Xi made the remarks at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) via video, as the world faces the combined impacts of changes unseen in a century and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Right now, COVID-19 is still raging in the world, with the number of new cases rising every day globally. “We must beat COVID-19 and win this decisive fight crucial to the future of humanity,” Xi said, voicing confidence that “we humanity will surely overcome it and prevail” despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic may appear overwhelming.
He called for putting people and their lives first, taking a science-based approach in origins tracing, enhancing coordinated global COVID-19 response and minimizing the risk of cross-border virus transmission.
Noting that vaccination is a powerful weapon against COVID-19, Xi said the pressing priority is to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines globally.
He reiterated the pledge that China will strive to provide a total of two billion doses of vaccines to the world by the end of this year. “In addition to donating 100 million US dollars to COVAX, China will donate 100 million doses of vaccines to other developing countries in the course of this year.”
The role of China is even more critical at a time when some countries have adopted a selfish strategy of vaccine nationalism and even put restrictions on export of COVID-19 vaccines and other medical supplies, said Nadeem Irfan Bukhari, a professor from University of the Punjab, Pakistan.
“Development holds the key to people’s well-being,” Xi said, adding that countries need to work together to steer global development toward a new stage of balanced, coordinated and inclusive growth.
To support developing countries in responding to COVID-19 and promoting economic and social recovery, China has pledged an additional three billion US dollars of international assistance in the next three years.
China will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad, he said, pledging that the country will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy.
“We need to advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity, and reject the practice of forming small circles or zero-sum games,” Xi said.
Democracy is not a special right reserved to an individual country, but a right for the people of all countries to enjoy, the Chinese president stressed. “Recent developments in the global situation show once again that military intervention from the outside and so-called democratic transformation entail nothing but harm,” Xi said.
He called for building a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation, and doing the best to “expand the convergence of interests” and “achieve the biggest synergy possible.”
“One country’s success does not have to mean another country’s failure, and the world is big enough to accommodate common development and progress of all countries,” he said, adding that differences and problems among countries need to be handled through dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations.