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I. The founding of the United Nations was a milestone in humanity’s pursuit of peace and development. As a founding member, China was the first to put its signature on the UN Charter. On 25 October 1971, the UN General Assembly at its 26th Session adopted Resolution 2758 with an overwhelming majority to restore all the rights of the People’s Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations.
This was a victory for justice and fairness in the world, and a victory for the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Since then, the Chinese people, which accounted for nearly one-fourth of the world population, have had its true representatives in the UN. The UN has become more universal, representative and authoritative. The commitment of the international community to the one-China principle has been significantly consolidated and enhanced. And the force for world peace and development has grown stronger than ever before.
Over the past 50 years, China’s cooperation with the UN has kept expanding and deepening. UN agencies have set up offices in China, and conducted fruitful cooperation in a wide range of areas including economic development, poverty alleviation, health care, food security and environmental protection.
II. The year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the UN. These five decades have witnessed China’s practice of multilateralism, its full participation in and support for the cause of the UN, and its continuous contributions to world peace and development.
1. Over the past 50 years, China has firmly upheld world peace and security. Holding high the banner of peace, development and win-win cooperation, China has been committed to an objective and just position, to resolving differences through dialogue and consultation, and to the principle of non-interference in each others’ internal affairs. China firmly opposes the willful threat or use of force in international affairs. It has taken an active part in the political resolution of major regional hotspots such as the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, the Iranian nuclear issue, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Palestine and Israel, Syria, Libya, Sudan and South Sudan. It has explored and practiced solutions with distinctive Chinese features to global and regional hotspot issues. It has endeavored to safeguard the authority and solidarity of the Security Council, actively supported UN’s good offices as mandated and its coordination and cooperation with regional and subregional organizations, and contributed to world peace and security.
Since 1990, China has dispatched over 50,000 peacekeepers to nearly 30 UN peacekeeping missions. It is the second largest funding contributor to UN peacekeeping operations and an important troop provider, contributing more peacekeepers than any other permanent members of the Security Council. More than 2,200 Chinese peacekeepers are now on duty in eight mission areas. China has set up an 8,000-strong standby force and a 300-member permanent police squad for UN peacekeeping missions. This has put China ahead of all other UN troops providers in terms of the size of standby forces and the variety of contingents. China has facilitated the Security Council’s adoption of Resolution 2518 on the safety and security of peacekeepers, and initiated the launch of the Group of Friends on the Safety and Security of UN Peacekeepers, contributing China’s wisdom to the reform and improvement of peacekeeping missions.
China has taken an active part in international arms control and disarmament. It has joined more than 20 international arms control treaties and mechanisms including the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BWC), and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (CWC), and has constructively participated in relevant international conferences and mechanisms. China has timely declared its implementation of relevant treaties, kept improving its domestic legal structure and measures to ensure sound implementation, and enhanced capacity building of its national implementation authorities.
President Xi Jinping attended the Nuclear Security Summit in 2014 and in 2016, and proposed to follow a sensible, coordinated and balanced approach to nuclear security, and build a global nuclear security architecture featuring fairness and win-win cooperation. China has played a constructive part in the deliberation and negotiation of the UN and relevant international organizations on arms control and disarmament. It has taken the initiative to offer its proposals and solutions including no-first-use of nuclear weapon, and promoted the establishment of a verification regime under the BWC, making important contributions to world peace and security as well as to global strategic stability.
China has taken an active part in global cooperation to address non-traditional security threats. It supports UN’s leading role in the global fight against terrorism and the counter-terrorism resolutions adopted by the Security Council. It has vigorously promoted the full implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
China has all along supported the UN in playing a leading role in global governance on cyberspace and has taken a constructive part in the UN Open-ended Working Group and the Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security. It has initiated with other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) the International Code of Conduct for Information Security, the world’s first systematic document on the international code of conduct in cyberspace, and facilitated negotiations on a Comprehensive International Convention on Countering the Use of Information and Communications Technologies for Criminal Purposes. In 2020, China submitted to the UN General Assembly the Global Initiative on Data Security, providing a blueprint for global rules on data security. In 2021, China submitted to the UN General Assembly the Tianjin Biosecurity Guidelines for Codes of Conduct for Scientists, making new contributions to lowering biosecurity risks and advancing the well-being for humanity with biological sciences.
2. Over the past 50 years, China has made vigorous efforts to promote global development. Through unremitting efforts, China has realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China. China has met the poverty eradication target of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ten years ahead of schedule. This is a miracle in the human history of reducing poverty, and an enormous contribution to global poverty reduction and sustainable development endeavors.
China attaches great importance to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It was among the first to publish the National Plan and three Progress Reports on the implementation of the Agenda, and has achieved early harvests in many areas. China has taken an active part in international poverty reduction cooperation, and facilitated the adoption of resolutions on rural poverty eradication at the UN General Assembly for three consecutive years. China has published a selection of poverty reduction cases in a book titled Eradication of Poverty: China’s Practices. It has consistently increased input in international poverty reduction cooperation, and has fully implemented the 100 poverty reduction projects announced by President Xi Jinping and other major, practical steps to support fellow developing countries. Food security is critical to human survival. It is also an important part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. China is actively involved in international agricultural cooperation, and has provided support to fellow developing countries within the South-South cooperation framework to the best of its ability. It has worked to promote international food and agriculture governance as well as global food security.
In 2013, President Xi Jinping put forward the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI follows the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the philosophy of open, green and clean cooperation, and a high-standard, people-centered and sustainable approach. With connectivity as its main focus, Belt and Road cooperation aims to promote policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity, and to contribute China’s wisdom and solutions for better global governance system, greater development worldwide, and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. To date, 141 countries and 32 international organizations including 19 UN agencies have signed Belt and Road cooperation documents with China. A large number of cooperation projects have been delivered, which have enhanced the connectivity between countries and regions and given a strong boost to economic and social development and people’s livelihood in relevant countries and regions.
Belt and Road cooperation has demonstrated strong resilience and dynamism despite the COVID-19 pandemic and has played an important role in helping countries fight the coronavirus, stabilize the economy and ensure people’s livelihood. The participants have worked actively to build a Silk Road of health, green and digital development, and foster new areas of cooperation. Such efforts have opened up new space for economic and social recovery and sustainable development, and provided strong support for the international community to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative at the General Debate of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, with a view to speeding up the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the international community and achieving more robust, greener and more balanced global development.
This Initiative embraces the people-centered core concept, takes the betterment of people’s well-being and realization of their well-rounded development as the starting point and ultimate goal, and endeavors to meet the aspirations of all nations for a better life. It focuses on development as the master key to addressing all problems, and strives to solve difficult issues of development and create more opportunities for development, leaving no countries and no individuals behind.
This Initiative follows the guidelines of practical cooperation, responds to the dynamics and urgent needs of global development, and has identified priority areas including poverty alleviation, food security, COVID-19 and vaccines, financing for development, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy, and connectivity. It has put forward cooperation proposals and plans to translate development consensus into pragmatic actions. It is an important public good and cooperation platform that China provides to the international community.
China has worked tirelessly to advance international cooperation on climate change. During the negotiations on the Paris Agreement in 2015, China called on all parties to work in the same direction and build consensus, making an important contribution to the conclusion of the Agreement as scheduled. At the General Debate of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2020, President Xi Jinping announced China’s commitment to strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. China has committed to move from carbon peak to carbon neutrality in a much shorter time span than what might take the developed countries, which requires extraordinarily hard efforts. China has accepted the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and tightened regulations over non-carbon dioxide emissions, and its national carbon market has started trading.
China has accelerated the transition toward clean and low-carbon energy. In 2020, China’s non-fossil energy accounted for 15.9 percent of its primary energy consumption, reaching the world average, and the proportion of coal consumption lowered to 56.8 percent. China will strictly control coal-fired power generation projects, strictly limit the increase in coal consumption over the 14th Five-Year Plan period, and phase it down in the 15th Five-Year Plan period. China has given priority to developing non-fossil energy, and remained the world’s number one in terms of the installed capacity of hydropower, wind power, photovoltaic power and nuclear power plants under construction. By the end of 2020, China’s installed capacity of clean energy accounted for nearly half of the total installed capacity. China has vigorously advanced the ultra-low emissions and energy-saving renovation of coal-fired power generating units. Over 100 million kilowatts of outdated coal-fired power generating units were closed. The average coal consumption for power supply from thermal power plants dropped to 305.5g/kWh. China has built the world’s largest clean coal power supply system. President Xi Jinping solemnly announced, in his address at the General Debate of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, that China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad.
China attaches great importance to protecting biological diversity. It has firmly promoted international cooperation and exchanges in this field, engaged deeply in the governance process of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and strictly fulfilled its treaty obligations to advance global governance on biodiversity. China is an important participant in, a contributor to, and a pacesetter for the multilateral process on biodiversity. President Xi Jinping made an important speech at the 2020 UN Summit on Biodiversity. He made a four-point proposal on global environmental governance, namely, adhering to ecological civilization, upholding multilateralism, continuing with green development, and heightening the sense of responsibility. He also shared China’s experience of biodiversity governance and contribution to global environmental governance. From 11 to 15 October 2021, the first part of the 15th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity was held in Kunming. President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech and put forward four propositions: taking the development of ecological civilization as the guide to coordinate the relationship between man and Nature; letting green transition drive the efforts to facilitate global sustainable development; concentrating on bettering people’s well-being to promote social equity and justice; and taking international law as the basis to uphold a fair and equitable international governance system. These represent China’s proposals to high-quality development of humanity, and have injected fresh impetus into global biodiversity governance.
China is committed to advancing sustainable transport and connectivity in the world. From 14 to 16 October 2021, the Second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference was held in Beijing. President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech and made five propositions: upholding open interplay and enhancing connectivity; upholding common development and promoting fairness and inclusiveness; upholding an innovation-driven approach and creating more drivers for development; upholding ecological conservation as a priority and pursuing green and low-carbon development; and upholding multilateralism and improving global governance. This is a contribution of China’s wisdom to advancing sustainable transport and achieving sustainable development. The Conference released the Beijing Statement, which encourages countries to enhance cooperation, capacity building and knowledge exchange in the field of sustainable transport, accelerate sustainable transport transformation, contribute to the post-pandemic green recovery, and foster more new drivers for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
3. Over the past 50 years, China has worked steadily to advance international rule of law. As a member of nearly all universal inter-governmental organizations and a signatory to over 600 international conventions and amendments, China has been fulfilling its treaty obligations in good faith, honoring its international commitments, and firmly upholding the international order underpinned by international law.
China has firmly supported developing countries’ efforts to safeguard their own maritime rights and interests. It has played an important role in the final conclusion of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. China has signed and ratified the Convention and has been implementing it. China has taken an active part in the negotiation processes for multiple follow-up agreements.
China has actively facilitated negotiations and formulation of international rules in such emerging areas as cyber, deep sea, polar regions (Arctic and Antarctic), outer space and anti-corruption.
China has actively participated in negotiations on the international agreement on marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (BBNJ), advocated a sound balance between marine conservation and sustainable use, and firmly supported the legitimate demands of developing countries.
China has actively participated in the development of Regulations on Exploitation of Mineral Resources in the Area, and worked for the formulation of an equitable, reasonable, and balanced mining code in the Area.
China has played a constructive role in the development of multiple outer space rules, including on the prevention of an arms race in the outer space, the development and use of space resources, and the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, and has worked with various parties to uphold the global governance system of the outer space based on international law.
China has advocated formulating an international convention on countering cybercrime under the UN framework, and has been an initiator, supporter and promoter of the UN Intergovernmental Expert Group on Cybercrime. China has actively facilitated the UN General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution to launch the negotiation process for a global convention on countering cybercrime, which is the first UN-led international convention on cybercrime.
China has been deeply involved in negotiations on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, firmly upheld the Convention’s status as the main channel of international anti-corruption cooperation, and actively participated in the Conferences of the State Parties and relevant working group meetings. China has earnestly fulfilled its obligations under the Convention and attached high importance to the review of implementation. China has taken an active part in the special session of the General Assembly against corruption, and expounded on its proposals for international cooperation against corruption, with a view to fostering a more just and equitable international anti-corruption governance system.
China is an important party to and a faithful practitioner of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. It is committed to the full and effective implementation of the Convention, and to resolutely and forcefully combating transnational organized crime by improving domestic legislation, conducting various international cooperation and stepping up technical and capacity building assistance to other developing countries.
China has firmly supported the work of UN judicial institutions. It has actively participated in international judicial activities, and firmly upheld important principles of international law such as sovereignty and territorial integrity.
4. Over the past 50 years, China has fully supported the UN in playing a central role in international affairs. The UN is a banner of multilateralism. The UN Charter has laid down the cornerstone of the modern international order and established the basic norms of contemporary international relations. China firmly maintains that there is only one system in the world, i.e., the UN-centered international system; only one order, i.e., the international order based on international law; and only one set of rules, i.e., the basic norms of international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
China has always held high the banner of multilateralism and practiced true multilateralism. China believes that international affairs should be addressed through consultation by all, and that the future of the world should be decided by all countries together. China firmly opposes unilateralism, protectionism and bullying acts, and firmly rejects pseudo-multilateralism in such disguises as group politics and small circles. China is committed to making the global governance system more just and equitable.
China has taken an active part in the work of the UN in all areas, and urged the UN to focus on the concerns and needs of developing countries. In September 2015, when attending the summits marking the 70th anniversary of the UN, President Xi Jinping announced China’s decision to establish a China-UN Peace and Development Fund. To date, China has provided US$120 million to the fund and launched 112 cooperation projects, giving support to UN’s work on peace and development.
In September 2020, during the high-level meetings marking the 75th anniversary of the UN, President Xi Jinping announced that China would provide another US$50 million to the UN COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan, provide US$50 million to the China-FAO South-South Cooperation Trust Fund (Phase III), extend the China-UN Peace and Development Fund by five years after it expires in 2025, and actively support the UN in setting up the UN Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Center and an International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals in China. These are part of China’s new contribution to the international efforts to defeat the coronavirus, restart the economy, and accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
China has always advocated consultation, cooperation and shared benefits in global governance, and adopted a Member States-led and action-oriented approach to improve the global governance system. The aim is to make the system better reflect the changing international landscape and the aspirations and interests of the majority of countries, especially emerging markets and developing countries, and to tackle global challenges more effectively. China supports the UN in advancing with the times and better coordinating national efforts against global challenges through reform in order to better meet the expectation of the international community.
5. Over the past 50 years, China has been actively promoting and protecting human rights. China embraces a human rights philosophy that centers on the people, sees the rights to subsistence and development as the primary basic human rights, takes systematic steps to advance the economic, political, social, cultural and environmental rights of all people, and strives to uphold social fairness and justice and promote the all-round human development. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, it has successfully blazed a path of human rights development that suits China’s national reality and needs and has the wholehearted support of the Chinese people. China’s achievements in advancing human rights are recognized by the whole world.
China has been an active participant, builder and contributor for the international human rights cause. It has joined or ratified 26 international human rights instruments, including six core human rights conventions. It has played a constructive role in the formulation of such important documents as the Declaration on the Right to Development and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. China is deeply involved in the work of multilateral human rights mechanisms, and has been elected to the UN Human Rights Council five times. China advocates abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms of international relations, upholds the principles of impartiality, objectivity and non-selectiveness, and attaches equal importance to and systematically advances all types of human rights. China has facilitated the adoption of Human Rights Council resolutions on “the contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights”, “promoting mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of human rights” and “negative impact of the legacies of colonialism on the enjoyment of human rights”, and spoken on behalf of developing countries on many occasions on “realizing the right to development”, “promoting human rights through poverty alleviation”, “promoting international human rights cooperation” and “fair and more equitable global distribution of vaccines”. Through these efforts, China has contributed its wisdom and strength to global human rights governance. Moreover, China has established human rights dialogue or consultation mechanisms with more than 20 countries and regional organizations, and stands committed to carrying out human rights exchange and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
6. Over the past 50 years, China has vigorously advanced development and cooperation on social affairs. China has taken an active part in the UN’s work in such fields as education, science, culture, sports, health, women and youth. Through multi-tiered and diverse forms of cooperation, China has contributed to the exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, and the all-round development and progress of humanity.
China has always adhered to the basic state policy of gender equality. It has established a legal framework consisting of over 100 laws and regulations to fully safeguard the rights and interests of women. Women account for half of the population lifted out of poverty in China, and take up over 40 percent of jobs in the country. Gender equality is basically realized throughout compulsory education years. China has actively shared its successful experience in the development of women affairs. It successfully hosted the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, during which the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was adopted. In 2015, President Xi Jinping chaired the Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, and delivered an important statement at the 2020 High-level Meeting on the 25th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women at the UN General Assembly, lending a new impetus into the all-round development of women and the global cooperation on women affairs.
China has long been actively committed to cooperation on education with the UN and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education, jointly established by China and UNESCO, honors outstanding contributions made by individuals, institutions and organizations to advance girls’ and women’s education, and six consecutive editions have been hosted. As the only UNESCO Prize in girls’ and women’s education, it has become a fine example of practical cooperation between China and UNESCO. China also launched with UNESCO the UNESCO-China Funds-In-Trust (CFIT) in 2012, and has since made annual contributions of US$2 million to earnestly support African countries in building greater capacity of teacher training and narrow the education gap in Africa. When COVID-19 caused massive school closures around the world and dealt a heavy blow to global education, China supported the UN in advancing digital education, and catalyzed international community’s exploration of flexible and hybrid learning during the pandemic to help ensure equal opportunity in education and inclusive education for all, and strive to attain the goals for education in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Sport is a symbol of social development and human progress, and the Olympic spirit represents people’s shared aspiration that transcends national boundaries. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development explicitly identifies sport as an important enabler of sustainable development and recognizes its growing contribution to the realization of development and peace. China attaches great importance to developing sport, and actively supports and participates in the Olympic Movement. Over the past 50 years, China has hosted multiple major international multi-sport events including the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games, and the Asian Games. It has made vigorous efforts to popularize the Olympic Movement and contributed its share to world Olympic Movement. Beijing will be hosting the 24th Olympic Winter Games from 4 to 20 February 2022 and the 13th Paralympic Winter Games from 4 to 13 March 2022. That will make Beijing the world’s first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics. Following a green, inclusive, open and clean approach, China is able and confident to present a streamlined, safe and splendid Olympic Games, which welcomes the participation of all parties. China will work with other countries to uphold the purposes of the Olympic Charter, promote the Olympic spirit, give full play to the positive role of sport in promoting world peace, the development of countries and friendship among the people, jointly advance the sound development of sport in the world, champion “together” as enshrined in the new Olympic motto, and achieve the goal of “Together for a Shared Future”. China will submit to the 76th session of the UN General Assembly a draft resolution for the observance of the Olympic Truce, and looks forward to receiving active support from other Member States.
China has actively participated in youth-related international cooperation and engaged in wide-ranging, youth-related interactions with other countries and international organizations. As an active participant in the ECOSOC Youth Forum and the UNESCO Youth Forum, China has shared with other parties its experience and practices in enhancing youth education and implementing the UN Youth Strategy in an effort to facilitate the development of global youth programs. China actively supports young people from all countries in coming to China for study and exchanges, and has established a China-Africa innovation cooperation center to facilitate cooperation on innovation and entrepreneurship among the younger generation, held young talents training programs for the Arab League, and implemented the China-LAC Scientist Exchange Program.
7. Over the past 50 years, China has made continuous contribution to improving healthcare for mankind. Actively participating in global health development, China has engaged in multi-tiered health exchanges and cooperation through multiple channels. It has provided robust international assistance on health, and has been actively involved in major international health initiatives, playing an important role in helping recipient countries with disaster response and healthcare development.
Infectious diseases pose a serious threat to human health, and represent a common challenge to the development of humanity. Following a law-based and science-based approach, China has implemented a succession of five-year plans on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. The quality of life of people affected by HIV/AIDS has been further improved, and social discrimination further reduced. AIDS epidemic has been kept at a low prevalence level. Thanks to years of efforts, China was officially awarded a malaria-free certification by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2021. China closely follows the Ebola epidemic in Africa and responds actively to the call of African countries. It was among the first to deliver a large amount of medical aids to the Ebola-affected countries and their neighbors, and sent a large number of disease control experts and medical professionals to work with African people and help them defeat the virus. China supports the WHO and other UN agencies in mobilizing global resources to accelerate vaccine and medicine research and development and support Africa in building up public health capacity and realizing greater development.
After COVID-19 broke out, China was the first to share with other parties COVID-related information and response experience, the first to provide other countries with large amounts of medical supplies, the first to assist developing countries with large quantities of vaccines, and the first to send medical expert teams abroad. President Xi Jinping delivered important remarks at the virtual opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly, calling on all countries to fight COVID-19 through solidarity and cooperation and build a global community of health for all.
China actively responded to the UN-initiated Global Humanitarian Response Plan, providing assistance in kind to over 150 countries and international organizations and exporting medical supplies to over 200 countries and regions. In total, it has extended to the world over 320 billion masks, 3.9 billion protective suits and 5.6 billion testing kits. China supports the Strategy to Achieve Global COVID-19 Vaccination by mid-2022 launched recently by the WHO, and has honored its commitment of making vaccines a global public good. As of mid October 2021, China has contributed over 1.5 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to over 100 countries and international organizations, contributing significantly to building a global immunity defence. In October 2020, China joined the WHO-led COVAX Facility, and called on multilateral financial institutions to provide inclusive financing support for developing countries in their procurement and production of vaccines. In 2021, vaccines produced by the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and Sinovac were granted WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) and added to the COVAX Facility procurement pool in July of the same year. The two companies have concluded long-term supply agreements as well. China has decided to donate US$100 million to COVAX for vaccine distribution among developing countries. It will donate an additional 100 million doses of vaccines to fellow developing countries. China has announced support for waiving intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines, and called on countries to further strengthen international cooperation on vaccine production capacity through joint research, authorized production, technology transfer and other means, and take feasible measures to improve the production capacity of developing countries.
III. China is ready to strive ahead together with all the progressive forces of the world, and advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity. China will continue to make new contributions to upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, maintaining world peace, and promoting common development and human progress. It will continue to promote a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness and justice and win-win cooperation, and advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
1. China will continue to be a builder of world peace. China firmly follows a path of peaceful development and will never seek hegemony, expansion or spheres of influence. It is committed to developing friendship and cooperation with all countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. At the same time, China will firmly defend its national interests and dignity, uphold its legitimate rights and interests, and safeguard international justice and equity. China maintains that all countries, irrespective of their size, strength and wealth, are equal members of the international community, that the development paths and social systems independently chosen by people of all countries should be respected, and that the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs should be upheld. China is ready to work with countries around the world to pursue the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security for the world, effectively tackle traditional and non-traditional security threats, and jointly develop a world that enjoys universal security. China will continue to support the implementation of the global ceasefire appeal by the UN Secretary-General to facilitate the ceasefire and cessation of violence by all relevant parties as soon as possible and the political settlement of hotspot issues. China resolutely opposes any unfounded threat or use of force, unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction.
China supports enhancing international cooperation on counter-terrorism and building a global united front against terrorism centered around the UN. China strongly condemns terrorism and extremism of all forms, opposes associating them with specific countries, ethnicities or religions, and stands against double standards on counter-terrorism. China calls for a holistic approach to counter-terrorism that addresses both the symptoms and root causes. Efforts are needed to facilitate the political settlement of hotspot issues, advocate mutual respect and harmonious coexistence of different civilizations and religions, and help relevant regions and countries develop their economies and improve people’s lives, so as to eliminate the breeding ground of terrorism at its source.
China maintains that nuclear-weapon states should reiterate their stance that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”, abandon nuclear deterrence policies based on preemptive moves, reduce the role of nuclear weapons in national security policy, stop developing and deploying global anti-ballistic missile systems, and not seek to deploy land-based intermediate-range missiles overseas, so as to promote global strategic balance and stability.
In nuclear disarmament, countries should follow a step-by-step approach based on the principles of “maintaining global strategic stability” and “undiminished security for all countries”. Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals have special and primary responsibilities in nuclear disarmament. They should continue to substantively slash their nuclear arsenals in a verifiable, irreversible and legally binding manner to create conditions for complete and thorough nuclear disarmament in the end.
2. China will continue to be a contributor to global development. China will work with other countries to advance the implementation of the Global Development Initiative, and stay committed to development as a priority, a people-centered approach, benefits for all, innovation-driven development, harmony between man and nature, and results-oriented actions, with a view to forging greater synergy in multilateral development cooperation and building a global community of development with a shared future. Under the framework of South-South cooperation, China will continue to do its best to help other developing countries implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
China will continue to seek greater synergy between Belt and Road cooperation and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for greater benefits. With a focus on priority areas such as COVID-19 response, poverty alleviation, development cooperation and climate change, China will explore ways to jointly build a Health Silk Road, a Green Silk Road, a Digital Silk Road and a Silk Road of Innovation, and work with all parties for a bright future of win-win cooperation.
China supports strengthening global climate and environmental governance across the board. Countries need to follow the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and work for a fair and equitable system of global environmental governance for win-win cooperation. They need to step up climate actions in light of their respective national circumstances and capabilities, and fully and effectively implement the Paris Agreement.
China supports further efforts to protect the world’s ecosystems and promote the harmony between man and nature. Countries need to implement in a balanced way the three objectives of the CBD, namely, the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. They must, under the principles of fairness, transparency and parties-driven process, seek greater consensus, move in the same direction, and work toward a more just and equitable biodiversity governance system that embodies the best efforts of all parties.
3. China will continue to be a defender of the international order. In face of new developments and challenges, the world needs true multilateralism. China will continue to hold high the banner of multilateralism, resolutely defend the UN-centered international system, the international order underpinned by international law and the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core, and actively participate in the reform and development of the global governance system. China stands firmly against unilateralism, protectionism, bullying acts and the practices of forming small circles and group politics. China firmly defends the right of developing countries to peaceful use of technology. It advocates launching an inclusive and transparent discussion process under the framework of the UN, and handling the relationship between non-proliferation and peaceful use in a more balanced and just manner.
4. China will continue to be a provider of public goods. It will continue to implement the major initiatives and measures that President Xi Jinping announced at the UN, work for a greater role of the China-UN Peace and Development Fund, the China-FAO South-South Cooperation Trust Fund, the Center for International Knowledge on Development, the International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals, the Global Innovation and Knowledge Center for Sustainable Transport, and the mechanisms of the standby force and permanent police squad for UN peacekeeping missions, among many others. It will work with the UN to accelerate the building of a global humanitarian response depot and hub and a UN Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Center, and make greater contributions to the cause of world peace and development. China will honor its commitment of making vaccines a global public good, and help ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.
Over the past 50 years, China has held to its original aspiration for multilateralism, world peace and common development, and firmly supported the UN in playing a bigger role in international affairs. Standing at a new historical starting point, China will work tirelessly with all countries in the world for a community with a shared future for mankind!
The CIA Undermined Postcolonial Africa From the Start
08 november 21
From undermining national liberation leaders to playing a central role in the assassination of Congolese radical Patrice Lumumba, not enough attention is paid to the CIA’s shameful role in Africa. A new book aims to correct that.
In 1958, a year after it achieved independence from colonial rule, Ghana hosted a conference of African leaders, the first such gathering to ever take place on the continent. At the invitation of Ghana’s newly elected prime minister, Kwame Nkrumah, more than three hundred leaders from twenty-eight territories across Africa attended, including Patrice Lumumba of the still Belgian Congo and Frantz Fanon, who was then living in still French Algeria. It was a time of unlimited potential for a group of people determined to chart a new course for their homelands. But the host wanted his guests not to forget the dangers ahead of them. “Do not let us also forget that colonialism and imperialism may come to us yet in a different guise — not necessarily from Europe.”
In fact, the agents Nkrumah feared were already present. Not long after the event began, Ghanaian police arrested a journalist who had been hiding in one of the conference rooms while apparently trying to record a closed breakout session. As it was later discovered, the journalist actually worked for a CIA front organization, one of many represented at the event.
British scholar Susan Williams has spent years documenting these and other instances of the United States’ secret operations during the early years of African independence. The resulting book, White Malice: The CIA and the Covert Recolonization of Africa, may be the most thorough investigation to date of CIA involvement in Africa in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Over more than five hundred pages, Williams counters the lies, deceptions, and pleas of innocence of the CIA and other US agencies to reveal a government that never let its failure to grasp the motivations of Africa’s leaders stop it from intervening, often violently, to undermine or overthrow them.
Though a few other African countries appear on the sidelines, White Malice overwhelmingly concerns just two that preoccupied the CIA during this period: Ghana and what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ghana’s appeal to the agency was based merely on its place in history. As the first African nation to gain independence, in 1957, and the homeland of Nrukmah — by far the most widely respected advocate of African self-determination of the day — the nation was inevitably a source of intrigue. The Congo stepped out of its colonial shackles soon after, in 1960. Because of its size, position near southern Africa’s bastions of white rule, and reserves of high-quality uranium at the Shinkolobwe mine in Katanga Province, the country soon became the next locus of the agency’s attention — and interference — in Africa.
“This is a turning point in the history of Africa,” Nkrumah told Ghana’s National Assembly during a visit from Congolese prime minister Lumumba a few weeks into the Congo’s self-rule. “If we allow the independence of the Congo to be compromised in any way by the imperialist and capitalist forces, we shall expose the sovereignty and independence of all Africa to grave risk.”
Nkrumah possessed an acute understanding of the threat and of the people behind it. Only months after his speech, Lumumba was assassinated by a Belgian and Congolese firing squad, opening the door to decades of pro-Western tyranny in the country.
Lumumba’s assassination is remembered today as one of the low points of the early years of African independence, but a lacking documentary record has allowed partisan investigators to minimize the CIA’s role. It’s a failure of accountability that has allowed the agency to appear blameless while reinforcing a fatalistic view of African history, as if the murder of an elected official was merely another terrible thing that “just happened” to a people utterly unprepared for the challenge of independence.
But, as Williams shows, the CIA was actually one of the chief architects of the plot. Only days after Lumumba’s visit to Ghana, Larry Devlin, the agency’s leading man in the Congo, warned his bosses of a vague takeover plot involving the Soviets, Ghanaians, Guineans, and the local Communist Party. It was “difficult [to] determine major influencing factors,” he said. Despite a complete lack of evidence, he was certain the “decisive period” when the Congo would align itself with the Soviet Union was “not far off.” Soon after, President Dwight D. Eisenhower verbally ordered the CIA to assassinate Lumumba.
The CIA’s agents did not, in the end, man the firing squad to kill Lumumba. But as Williams makes clear, that distinction is minor when one considers everything else the agency did to assist in the murder. After inventing and disseminating the bogus conspiracy plot of a pro-Soviet takeover, the CIA leveraged its multitude of sources in Katanga to provide intelligence to Lumumba’s enemies, making his capture possible. They helped to deliver him to the Katanga prison where he was held before his execution. Williams even cites a few lines from a recently declassified CIA expense report to show that Devlin, the station chief, ordered one of his agents to visit the prison not long before the bullets were fired.
When Nkrumah learned of Lumumba’s assassination, he felt it “in a very keen and personal way,” according to June Milne, his British research assistant. But horrifying as the news was to him, the Ghanaian statesman was hardly surprised.
White Malice is a triumph of archival research, and its best moments come when Williams allows the actors on both sides to speak for themselves. While books about African independence often show Nkrumah and his peers to be paranoid and hopelessly idealistic, reading their words alongside a mountain of evidence of CIA misdeeds, one sees how fear and idealism were entirely pragmatic reactions to the threats of the day. Nkrumah’s vision of African unity wasn’t the pipe dream of a naive and untested politician; it was a necessary response to a concerted effort to divide and weaken the continent.
In Nkrumah’s own country, the US government appears not to have pursued a course of outright assassination. But it acted in other ways to undermine the Ghanaian leader, often justifying its ploys with the same kinds of paternalistic rationalizations the British had used before them. Those efforts reached their nadir in 1964, when the US State Department’s West Africa specialists sent a memo to G. Mennen Williams, the department’s head of African affairs, titled “Proposed Action Program for Ghana.” The United States, it said, should start making “intensive efforts” involving “psychological warfare and other means to diminish support for Nkrumah within Ghana and nurture the conviction among the Ghanaian people that their country’s welfare and independence necessitate his removal.” In another file from that year, an official from Britain’s Commonwealth Relations Office mentions a plan, ostensibly approved at the highest levels of the foreign service, for “covert and unattributable attacks on Nkrumah.”
The level of coordination between governments within and outside the United States might have shocked Nkrumah, who, until the end of his life, was at least willing to believe the CIA was a rogue agency, accountable to no one, not even US presidents.
White Malice leaves little doubt, if any still existed, that the CIA did grave harm to Africa in its early days of independence. But while Williams presents numerous instances of the CIA and other agencies undermining African governments, often violently, the CIA’s wider strategy in Africa — apart from denying uranium and allies to the Soviet Union — remains opaque. What we call “colonization” as practiced by Britain, France, Belgium, and others involved a vast machinery of exploitation — schools to train children to speak the masters’ language, railroads to deplete the interior of resources — all maintained by an army of functionaries. But even in the Congo, the CIA’s presence was comparatively small. Huge budgets and the freedom to do virtually whatever they wanted in the name of fighting communism gave them an outsize influence over Africa’s history, but their numbers never rivaled the colonial bureaucracies they supposedly replaced.
Williams shows how the CIA plotted with businesspeople who stood to benefit from pro-Western African governments in both the Congo and Ghana. But far from a systematic practice of extraction, the agency’s designs for Africa often seem befuddled with contradiction.
That is especially true in the aftermath of Lumumba’s assassination; an overabundance of secrecy still prevents a full accounting. But what records have been pried from the agency’s hands detail a multitude of CIA aerial operations in the Congo involving planes owned by agency front companies and pilots who were themselves CIA personnel. During a period of upheaval, the agency appears to be everywhere in the country at once. “But,” Williams writes, “it is a confusing situation in which the CIA appears to have been riding several horses at once that were going in different directions.” The agency “supported [Katangan secessionist president Moïse] Tshombe’s war on the UN; it supported the UN mission in the Congo; and it supported the Congolese Air Force, the air arm of the Leopoldville government.”
As contradictory as these efforts seem to have been, all of them, Williams writes, “contributed to the objective of keeping the whole of the Congo under America’s influence and guarding the Shinkolobwe mine against Soviet incursion.”
Even if such conflicting plans shared a common goal, it’s not unreasonable to ask whether we should consider them colonialism — neo- or otherwise — or rather the schizophrenic response of an agency drunk with power it never should have been afforded. In White Malice, the CIA’s capacity for committing murder and sowing discord is on full display. Its capacity to rule, however, is less so.
Berlin 1884: Remembering the conference that divided Africa
135 years ago today, European leaders sat around a horseshoe-shaped table to set the rules for Africa’s colonisation.
On the afternoon of Saturday, November 15, 1884, an international conference was opened by the chancellor of the newly-created German Empire at his official residence on Wilhelmstrasse, in Berlin. Sat around a horseshoe-shaped table in a room overlooking the garden with representatives from every European country, apart from Switzerland, as well as those from the United States and the Ottoman Empire. The only clue as to the purpose of the November gathering of white men was hung on the wall – a large map of Africa “drooping down like a question mark” as Nigerian historian, Professor Godfrey Uzoigwe, would comment.
Including a short break for Christmas and the New Year, the West African Conference of Berlin would last 104 days, ending on February 26, 1885. In the 135 years since, the conference has come to represent the late 19th-century European Scramble and Partition of the continent. In the popular imagination, the delegates are hunched over a map, armed with rulers and pencils, sketching out national borders on the continent with no idea of what existed on the ground they were parcelling out. Yet this is mistaken. The Berlin Conference did not begin the scramble. That was well under way. Neither did it partition the continent. Only one state, the short-lived horror that was the Congo Free State, came out of it – though strictly speaking it was not actually a creation of the conference.
It did something much worse, though, with consequences that would reverberate across the years and be felt until today. It established the rules for the conquest and partition of Africa, in the process legitimising the ideas of Africa as a playground for outsiders, its mineral wealth as a resource for the outside world not for Africans and its fate as a matter not to be left to Africans.
From the very start, the conference laid out the order of priorities. “The Powers are in the presence of three interests: That of the commercial and industrial nations, which a common necessity compels to the research of new outlets. That of the States and of the Powers summoned to exercise over the regions of the Congo an authority which will have burdens corresponding to their rights. And, lastly, that which some generous voices have already commended to your solicitude – the interests of the native populations.” It also resolutely refused to consider the question of sovereignty, and the legitimacy of laying claim to someone else’s land and resources.
Uzoigwe notes that: “Bismarck … stated in his opening remarks that delegates had not been assembled to discuss matters of sovereignty either of African states or of the European powers in Africa.” It was no accident that there were no Africans at the table – their opinions were not considered necessary. The efforts of the Sultan of Zanzibar to get himself invited to the party were summarily laughed off by the British.
American journalist Daniel De Leon described the conference as “an event unique in the history of political science … Diplomatic in form, it was economic in fact.” And it is true that while it was dressed up as a humanitarian summit to look at the welfare of locals, its agenda was almost purely economic. Few on the continent or in the African diaspora were fooled. A week before it closed, the Lagos Observer declared that “the world had, perhaps, never witnessed a robbery on so large a scale.” Six years later, another editor of a Lagos newspaper comparing the legacy conference to the slave trade said: “A forcible possession of our land has taken the place of a forcible possession of our person.” Theodore Holly, the first black Protestant Episcopal Bishop in the US, condemned the delegates as having “come together to enact into law, national rapine, robbery and murder”.
The outcome of the conference was the General Act signed and ratified by all but one of the 14 nations at the table, the US being the sole exception. Some of its main features were the establishment of a regime of free trade stretching across the middle of Africa, the development of which became the rationale for the recognition of the Congo Free State and its subsequent 13-year horror, the abolition of the overland slave trade as well as the principle of “effective occupation”.
Though the attempt to create a free trade area in Africa and therefore keep the continent from becoming both a spark for, and a theatre of conflict between the European powers, was ultimately doomed. The principle of “effective occupation” was to become the catalyst for military conquest of the African continent with far-reaching consequences for its inhabitants.
At the time of the conference, 80 percent of Africa remained under traditional and local control. The Europeans only had influence on the coast. Following it, they started grabbing chunks of land inland, ultimately creating a hodgepodge of geometric boundaries that was superimposed over indigenous cultures and regions of Africa. However, to get their claims over African land accepted, European states had to demonstrate that they could actually administer the area.
Often, military victory proved to be the easy part. To govern, they found they had to contend with a confusing milieu of fluid identities and cultures and languages. The Europeans thus set about reorganising Africans into units they could understand and control. As Professor Terence Ranger noted, the colonial period was marked “by systematic inventions of African traditions – ethnicity, customary law, ‘traditional’ religion. Before colonialism Africa was characterised by pluralism, flexibility, multiple identity; after it, African identities of ‘tribe’, gender and generation were all bounded by the rigidities of invented tradition.”
That first-ever international conference on Africa established a template for how the world deals with the continent. Today, Africa is still seen primarily as a source for raw materials for the outside world and an arena for them to compete over. Conferences about the continent are rarely held on the continent itself and rarely care about the views of ordinary Africans.
The sight of African heads of state assembling in foreign capitals to beg for favours is a re-enactment of the Sultan of Zanzibar’s pleading to attend a conference where he would be the main course.
Despite achieving independence for the most part in the 1950s and 1960s, many African countries have continued along the destructive path laid out in Berlin. Former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere declared: “We have artificial ‘nations’ carved out at the Berlin Conference in 1884, and today we are struggling to build these nations into stable units of human society… we are in danger of becoming the most Balkanised continent of the world.” Ethnicity and tribalism continue to be the bane of African politics. “The Berlin Conference was Africa’s undoing in more ways than one,” wrote Jan Nijman, Peter Muller and Harm de Blij in their book, Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts. “The colonial powers superimposed their domains on the African continent. By the time independence returned to Africa… the realm had acquired a legacy of political fragmentation that could neither be eliminated nor made to operate satisfactorily.”
Now, 135 years after Berlin, it is perhaps time for introspection. While it is impossible to turn back the clock, Africans would do well to reflect on what has happened since. Teaching the real history of the subjugation of the continent would help counter the myths of “ancient hatreds” that are said to fuel the conflicts on the continent. And Africans could decide to get together on the continent to debate and decide on the relationship they want with the rest of the world rather than always having that dictated to them from abroad.