On October 25,2021, H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China delivered a Speech At the Conference Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Restoration Of the Lawful Seat of the People’s Republic of China In the United Nations. The speech summarized China’s position in upholding multilateralism, elaborating China’s contributions to UN and the world.
Indeed, as the biggest developing country and a responsible major power in international community, China had done a lot to uphold true multilateralism and maintain peace and stability of the whole world. China has stood actively for political settlement of disputes through peaceful means. Since 1990, China has sent more than 50,000 peacekeepers to nearly 30 UN peacekeeping operations. China is the second largest contributor to UN peacekeeping operations and an important troop contributor. China ranks first among the five permanent Security Council members in terms of the number of peacekeepers, with more than 2,200 serving in eight UN mission areas. China has set up a standby peacekeeping force of 8,000 troops and a permanent peacekeeping police force of 300 troops, making China the country with the largest number of standby peacekeeping forces and the widest range of contingents among the UN peacekeeping forces. China is now the second largest financial contributor to both the United Nations and UN peacekeeping operations.China has signed belt and Road cooperation documents with 141 countries and 32 international organisations, including 19 UN agencies. China is the first developing country in the world to achieve the UN poverty reduction target ahead of schedule, lifting 439 million people out of poverty from 1990 to 2011. Since 2021, China has provided more than 1.5 billion doses of vaccines to 106 countries and four international organisations, ranking first in the world.
China has resolutely uphold the authority and standing of the United Nations, and work together to practice true multilateralism. In September this year, at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed a Global Development Initiative with the hope that countries will work together to overcome impacts of COVID-19 on global development, accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and build a global community of development with a shared future.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres extended his warm congratulations to such a day of justice, said that China’s development has brought opportunities to the whole world, thanked China for upholding multilateralism, supporting the UN’s work, and playing a major part and making significant contributions to promoting world peace and development. He also spoke highly of The Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping, said that the Initiative is of significant and positive importance to promoting global equality and balancing sustainable development. The United Nations fully supports it and is willing to enhance cooperation with China in this regard.
Standing at a new historical starting point, China will stay committed to the path of peaceful development and always be a builder of world peace. China will stay committed to the path of reform and opening-up and always be a contributor to global development. China will stay committed to the path of multilateralism and always be a defender of the international order. Nigeria, as the biggest country in terms of population and economy in the whole Africa, could join hands with China in upholding true multilateralism, as long as the two big countries stand together, the voice of the majority of developing countries will be amplified. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Nigeria and China. In the future, the strategic partnership between Nigeria and China will be bound to enrich and deepen, and more and more close coordination will be achieved in the international arena.
According to the President of the People’s Republic of China, “the trend of the world, vast and mighty, prospers those who follow it and perishes those who go against it. Over the last 50 years, for all the vicissitudes in the international landscape, the world has remained stable as a whole, thanks to the concerted efforts of people of all countries. The world economy has grown rapidly, and innovation in science and technology has kept breaking new ground. A large number of developing countries have grown stronger, over a billion people have walked out of poverty, and a population of several billion are moving toward modernization.
In the world today, changes unseen in a century are accelerating, and the force for peace, development and progress has continued to grow. It falls upon us to follow the prevailing trend of history, and choose cooperation over confrontation, openness over seclusion, and mutual benefit over zero-sum games. We shall be firm in opposing all forms of hegemony and power politics, as well as all forms of unilateralism and protectionism.
— We should vigorously advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity, and work together to provide the right guiding philosophy for building a better world. Peace and development are our common cause, equity and justice our common aspiration, and democracy and freedom our common pursuit.”
He noted that the world we live in is diverse and colorful, and that diversity makes human civilization what it is, and provides a constant source of vitality and driving force for world development. As a Chinese saying goes, “Without achieving the good of one hundred various schools, the uniqueness of one individual cannot be achieved.” No civilization in the world is superior to others; every civilization is special and unique to its own region. Civilizations can achieve harmony only through communication, and can make progress only through harmonization. He posited that a country’s path of development works is judged, first and foremost, by whether it fits the country’s conditions; whether it follows the development trend of the times; whether it brings about economic growth, social advancement, better livelihoods and social stability; whether it has the people’s endorsement and support; and whether it contributes to the progressive cause of humanity.
Xi Jinping asked that: “We should jointly promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and work together to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity. The human race is an integral community and Earth is our common homeland. No person or country can thrive in isolation. Humanity should overcome difficulties in solidarity and pursue common development in harmony. We should keep moving toward a community with a shared future for mankind, and jointly create a better future. To build a community with a shared future for mankind is not to replace one system or civilization with another. Instead, it is about countries with different social systems, ideologies, histories, cultures and levels of development coming together for shared interests, shared rights and shared responsibilities in global affairs, and creating the greatest synergy for building a better world.
“We should stay committed to mutual benefit and win-win results, and work together to promote economic and social development for the greater benefit of our people. As ancient Chinese observed, “The essence of governance is livelihood; and the essence of livelihood is adequacy. Development and happy lives are the common aspirations of people in all countries. Development is meaningful only when it is for the people’s interest, and can sustain only when it is motivated by the people. Countries should put their people front and center, and strive to realize development with a higher level of quality, efficiency, equity, sustainability and security. It is important to resolve the problem of unbalanced and inadequate development, and make development more balanced, coordinated and inclusive. It is also important to strengthen the people’s capacity for development, foster a development environment where everyone takes part and has a share, and create a development paradigm where its outcome benefits every person in every country more directly and fairly.”
The China’s President asked that: “We should step up cooperation, and work together to address the various challenges and global issues facing humanity. The international community is confronted by regional disputes as well as global issues such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity. Only with more inclusive global governance, more effective multilateral mechanisms and more active regional cooperation, can these issues be addressed effectively. Climate change is Nature’s alarm bell to humanity. Countries need to take concrete actions to protect Mother Nature. We need to encourage green recovery, green production and green consumption, promote a civilized and healthy lifestyle, foster harmony between man and Nature, and let a sound ecology and environment be the inexhaustible source of sustainable development.
“We should resolutely uphold the authority and standing of the United Nations, and work together to practice true multilateralism. Building a community with a shared future for mankind requires a strong United Nations and reform and development of the global governance system. Countries should uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order underpinned by international law and the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. International rules can only be made by the 193 UN Member States together, and not decided by individual countries or blocs of countries. International rules should be observed by the 193 UN Member States, and there is and should be no exception. Countries should respect the United Nations, take good care of the UN family, refrain from exploiting the Organisation, still less abandoning it at one’s will, and make sure that the United Nations plays an even more positive role in advancing humanity’s noble cause of peace and development. China will be happy to work with all countries under the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits to explore new ideas and new models of cooperation and keep enriching the practice of multilateralism under new circumstances.”
The PRC occupying its rightful seat at the UN not only represented a victory for the Chinese people, but also a vindication of the choice of all the “peace-loving countries in the world that stood up for justice”, as President Xi Jinping said in a speech to mark the occasion on Monday. And over the past 50 years, the country has demonstrated the prescience of Resolution 2758 in identifying it as an essential protector of the UN, its principles and cause.
Over that period, through much hard work, the Chinese people have attained the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, eradicating absolute poverty in the process, and are now embarking on the journey to build a modern socialist country.
Throughout this endeavor to rejuvenate the nation, China has unswervingly followed an independent foreign policy of peace, stood firmly on the side of fairness and justice, and resolutely opposed hegemony and power politics, faithfully fulfilling its responsibilities as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Those countries that co-sponsored and supported Resolution 2758 can be proud of the decision they made 50 years ago.
However, as President Xi said in his speech, compared with 50 years ago, the challenges the world faces today are more extensive and
complicated. He called on all countries to address these challenges by choosing cooperation over confrontation, openness over seclusion, and mutual benefit over zero-sum games, and urged them to give full play to the UN’s central role in international affairs, and stand firm in opposing all forms of hegemony and power politics, as well as all forms of unilateralism and protectionism.
Declaring that “Diversity makes human civilization what it is”, he once again advocated building a community with a shared future for mankind, while emphasizing that doing so does not mean replacing one system or civilization with another, but rather countries coming together to build a better world based on shared interests and responsibilities.
“Climate change is nature’s alarm bell,” he stressed, and new ideas and new models of cooperation are needed to address the various challenges facing humanity.
The question facing countries today is still whether they will stand on the right side of history or not. And the trend of history is clear: We must all stand together. Failure to do so risks making humanity nothing more than a brief footnote in any cosmic annal of life on Earth.
In China, Nigeria that stood by her 50 years ago should today take lesson and see a hope for a greater nation rising from being at the precipice to achieving the dream of our forefathers of a great country. The vote for a great United China 50 years ago should not be swept under now, Nigeria and the rest of the progressive world need not withdraw their support and encourage now when the Great China is in the horizon.