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China V-P makes policy statement

By ZHAO HUANXIN at the United Nations | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-09-22 10:39

At UN, Han Zheng says country opposes hegemonism, unilateralism, Cold War mentality

A small number of countries have "arbitrarily" imposed illegal and unilateral sanctions, severely undermining the harmony and stability of international relations, so the global community should jointly resist such acts, Chinese Vice-President Han Zheng told assembled world leaders at United Nations headquarters on Thursday.

In a policy statement delivered at the 78th UN General Assembly's General Debate, Han also said that major countries should lead by example and deliver on their commitment to multilateralism, and that China opposes the use of human rights and democracy as a political tool to interfere in the affairs of other countries.

Han's compact speech of around 15 minutes touched wide-ranging topics, including China's consistent policies on peace, development and win-win cooperation, which Han said is the "unstoppable" historical trend.

But Han also talked specifically on Ukraine, Palestinian and Cuba issues, as well as protection of rights and multilateralism.

The vice-president began his speech by saying the global order faces multiple challenges at present, when the international security situation is grim, economic recovery lacks momentum, and the gap in development is widening.

He said that "facing profound changes in the world in our times and in history", Chinese President Xi Jinping made a major call of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Xi called on the international community to jointly build a world with lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity, a world that is open, inclusive, clean and beautiful.

"More and more countries have realized that they all share a huge stake of common survival, and that unity and cooperation is the right way to take," Han said.

The vice-president said the world should uphold equity and justice, and safeguard peace and security.

Stressing that the security of all countries is interconnected, Han said it is important to follow the vision of common comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and embark on a path to security featuring dialogue over confrontation, partnership over alliances and win-win outcomes over a zero-sum game.

"Cessation of hostilities and resumption of peace talks is the only way to settle the Ukraine crisis," Han said. "China supports all efforts that are conducive to the peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis and stands ready to continue playing a constructive role for the early attainment of peace."

He also said the Palestinian issue is at the core of the Middle East issue, and the fundamental way out lies in the two-state solution.

"China will continue to support the Palestinian people in pursuing the just cause of restoring their lawful national rights," he said.

As for Cuba, Han said China "firmly supports the Cuban people in their just struggle" to defend their sovereignty and oppose external interference and blockades, and that it appreciates Cuba's efforts to fight terrorism.

"We should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries and observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter," Han said. "China opposes hegemonism, power politics, unilateralism and Cold War mentality."

In his speech, Han also proposed staying open and inclusive, and advancing human civilization.

He noted that diversity is a defining feature of human civilization, and different countries and civilizations should prosper together by respecting each other, advancing together by drawing on each other's strengths, and seeking win-win outcomes by pursuing common ground while setting aside differences.

Han said promoting and protecting human rights is a cause pursued by all countries, and ensuring a good life for people is the biggest human right.

As countries have different histories, traditions and conditions, they must and can only explore a path of human rights development suited to their national conditions in response to the needs of the people, he said.

"We should advance the international human rights cause through dialogue and cooperation and oppose politicization and double standards," Han said.

Another proposal Han made at the UN venue was calling on the world to stay true to multilateralism and improve global governance.

Han said China is firm in supporting the international system with the UN at its core, and the UN should make advances in all the three pillar areas of security, development and human rights in a balanced manner.

It also should see that all countries jointly safeguard universal security, share development achievements and charge the course for the future of the world.

He also said China stays committed to opening itself wider to the world and will

continue to add new momentum to global economic development while welcoming all countries to share in the opportunities and benefits created by China's development.

Last but not the least, the vice-president said China is a "natural" member of the Global South — it will remain a member of the big family of developing countries as the largest developing country.

The US Congress introduced a resolution earlier this year that opposes China's status as a developing country in the World Trade Organization.

Han said China "breathes the same breath" with other developing countries and shares the same future with them.

"China is firm in upholding the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries. It supports and respects their efforts to independently decide on their development paths in keeping with their national conditions," he said.

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