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'China is a doer' on climate issues, UN envoy says

By MINLU ZHANG at the United Nations | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-09-28 07:05

"China is a doer" on climate issues and always puts its words into actions in sharp contrast to the "lip service by some Western countries", the country's top envoy to the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Zhang Jun, permanent representative of China to the UN, made the comments to reporters in a briefing on Vice-President Han Zheng's attendance at the General Debate of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly and high-level events.

"We keep our promises, honor our commitments, prioritize ecological conservation, and pursue a green and low-carbon path to development," Zhang said. "We have completely stopped the building of new coal-fired power projects abroad, actively supported fellow developing countries in pursuing green and low-carbon energy development, and helped build more green energy projects.

"China has made concrete contributions to addressing climate change, in sharp contrast to the lip services by some Western countries," he said.

"Developed countries try to evade or even overturn the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and put forward unrealistically high requirements for developing countries," said Zhang.

"Some Western countries, despite their high-profile stance, have only empty 'ambitions' but no actions, promises but no implementation," the envoy said. "They have even backtracked on issues such as cutting fossil fuels and promoting clean energy. These behaviors are impeding the international climate actions and costing the world the precious window of opportunity.

"In response to this, China made it clear at the UNGA General Debate that we should fully and effectively implement the Paris Agreement, and that developed countries should do more to reduce emissions and provide developing countries with financing, technology and capacity-building support," said Zhang.

Regarding China-US relations, Zhang said at the briefing that China and the United States bear special responsibilities for world peace, stability and development.

"In the face of increasing global challenges, maintaining China-US relations is in the common interest of both countries and their peoples. It is also the common expectation of the international community," he said.

"China's policy towards the United States has consistently prioritized stability and continuity. We have consistently viewed and managed China-US relations in accordance with the principles of mutual respect, peaceful co-existence and win-win cooperation proposed by President Xi Jinping," said Zhang.

"We hope that the United States will cooperate with China to find common ground, take practical actions, implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state and work towards enhancing understanding, mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation, ultimately restoring China-US relations to a healthy and stable track," said Zhang.

Multilateral cooperation is a crucial aspect of China-US relations, said the ambassador.

He said there are numerous areas where the two countries can collaborate, including but not limited to addressing climate change, combating terrorism and promoting political solutions on hot-spot issues.

At the same time, Zhang said, "it's important to note that China firmly opposes the United States' use of issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong to interfere in China's internal affairs and challenge China's core interests".

"On these matters, China has no room for compromise. We will remain unwavering and resolutely protect China's sovereignty, security and development interests," he said.

On the reform of the UN and its direction, Zhang said that the UN's problems are fundamentally the problems of member states. To reform the organization and promote the UN's progress, member states must first change their mindset, he said.

"The most important lesson that the changing international situation has taught us is that the future of everyone is interconnected," said Zhang.

"If the UN is to be reformed and improved, it must move forward in the right direction towards building a community with a shared future for humankind by upholding common security, promoting common development, and building a common future," he said.

"The strength of the UN comes from the solidarity of member states. In order to enhance the operational capacity of the organization, we must unequivocally oppose bloc confrontation, power politics, or double standards, and say no to any acts that undermine solidarity and trust," Zhang said.

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