, embrace inclusiveness to achieve common development; fourth, pursue innovation to tap growth potential; fifth, promote harmonious co-existence to achieve green and sustainable development.

President Xi also elaborated on his views on climate change, energy and sustainable development at Session II of the Summit.

President Xi’s attendance at this significant multilateral event comes after his recent presence at the general debate of the 76th UN General Assembly, the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15), and the 2nd UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference.

In his speech, President Xi pointed the way forward for the international community to act in solidarity to defeat the pandemic, proposed feasible measures to revive the world economy, and set forth long-term strategies to improve global governance, providing strong impetus for achieving inclusive and sustainable global development.

China believes that the international community should build the broadest possible consensus on fighting Covid-19 together. As President Xi pointed out, the international community must work in concert to confront and defeat the pandemic with a science-based approach. The stigmatisation of the virus and politicisation of origins tracing run counter to the spirit of solidarity against the pandemic.

Facing the challenges that hold back vaccine co-operation, President Xi was the first to pledge that China would make Covid-19 vaccines a global public good. At the 16th G20 Leaders’ Summit, President Xi solemnly proposed a Global Vaccine Co-operation Action Initiative, which includes such measures as supporting vaccine companies in conducting joint research and development and production with developing countries, providing more vaccines to developing countries, supporting the World Trade Organization (WTO) in making an early decision on waiving intellectual property rights on Covid-19 vaccines, scaling up cross-border trade co-operation to ensure smooth trade in vaccines and related raw and auxiliary materials, advancing mutual recognition of vaccines in accordance with the WHO’s Emergency Use Listing, and providing financial support for global vaccine co-operation, especially for developing countries to access vaccines.

All these measures fully reflect China’s firm will to work together with other countries to overcome difficulties posed by the pandemic. China has actively promoted international co-operation against Covid-19.

To date, China has provided over 1.6 billion doses of vaccines to more than 100 countries and international organisations, and will provide over two billion doses to the world within the year. China is conducting joint vaccine production with 16 countries, with an initial capacity of 700 million doses per year.

The International Forum on Covid-19 Vaccine Co-operation was held successfully in August, during which the participating countries reached intended deals of over 1.5 billion doses for this year.

Together with 30 other countries, China has also launched an Initiative for Belt and Road Partnership on Covid-19 Vaccines Co-operation, calling on the international community to promote equitable distribution of vaccines around the world. The G20 brings together the world’s major economies and vaccine- producing countries.

When these countries work together to implement the Global Vaccine Co-operation Action Initiative, it will effectively promote accessibility and equitable distribution of vaccines around the globe, and make greater contributions to mankind’s early victory over the novel coronavirus.

China is committed to ensuring fairness and justice, and safeguarding the common interests of developing countries. In September this year, President Xi proposed a Global Development Initiative at the United Nations. At the 16th G20 Leaders’ Summit,

President Xi further elaborated on this Initiative and called on the G20 to build consensus, intensify actions, prioritise development and stay true to the people-centred philosophy.

President Xi said we should increase investment in development, pay attention to the needs of developing countries, and strengthen co-operation in key areas such as poverty alleviation, food security, industrialisation and connectivity.

We will support the UN’s co-ordinating role in deepening the global development partnership and building a global community with a shared future for development.

Developed countries should earnestly fulfil their development assistance commitments, and provide more resources to developing countries.

China will seek synergy between the Global Development Initiative it has proposed and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to achieve more robust, green and sound global development.

President Xi also pointed out that the G20 should shoulder global responsibilities in the digital era, and help developing countries eliminate the digital divide. The G20 should prioritise development in macro policy co-ordination, ensure sound implementation of the Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, move forward with the Initiative on Supporting Industrialisation in Africa and Least Developed Countries, and promote synergy among the existing mechanisms for development cooperation.

The G20 should continue to provide political guidance on the reform of the WTO, uphold its core values and basic principles, and protect developing countries’ rights, interests and development space.

President Xi’s series of initiatives once again prove that China stands firm with the developing world, firmly defends the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, speaks out for justice for them on the international stage, and will always be a reliable friend and sincere partner of developing countries.

China honours its commitments with concrete actions in promoting win-win co-operation. President Xi pointed out that climate change and energy are prominent global challenges bearing on the common interests of the international community and the future of the earth.

The willingness and motivation of the international community to jointly respond to challenges are rising. The key is to take practical actions.

We should adopt comprehensive and balanced policies and measures to address climate change and improve people’s livelihood.

We should fully and effectively implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement, ensure that the United Nations remains the main channel, strengthen our own actions and improve the level of co-operation based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and international law.

G20 members should take the lead in promoting the popularisation and application of advanced technologies. Developed countries should also earnestly fulfil their commitments and provide financial support to developing countries.

President Xi pointed out that China has all along undertaken due international responsibilities commensurate with its national conditions. We have actively advanced the green transition of our economy and raised the ambition of our climate actions on our own initiative. In the past 10 years, China phased out 120 million kilowatts of installed coal-fired power generation capacity.

The construction of the first batch of wind and photovoltaic power stations with a total installed capacity of about 100 million kilowatts was launched in an orderly fashion.

Over the past 15 years, the cut of China’s carbon emission intensity has greatly exceeded the climate action goals of 2020.

China will release implementation plans for peaking carbon dioxide emissions in key areas and sectors as well as a series of supporting measures, and will put in place a “1+N” policy framework for carbon peaking and carbon neutrality.

China will strive to peak its CO2 emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. We will honour our words with actions and work with all countries to pursue a path of green, low-carbon and sustainable development.

The G20 has become an important practice of multilateralism worldwide. Its members account for more than 80% of world GDP, 75% of global trade and 60% of the earth’s population. It belongs to its members as well as the world.

It should and will play a more important role in addressing global challenges, and make sure that growth and development benefit all countries and people.

As the only African member of the G20, South Africa has made positive contributions to building the G20 mechanism, deepening practical co-operation and promoting the reform of the international governance system.

China and South Africa have always maintained close co-operation under G20 and other multilateral mechanisms, and firmly support the G20 in actively leading the international community to respond to the epidemic and promote economic recovery.

Looking ahead, China will uphold openness, inclusiveness and win-win co-operation, put into practice true multilateralism, engage deeply in G20 co-operation, and make unremitting efforts together with South Africa and other countries to contribute to global solidarity against Covid-19, world economic recovery and global economic governance, with the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

* Chen Xiaodong, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to South Africa.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL and Independent Media.

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