The Anti-corruption Forum on Global Development Cooperation, themed on Anti-Corruption and International Development Cooperation: Ideas and Practices, was co-organized by the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) and China's Ministry of Commerce on July 21.
China's CIDCA Chairman Luo Zhaohui and Vice-Minister of Commerce Qian Keming, former secretary-general of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, Under Secretary of State at Cambodia's Ministry of Economy and Finance, and Vice-President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Ludger Schuknecht addressed the opening ceremony of the forum.
Luo said that the forum specializes in anti-corruption and international development cooperation for the first time in the history of China's foreign aid and international development.
Against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic remaining widespread, profound changes unseen in a century rapidly evolving and the interests of all countries being more closely intertwined, both international development cooperation and anti-corruption are part of the positive energy that facilitates human development, he said, adding that international development cooperation is the booster of anti-corruption, while anti-corruption serves as the guardian of international development cooperation.
Luo said over the past decade, whether it is international development cooperation, or combating corruption and upholding integrity, there were many standout points in China's endeavors.
China put forward the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind, the Belt and Road Initiative, and recently the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative (GSI), according to Luo.
China has continued to take a series of practical initiatives on the ground, including the recent establishment of the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, the Global Development Promotion Center and the Forum on Global Action for Shared Development, which have been praised by the international community, he noted.
China strengthened deterrence so officials don't dare to engage in corruption, strengthened the cage of institutions so they're unable to, and strengthened their vigilance so they have no desire to commit acts of corruption, Luo said, China has secured a sweeping victory in the fight against corruption with further consolidation. In doing so, China has focused on upholding the authority of the UN in global anti-corruption governance and working on building a global anti-corruption governance system that follows the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, he added.
In June 2021, Zhao Leji, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, made a four-point proposal on international cooperation against corruption at the special session of the General Assembly against corruption 2021, which received a warm response and wide support from the international community, according to Luo.
Luo said that China has always promoted anti-corruption and international development cooperation in an integrated manner, focusing on conceptual, institutional and practical innovation with extensive experience, so that China was able to gradually form a concept of integrity-based development cooperation with Chinese characteristics, continuously improved a system of integrity-based development cooperation with Chinese characteristics, continued to promote the practice of clean development cooperation with Chinese characteristics, actively supported developing partners to strengthen capacity building of preventing and punishing corruptions.
Luo put forward the four-point "Sunshine Initiative" on continued anti-corruption in the field of development cooperation, in order to prevent and punish corruption and promote the healthy and sustainable development of international development cooperation, namely, insisting on fighting corruption and strengthening accountability, adhering to multilateralism and joint prevention and punishment, insisting on self-motivated restraint and conscientious anti-corruption and adhering to the principles of mutual respect, equality and learning from each other.
Luo also took a stern stand against the recent unwarranted attacks on China's foreign aid policy by senior US officials in his address.
Luo pointed out that the US has a poor record of foreign aid and has never shied away from using aid to seek selfish gains. As for the initiatives made by the US, the tone is high, but difficult to implement, which were all "blank checks" and became a game of numbers, he said.
China, on the contrary, does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and does not attach any political conditions, he said, adding that China's foreign aid largely contributed to developing countries' economy, society and livelihoods.
China has been providing a large amount of food aid to foreign countries and recently it has also proposed the "Cooperation Initiative on Global Food Security", making an important contribution to feeding people in developing countries, he noted.
Facing setbacks in the world's economic recovery, pandemic ups and downs, and the worsening food crisis, all countries should be in the same boat and ride out the storm together, said Luo.
Qian introduced the anti-corruption concept and practice of China's foreign aid implementation, saying that China continues to strengthen the prevention and control of integrity risks in foreign aid implementation, strictly controls the quality, safety, function, progress and use of funds for foreign aid projects, which has achieved favorable results.
Qian said China has actively participated in anti-corruption global governance, adhered to the action-first principle, and strengthened practical cooperation. The country has carried out multi-bilateral training programs to exchange anti-corruption experience and promote mutual learning, the institutionalization of multi-bilateral exchanges has also been advanced so that China's anti-corruption experience can be shared around the world, he added.
He said he believes that this forum will give new impetus to the efforts to prevent and resolve the integrity risks in the field of foreign aid and to the deepening of international exchanges and cooperation in anti-corruption.
Ban congratulated on the successful convening of the forum and thanked China for setting up a platform for global partners to exchange views on development cooperation and anti-corruption issues.
Ban said that corruption is a public enemy of human society, and fighting corruption and promoting development cooperation can help achieve global sustainable development. The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the main framework for global action against corruption, he said, adding that governments, judicial personnel, enterprises, media and scholars should work together to fight corruption.
Ban said he highly appreciates the GDI proposed by China and believes that it will make an important contribution to the achievement of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Representatives from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, International Anti-Corruption Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, government departments, NGOs, industry associations, experts and scholars from the United States, Germany, Japan, Canada, India, and Laos attended the forum.