UNITED NATIONS — Premier Li Keqiang on Sept 21 took the floor at the annual high-level debate of the UN General Assembly to expound China’s views on international affairs and proposals to promote sustainable development as well as address global challenges.
This was the first time for Premier Li, who took office as Chinese Premier in 2013, to address the 193-member General Assembly.
The theme of the general debate of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly is “The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world.”
Stressing that China attaches great importance to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Premier Li said the country played a role in promoting leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) to reach agreement on the sustainable development and map out an action plan during the G20 summit held in the East China city of Hangzhou in early September, which help to add new impetus into the global sustainable development efforts.
He called on the international community to jointly tackle the global challenges so as to build an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive global structure of sustainable development.
The 2030 Agenda, endorsed and launched at the UN Summit for Sustainable Development last year, is a blueprint for eradicating poverty across the world for the years leading up to 2030.
Implementation of the Agenda, including its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets, is high on the agenda of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, which opened last week.
On behalf of the Chinese government, Premier Li released the country’s national plan for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the UN Headquarters in New York on Sept 19 when he chaired a roundtable on SDGs.
He said it is in line with the common interests of the people all over the world and an important guarantee to achieve the SDGs to firmly safeguard the current international system with the United Nations as its core and the international relations norms on the basis of the UN charter.
The Premier called on countries to support the United Nations and the Security Council in playing a leading role in international affairs and continue to better the global governance mechanism.
Countries should also stick to the general direction of seeking political solution to hot issues and building a global partnership featuring dialogue rather than confrontation, partnership rather than alliance, he said.
On the current economic challenges, he said the world economy is facing problems of insufficient demand and prominent structural contradiction.
He suggested countries apply various policy tools to address the economic problems, combining both need-side management and supply-side reform as well as long-term and short-term policies.
All countries need to map out macro policies in a responsible manner and take measures to deal with the impacts brought by economic globalization, said Premier Li.
He urged countries to firmly oppose protectionism in all forms and safeguard the free trade system represented by the World Trade Organization in order to promote the world economy to develop in the path of robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, and strive to create an international environment that is conducive to reduce inequality and imbalance of global development.
International organizations need to first allocate newly-added assistance to developing countries and developed countries should carry out its promise of aid to developing countries in the hope of helping them explore a development path suitable for their national situation, said Premier Li.
China’s economy has maintained a rapid growth since the reform and opening up policy adopted three decades ago, he said.
In spite of serious internal and external challenges, the economy still maintains medium-to-high growth due to the innovation and reform, he said.
The first half of this year witnessed a growth rate of 6.5 percent of China’s economy, which is in the forefront in the world, said the Premier, adding that China contributes 25 percent of the world economic growth.
He pledged that China will continue to deepen its reform and follow the opening up policy, promote the construction of Belt and Road Initiative and international cooperation on production capacity so as to realize win-win.
As a big developing country with a population of 1.3 billion, China has earnestly carried out its due international obligations, Premier Li said.
China has provided 400 billion yuan ($59.9 billion) to 166 countries and more than 30 international and regional organizations, and trained some 12 million personnel in various sectors for other developing countries, said Premier Li.
Besides, China has become one of the first countries to deposit instruments of joining the Paris Agreement on climate change, he said.
The country will also provide $300 million in humanitarian aid to relevant countries and international organizations to address the refugee crisis, he added.
China stands ready to further deepen reforms and expand opening-up so as to work with the international community to build a better world in which each individual can enjoy the freedom from want, an opportunity to develop and be treated with dignity, said Premier Li.