Luo Zhaohui, chairman of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), attended the Sustainable Development Forum 2021 via video link on Sept 27. He delivered a speech on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) assisting global sustainable development at a sub-forum.
Luo highlighted major progress in the joint building of the Belt and Road amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by presenting a set of numbers pertaining to concrete projects, dismissed such malicious defamation as that the BRI reduced investment, brought in low-end pollution and went against the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and reiterated that China will continually incline its foreign aid to countries and regions involved in the BRI in a move to contribute to global sustainable development.
Profound changes in the world and the pandemic, both unseen in a century, are intertwined. The international order is evolving at a faster pace and international sustainable development is faced with severe challenges, said Luo.
He added that China's initiatives to build a community with a shared future for mankind and jointly build the Belt and Road represent Chinese solution to achieving sustainable development and common prosperity for the world and provide the international community with major public goods.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has continued to promote the BRI, made relentless efforts to ensure the continuity of relevant policies and persisted with supportive efforts, and achieved significant results. The symbolic projects on connectivity of infrastructure have been smoothly moving forward, and BRI trade and investment have been improving.
At the same time, the prospect of new industries of digitization and intellectualization is promising, and financial integration and win-win cooperation are deepening, making new contributions to global sustainable development.
Luo said green is the underlying color of the BRI and that China has made the construction of an ecological civilization a millennium plan for the sustainable development of the Chinese nation, and will continually improve its policy frameworks related to green-oriented cooperation under the BRI and remain committed to green-oriented development partnerships while implementing the initiative.
China has attached great importance to the sustainability of its debts held by other countries, none of which have ever slid into debt-related crises because of their participation in the BRI.
Luo noted that the BRI has strengthened cooperation in the five areas of policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure, unimpeded trade, financial integration and closer people-to-people ties, which tallies with 17 specific objectives in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and will promote closer interaction and add to the momentum for common development. The initiative promotes global economic prosperity, injects strong momentum into the advancement of sustainable development and helps improve people’s livelihoods in various countries, providing strong guarantees for sustainable development.
Luo said this year marks the 71st year of China’s international development cooperation. Over the past 70-plus years, China has provided assistance of various kinds to more than 160 developing countries, implemented thousands of material assistance projects, carried out more than 10,000 technological cooperation and human resources development cooperation projects, and trained more than 400,000 people in developing countries. China established the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund and Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, which provide strong support to other developing countries in realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China has launched the most intensive and wide-ranging emergency humanitarian operation since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. China has firmly honored its solemn commitment of making vaccines a global public good, and has so far provided more than 1.25 billion doses of vaccines to more than 100 countries around the world, ranking first in the world.
The CIDCA has held three important commemorative events so far this year, the 70th anniversary of China’s international development cooperation work, the 20th anniversary of Juncao assistance and sustainable development cooperation, and the 5th anniversary of the establishment of the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund and Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development. The events received two congratulatory letters from President Xi Jinping and wide participation from developing countries and UN institutions, which lauded China’s selfless assistance.
Luo said that China's foreign aid will make new contributions to the joint construction of the Belt and Road and the realization of global sustainable development goals. China's international development cooperation will continue to give priority to the countries involved in the BRI, and provide a stronger impetus, greater space and better paths for Belt and Road construction so as to make it an important "propeller" for global sustainable development.
First, more efforts will be made to promote common prosperity. The global development initiative will be implemented to help the countries’ economies recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Second, green development will be sped up. More environmental protection cooperation projects will be carried out to help recipient countries become more resource-conserving and environmentally-friendly.
Third, connection will be strengthened to simultaneously push forward the BRI and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. China will endeavor to actively build a new type of global development partnership and provide more assistance within is capability to developing countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda.
Fourth, multiple efforts will be made to build a better future together. Following the trend of the fourth industrial revolution, it will make every effort to jointly build an innovative Silk Road.
In 2021, China will strive to provide 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the world, donate another 100 million doses to developing countries and $100 million to the COVAX. In the next three years, another $3 billion in international aid will be provided to support developing countries in fighting the pandemic and restoring economic and social development.
The Sustainable Development Forum 2021 was co-hosted by the Development Research Center of the State Council, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, and the Beijing municipal government.
As part of a series of commemorative events held by the Chinese government to mark the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the country's lawful seat in the UN, the two-day Sustainable Development Forum 2021 was attended by nearly 500 guests from 31 countries and regions and 26 international organizations.