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China will give $100m in refugee aid

By Zhao Huanxin and Amy He At The United Nations | China Daily USA | Updated: 2016-09-20 11:44

China pledged $100 million in humanitarian aid on Monday to help countries and international organizations resolve refugee and migrant crises and will consider additional support measures.

The vow was made by Premier Li Keqiang when he addressed a meeting at the 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York on refugees and migrants.

He said that the refugee and migrant problem concerns global peace and development and affects regional stability, adding that global society needs to cope with the issue proactively.

"The international community should work together to expand legal channels for migration and combat illegal migration, human trafficking and terrorism," Li said.

Li said China would also consider using part of the China-UN peace and development fund to support refugee and migrant work in developing countries, and to explore ways to enhance cooperation involving third parties, and with international agencies.

The refugee meeting was the UN's first high-level meeting addressing large-scale movements of refugees and migrants since the organization's founding, as the problems were becoming increasingly urgent and the meeting was an opportunity to focus the attention of the world community on the issue, the premier said.

World leaders adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which expresses the political will of world leaders to protect the rights of refugees and migrants, to save lives and share responsibility for large movements on a global scale.

Cooperation from refugee-origin countries is also important, Li noted. He urged stakeholders to resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiation and called on the international community to lead peace talks and promote more balanced global development.

The premier also said that China, as a large developing country, is always willing to join in the global effort to solve the refugee and migrant problem and shoulder the responsibility that is suitable to its capacity.

He stressed that China will take a series of humanitarian measures and seek three-party cooperation with international institutions and developing countries on refugee and migrant problems.

The number of displaced people reached a record 65.3 million at the end of last year, an increase of more than 5 million from 2014, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. That includes 21.3 million refugees, 3.2 million asylum seekers and 40.8 million migrants.

Opening the daylong session, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged world leaders to commit to "upholding the rights and dignity of everyone forced by circumstance to flee their homes in search of a better life".

Experts said that the challenge in the crisis is altering international relations between Turkey and the EU, amid controversy over refugee policies, said Zhu Feng, president of the Institute of International Studies at Nanjing University.

How to tackle the new factor of uncertainty still remains unsolved for the UN and the international community, Zhu said.

Hu Yongqi in Beijing contributed to this story.

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