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China vows aid to resolve refugee crises

Zhao Huanxin/Hu Yongqi/Hong Xiao
Updated: Sep 20,2016 6:12 AM     China Daily

China pledged $100 million in humanitarian aid on Sept 19 to help countries and international organizations to resolve refugee and migrant crises and will consider additional support measures.

The vow was made by Premier Li Keqiang when he addressed a meeting at the United Nations on refugees and migrants.

Premier Li said China would also consider using part of the China-UN peace and development fund to support refugee and migrant work in developing countries, and to explore ways to enhance cooperation with developing countries and international agencies.

President Xi Jinping announced China’s decision to establish a 10-year, $1 billion China-UN peace and development fund during the 70th session of the UN General Assembly last year.

Premier Li said resolution of the refugee and migrant issue calls for ramped up international cooperation and efforts by native countries of refugees and migrants. He said China has actively joined efforts to resolve refugee and migrant issues.

The number of displaced people reached a record 65.3 million at the end of last year, an increase of more than 5 million from 2014, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. They include 21.3 million refugees, 3.2 million asylum seekers and 40.8 million migrants.

Opening the day long session, UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon urged world leaders to commit to “upholding the rights and dignity of everyone forced by circumstance to flee their homes in search of a better life”.

Premier Li arrived in New York with his wife, Cheng Hong, on the afternoon of Sept 18, marking his first visit to UN headquarters as premier.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the restoration of China’s rightful seat at the UN. China was one of the founding members of the international organization, but until 1971 its seat was held, with help from the United States and its allies, by authorities of China’s island of Taiwan.

In July, Premier Li met with Ban, and in August he met with Peter Thomson, president of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, when they visited Beijing.

During his four day stay in the city, Premier Li is expected to offer China’s viewpoints on major issues regarding the international order, global governance and peace and development.

“An active supporter of all causes of the UN, China strongly defends the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and actively participates in the work of the UN as a permanent member of its Security Council,” Premier Li said upon his arrival. “China is willing to work with all sides to make contributions to better address global challenges and promote world peace and development.”

The Premier is scheduled to attend the annual general debate and roll out a raft of pragmatic measures to support the UN’s work in coping with global challenges, such as terrorism and the refugee crisis, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the UN, said Premier Li would offer measures to help promote peace and development throughout the international community.