Yang Jiechi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, addresses the general debate of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly.
© UN Photo/Lou Rouse

Mr. President,

I wish to begin by congratulating you on your election as president of the 66th Session of the General Assembly. I am confident that, with your outstanding ability and rich experience, you will fulfill this lofty mission. I wish to thank Mr. Deiss for his contribution as president of the last session. I also wish to take this opportunity to extend warm congratulations to the Republic of South Sudan on joining the family of the United Nations as its193rd member.

Mr. President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The first decade of the 21st century is now behind us. During this decade, the trend towards a multipolar world and economic globalization gained momentum. Countries became increasingly interdependent. Revolution in science and technology brought about profound transformation of the human society. On the other hand, various traditional and non-traditional security threats and global challenges were intertwined, and the world was far from a peaceful place. As the second decade of the new century begins, the world has entered an extraordinary historical stage in its pursuit of peace and development, and it continues to undergo profound and complex changes. Factors of uncertainty and instability are increasing despite the generally peaceful international environment. Development is becoming an increasingly serious issue, and promoting common development has become a more important and pressing task than ever before.

Global development is now at a new critical juncture. Global recovery remains fragile, international financial markets are volatile and the pursuit of sustainable development faces daunting challenges. The world economy therefore has to meet the crucial test of maintaining growth. Some countries in west Asia and north Africa are in continual political turmoil. Terrorist threats are spreading, and global challenges are growing. The international community faces a critical test of maintaining stability. The gap in development between the South and the North is as wide as ever. The population living in absolute poverty has increased by 64 million due to the international financial crisis, and nearly one billion people suffer from starvation. Meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals calls for urgent actions. It is imperative to step up international cooperation to help the least developed countries (LDCs) meet the test of ensuring basic living needs of their people.

In the face of these challenges, we share an important mission to achieve common development, and we also have rare new opportunities. Economic globalization has made the interests of countries more closely interconnected. Ensuring security through cooperation and promoting development through stability has become our shared desire. Countries are addressing development challenges in innovative ways. To overcome crisis, developed countries have taken steps to improve their fiscal conditions, adopted stimulus measures and accelerated economic structural adjustment. Developing countries as a whole have maintained good momentum of growth. In particular, the rapid growth in some emerging economies has driven the growth of the world economy. Progress has been made in the reform of the global economic governance structure, and various regional cooperation mechanisms are growing. Efforts to accelerate the development of green economy and explore new modes of sustainable growth have created new momentum and space for common development.

Faced with both new opportunities and challenges, we should work as a team to overcome difficulties and pursue mutual benefit and common development. This is the responsibility and mission that history bestows upon all of us. And to fulfill our mission, we need to take the following steps:

We should foster sound momentum for global economic recovery. The underlying impact of the international financial crisis has yet to dissipate, and economic recovery is still fragile and uneven. We should intensify consultation and coordination and send a strong message of solidarity and win-win cooperation so as to strengthen international confidence in global recovery and growth. We should work for a fair, just, inclusive and orderly international monetary and financial system and increase the voice and representation of emerging markets and developing countries. China supports the transition of the G20 from a short-term crisis response mechanism to a long-term mechanism of economic governance. The G20 should play a bigger role in global economic governance and in promoting the full recovery and growth of the world economy. We support the efforts of emerging markets to explore new modes of international economic cooperation. We strongly oppose protectionism in all its forms and call for strengthening the multilateral trading regime. The concerns of the least developed countries should be addressed, and efforts should be made to make the Doha Round achieve its development objectives.

We should lay the political foundation for cooperative development. All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community, and their equal right to development should be protected. Mutual respect and equality are the basic norms governing international relations and constitute the important guarantee for common development. In the current context, it is of particular and practical importance to adhere to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, to uphold the authority and role of the United Nations, to observe in good faith the principle of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, and to promote democracy in international relations. We should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, and the internal affairs of a country should be decided by its own people. We oppose interference in other countries’ internal affairs by whatever means and under whatever pretext. Diversity of the world is a valuable asset for the development of human society. It should be seen as a positive factor for countries to learn from each other, and it should not be used as an excuse for the big to bully the small or the rich to ride roughshod over the poor in international relations. We should respect the right of each country to pursue the development path of its choice and respect diversity of civilizations. And we should seek common progress by drawing on each other’s strength with an open and inclusive mind and in a spirit of seeking common ground while reserving differences. We should foster a security environment conducive to stability and development. History has repeatedly shown that stability and development go hand in hand. Without stability, there can be no development; and without development, there can be no stability. In keeping with the requirement of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, we should always use peaceful means to settle international disputes and hotspot issues, oppose willful use or threat of force, oppose terrorism, separatism and extremism in all their forms, and uphold the common security of mankind. China respects the independent choice of the people of Sudan and South Sudan and hopes that the new-born country of South Sudan will enjoy stability and development. The international community should continue to give support to and encourage Sudan and South Sudan to properly resolve their outstanding issues through dialogue and consultation, pursue amicable relations and common development, and uphold regional peace and stability. China has encouraged Sudan and South Sudan to resolve their dispute through peaceful negotiation and has worked hard to advance the peace process between them, and we support the proper settlement of the Darfur issue. We will continue to work with the international community and play a constructive role in pushing forward regional peace, stability and development. China consistently supports the just cause of establishing an independent Palestinian state and supports Palestine’s membership in the United Nations. We support efforts to achieve the "two-state solution" through political negotiation so as to establish, on the basis of the 1967 borders, an independent Palestinian state that enjoys full sovereignty with East Jerusalem as its capital. We believe that progress should be made in parallel in the peace talks between Syria and Israel and between Lebanon and Israel with a view to eventually achieving comprehensive, just and durable peace in the Middle East and peaceful coexistence between the Arab countries and Israel. We hope that the international community and parties concerned will make unremitting efforts toward this end and sustain the Middle East peace process. China is greatly concerned about the turbulence in west Asia and north Africa. We stand for the principle of non-interference, respect and support countries in the region in independently handling their internal affairs, and respect the aspirations of the people in the region. We hope that the parties concerned in the countries of the region will resolve their differences through political dialogue and speedily restore stability and order in their respective countries. Libya has now entered into a critical transitional stage from war and turmoil to national reconstruction. China respects the choice of the Libyan people and recognizes the National Transitional Council (NTC) as the governing authorities of Libya and the representative of its people. We hope that under NTC’s leadership, the parties in Libya will set in motion an inclusive process of political transition, maintain ethnic harmony and national unity, restore stability as soon as possible and begin economic reconstruction. China supports the United Nations in playing a leading role in Libya’s post-conflict reconstruction and supports the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) in starting its mission as quickly as possible. China is also greatly concerned about the developments in Syria. We hope that parties in Syria will exercise restraint, avoid any form of violence or more bloodshed and conflict, and act quickly to ease tension. We believe that a Syria-led, inclusive political process aimed at promoting reform and advanced through dialogue and consultation is the right way to resolve the current crisis in Syria. The international community should respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria, and handle the Syrian issue in a prudent way so as to prevent further turbulence in Syria and its repercussions on regional peace.

China welcomes the positive developments on the Korean Peninsula. We believe that dialogue and consultation are the only effective way to address the issues of the Korean Peninsula and the Six Party Talks are an effective mechanism to advance the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and uphold peace and stability both on the Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. China has been working hard to promote peace through dialogue and has played a unique role in easing tension and maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. China welcomes the recent resumption of dialogue between the DPRK and the ROK and between the DPRK and the US. We hope that the parties concerned will seize the opportunity, remain engaged in dialogue and work for an early resumption of the Six Party Talks.

We should promote balanced development between the South and the North. The uneven development between the South and the North is the there can hardly be sustainable development. Unless underdeveloped countries shake off poverty and grow their economy, there can be no common prosperity of the world. To attain the Millennium Development Goals on a global scale on schedule is an urgent and arduous task. Developed countries should honor their commitment on official development assistance, open markets, reduce and cancel debts and step up financial and technological support to developing countries. International financial institutions should use their resources to help developing countries, and particularly the LDCs, on a priority basis. Developing countries, on their part, should explore growth models conducive to development and poverty alleviation in order to achieve development at a higher level. Food security has emerged as a major challenge. The Horn of Africa is suffering from massive famine triggered by the most severe drought in 60 years. The international community should scale up assistance, stabilize the prices of food and other commodities and help developing countries enhance capacity for self-development so that all countries and regions can enjoy the benefits of common development.

Mr. President,

The world witnessed major development, major transformation and major adjustment in the first decade of the 21st century. During this decade, China enjoyed sustained and fast development and its relations with the outside world underwent profound changes. China’s development achievements and its future course have become a focus of international attention.

During the past decade, China’s economy grew further and people’s living standards rose markedly thanks to the hard work of the Chinese people. Today, China has become the second largest economy, largest exporter, second largest importer and largest emerging market in the world. The basic living needs of the 1.3 billion Chinese people are adequately met, and the number of people in absolute poverty is drastically reduced. On the other hand, the difficulties China faces in development should not be ignored. China remains a developing country with a large population, weak economic foundation and serious imbalance and lack of coordination in its development. China needs to make persistent and strenuous efforts to achieve its development goals. Guided by the recently adopted 12th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development, China will pursue scientific development, accelerate the shift of the growth model, advance scientific and technological innovation and deepen reform and opening-up to promote long-term, steady and fast economic development and social harmony and progress.The world will see a more open China with more sustainable development and greater social harmony.

China’s development has both brought real benefits to the Chinese people and contributed to global development and prosperity. During the past ten years, China imported close to US$750 billion of goods on average annually, creating over 14 million jobs for relevant countries and regions.At the end of the 12th five-year period in 2015,China’s total economic output will be around US$8.6 trillion.It is expected that China will import about US$10 trillion of goods in the next five years, and this will further boost world economic growth. China needs the world to continue to develop itself, and China’s development will in turn contribute more to the common development of the world.

As a developing country, China is committed to enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation based on equality with other developing countries, and it endeavors to provide assistance and support to them.China has canceled 380 debts incurred by 50 heavily indebted poor countries and LDCs and will phase in zero-tariff treatment to 95%of the exports from the LDCs in Africa that have diplomatic relations with China. We have completed over 2,100 projects, including schools and hospitals, in other developing countries, and trained 120,000 professionals in various fields for them.Sharing the pain of the countries and people in the Horn of Africa hit by famine, China has decided to provide RMB443.2 million in emergency food assistance and cash for purchasing food to these countries to help them overcome the famine.China has made notable efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.As it continues to develop, China will create more opportunities for world peace, development and cooperation.

To advance common development, we must foster a sound international environment. Over the years, China has been dedicated to creating a peaceful international environment in which to develop itself. At the same time, it has contributed its share to enhancing world peace through its own development. China has actively undertaken international responsibility as its ability permits and worked to promote peaceful settlement of hotspot issues. China takes an active part in international peacekeeping operations. Having sent over 19,000 personnel to 28 UN peacekeeping missions, China is the largest contributor of UN peacekeeping personnel among the permanent members of the Security Council. China has provided assistance in cash and kind to countries hit by earthquakes and tsunamis and sent rescue teams to carry out humanitarian relief operations in the affected areas. China is actively involved in the fight against piracy and in other areas of international cooperation. All these efforts have contributed to maintaining world peace and stability.

Mr. President,

The tide of history is surging forward. In the next decade, peace, development and cooperation will remain the trend of the times and China will not stop in its pursuit of development and progress. Peaceful development is a strategic choice China has made to build a modern, strong and prosperous country and contribute more to the progress of human civilization. China will stay on the path of peaceful development and pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and the win-win strategy of opening-up. We are committed to bring about a better life for the Chinese people and greater development and prosperity for all mankind. And we will achieve these objectives through hard work, reform and innovation, and by conducting long-term friendly exchanges and equality-based win-win cooperation with other countries. A prosperous, harmonious and stable China which lives up to its responsibilities will make greater contribution to the prosperity and stability of the world and the common development of mankind. Let us work together to deepen cooperation and achieve development by sharing opportunities and jointly meeting challenges and build a harmonious world of durable peace and common prosperity.

Thank you.