Experts hail president’s speech at general debate –

President Xi Jinping delivers a speech via video from Beijing to a high-level meeting in honor of the United Nations’ 75th anniversary on Monday. [Photo/Xinhua]

Global experts hailed President Xi Jinping’s speech at the United Nations, saying it reiterated China’s long-pursued policy of peace and global collaboration and sent a clear message that China values multilateralism and has no intention to seek hegemony, expansion or a sphere of influence.

In a speech delivered via video at the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Xi presented to the world China’s “clearly focused vision” of international relations, Robert Lawrence Kuhn, chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, told Xinhua News Agency.

Kuhn said his speech outlined several points: that “multilateralism, epitomized by the UN, is the only way that the contemporary world can work well”; that “big countries … should advocate and uphold international rule of law and honor their commitments”; and that “the world should reject unilateralism, where one country exercises dominance”.

Kuhn noted that Xi also highlighted China’s intention not to seek hegemony and control, which “indirectly addressed the recent and increasingly public charge, especially in the West, that China has growing imperial ambitions”.

Nawazish Mirza, an associate professor of finance at the Excelia Business School in France, said that Xi’s speech reiterated “China’s long-pursued policy of peace and global collaboration”.

“Xi stressed enhancing the representation of developing countries. This is sensible as more than 95 percent of the global population resides in these countries and is the source of some critical international conflicts,” he said.

“By proposing that these countries should be mainstreamed, China is not only looking forward to equity but also fostering economic, trade, scientific and trade cooperation,” he added.

Wang Yanbo, an assistant professor of the Department of Strategy and Policy at the National University of Singapore’s Business School, said he is impressed that Xi stressed multilateralism.

“Multilateralism requires collaboration by other parties,” he said. “While the voices and interests of minor powers are important to incorporate, most likely the feasibility and success of a global regime featuring multilateralism is determined by how great powers like China, the United States, the European Union and Japan communicate, coordinate and accommodate.”

Stephen Perry, chairman of Britain’s 48 Group Club, said that the world has become tumultuous following the financial crisis of 2008, economic woes and the rise of terrorism. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped focus minds on the need for global cooperation and a commitment to act to help the people of the world.

He said that Xi’s speech introduced a new vision for the world: building a community with a shared future for mankind, which can help the UN focus on real endeavors.

Andrey Ostrovsky, director of the Centre for Economic and Social Problems in China and East Asia at Russian Academy of Sciences, said Xi’s speech emphasized the core role of the UN in international affairs.

Ostrovsky said China always supports the UN and devotes itself to increase opportunities for developing countries to participate in global governance. China’s vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind serves the interests of developing countries and will push global mutual development.

Tursunali Kuziyev, a professor at Uzbekistan State University of World Languages, said Xi’s remarks emphasized the importance of multilateralism and championed the implementation of equal rights, equal opportunities and equal rules for all countries.

Kuziyev said Xi’s words showed the direction of development of the modern world and had tremendous meaning for the current international situation.

Rana Mitter, director of the University of Oxford China Centre, said that the formation of the UN in 1945 was one of the great moments of global cooperation to create a better world that would seek to avoid conflict and help create cooperation.

“Today, genuine multilateral cooperation is even more important in a world where issues such as climate change and global health demand genuine cooperation across borders and beyond nations,” he said.

Emissions goal lauded

Some experts also praised Xi for saying that China aims to see its carbon dioxide emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s executive vice-president for the European Green Deal, said on social media on Tuesday: “I welcome the announcement by President Xi that China has set a date for its CO2 emissions to peak and will become carbon neutral before 2060. We need decisive action from every country to keep temperatures under control, tackle climate change, and keep our planet inhabitable.”

Erbiao Dai, vice-president of the Asian Growth Research Institute in Fukuoka, Japan, said Xi’s promise to achieve “carbon neutrality by 2060” is crucial in the global fight against climate change.

“It demonstrates China’s consistent efforts in upholding the multilateral system and slowing global warming on the whole and is of significant meaning. Like Xi said, ‘Humankind can no longer afford to ignore the repeated warnings of nature’,” Dai said.

Ren Qi in Moscow, Wang Xu in Tokyo, Chen Weihua in Brussels, Chen Yingqun in Beijing and Xinhua contributed to this story.

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