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The Fiji Times Online

Published Date: Jan 28, 2017

Sustainable development and international obligations

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made a statement at the General Debate of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly and expounded China’s proposals to promote global development, which were warmly welcomed by experts.

Speaking at the annual high-level debate at the UN General Assembly, Li reiterated China’s commitment to sustainable development and its international obligations.

China attaches great importance to the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and will push forward the action plan authored by G20 leaders earlier this month, said Li.

He called on the international community to jointly address global challenges and build an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world, referencing the theme of the G20 summit held in early September in China.

"The conceptualisation of 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is a Chinese contribution which was articulated at G20 Summit in Hangzhou," said Dolla Varaprasad, a professor with Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India.

"The premier’s announcement showed China’s determination, sincerity and passion to achieve the sustainable development goals," said Saleem Khilji, director of Sustainable Development Policy Institute in Pakistan.

Indian prof. R.K. Chaudhury, formerly of Delhi University, also hailed Chinese premier’s speech, saying that the ultimate goal of China’s modernisation is to have some 1.3 billion people live a well-off life and "that’s very much achievable."

As the largest developing country with a population of 1.3 billion, China has earnestly met international obligations to raise standards of living at home, Li said.

China has provided 400 billion RMB (about $US59.9 billion) ($F122.4) to 166 countries and more than 30 international and regional organizations, and trained about 12 million personnel in various sectors for other developing countries, said Li.

"China’s contribution to the South-South Cooperation, especially to countries in Africa is unique and exemplary in the world," said Khilji.

"The China-initiated assistance fund for South-South Cooperation and the China-UN Peace and Development Fund likely to start formally later this year, will further help in poverty alleviation and improve the security situation in the world," he added.

Meanwhile, Laurie Pearcey, international executive director of the University of New South Wales, told Xinhua that "China’s role in Africa for example is breaking the traditional mould forged by old world imperial powers which sought to assert influence on the African continent through the lens of post colonialism."

Fay Chung, former minister of Elementary Education of Zimbabwe also spoke highly of China’s role in Africa.

"China considers the African nations as his brothers, and always try its best to safeguard their interests in international affairs. Because of this, many African countries show their full support to China," said Chung.