Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the High-level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on Middle-Income Countries
3 July 2021
The global rampage of COVID-19 has dealt a severe blow to the economic and social development of all countries, including the middle-income countries. It is estimated that about 82% of the global population who have fallen back into poverty are in middle-income countries. Vaccine shortage, sluggish economy, worsening unemployment, climate change, food security and other issues also pose grave challenges to those countries.
Middle-income countries are the mainstay of global development. The international community must attach great importance to the difficulties they encounter, earnestly heed their appeals and take effective measures to provide vaccine, financing, technological and other support, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and foster an equitable and fair development environment. For their part, middle-income countries should actively explore development paths suited to their national conditions, accelerate industrial transformation and upgrade, strengthen internal drivers of growth, and strive for higher-level development.
As the world’s largest developing country, China, together with other middle-income countries, has made unremitting efforts for economic and social development. Thanks to the strenuous efforts by all its people, China has made outstanding achievements in development. We have built a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China. Those achievements are not God-sent, still less a gift from others. The secret behind China’s development is the commitment to the CPC leadership and exploration of a development path which is suited to its national conditions and has won broad support from the people.
July 1 marked the 100th birthday of the CPC. Grand celebrations were held nationwide, and General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered important remarks at the ceremony marking the centenary. The 1.4 billion Chinese people are happy for and proud of the great achievements made in development.
With dedication and tireless efforts, we have achieved historic breakthrough and transformation of our economy. In just a few decades, China has completed an industrialization process that took developed countries several hundred years, and become the second largest economy in the world, making the biggest contribution to global economic growth for 15 consecutive years.
With commitment to a people-centered approach, we promote well-rounded human development and common prosperity for all. China achieved 10 years in advance the SDG on poverty reduction. 770 million people have climbed out of absolute poverty, the middle-income group has grown to 400 million people, the per capita income has exceeded 10,000 US dollars, and the average life expectancy has increased to 77.3 years.
With commitment to the new development philosophy, we strive to build a beautiful China. China coordinates its ecological conservation efforts with the pursuit of high-quality economic growth, and strives for harmonious co-existence between humanity and nature. In China, clean energy accounts for 24.3% of the total energy consumption, with the installation and generation of PV and wind power ranking first in the world.
With commitment to reform and opening-up, we seek common development with countries around the world for win-win outcomes. China has fulfilled all commitments upon WTO accession, and opened its market to the whole world. We promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and provide new opportunities to the world with China’s new achievements in development. Through South-South cooperation, China has provided nearly 400 billion RMB of development aid to 166 countries and international organizations, and implemented nearly 3,000 package assistance programs.
With commitment to multilateralism, we work with the international community in dealing with global challenges. China firmly safeguards the UN-centered international system and international equity and justice. We actively facilitated the conclusion and implementation of the Paris Agreement, and announced our goals of carbon peak and carbon neutrality, demonstrating a strong sense of responsibility as a major country. After the start of the pandemic, China immediately launched its global emergency humanitarian campaign, offering anti-epidemic supplies to over 150 countries and 13 international organizations, including over 450 million vaccine doses to nearly 100 countries.
Standing at the new starting point, China is fully aware of the long journey ahead and the arduous development challenges to meet. Yet we are also fully confident about the future. we are now marching in confident strides toward the second centenary goal and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. No matter how the international landscape may change, China will remain a force for peace, development and progress. We will continue working with all peace-loving countries and people around the world for a community with a shared future for humankind.