Acting in Solidarity for a Shared Future.
Remarks by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
At Session I of the 16th G20 Leaders’ Summit
30 October 2021
Your Excellency Prime Minister Mario Draghi,
I wish to begin by sincerely thanking Italy, the G20 President, for the great efforts it has made in hosting this Summit.
The city of Rome, with its time-honored history, has left a splendid chapter in the history of human civilization. Today, we are meeting here against the backdrop of a protracted COVID-19 pandemic, fragile economic recovery, acute challenges of climate change, and frequent flare-ups of regional hotspot issues. With People, Planet, Prosperity as its theme, the Rome Summit gives expression to the resolve of the international community to act in solidarity to defeat the pandemic and revive the world economy, and demonstrates the mission of the G20 to lead the transformation of global economic governance.
Faced with changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century, the G20, the premier forum for international economic cooperation, needs to shoulder its due responsibilities, bear in mind the future of humanity and the welfare of the people, uphold openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, practice true multilateralism, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. To be specific, I would like to suggest that we work in the following five areas.
First, work in solidarity to combat COVID-19. With the coronavirus ravaging the whole world, none of us can stay safe on our own. Solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapon. The international community must work in concert to confront and defeat the pandemic with a science-based approach. Stigmatization of the virus and politicization of origins tracing run counter to the spirit of solidarity against the pandemic. We need to step up cooperation on prevention, control, diagnosis and treatment, and enhance preparedness for major public health emergencies. The G20 includes the world’s major economies and should therefore play a leading role in building consensus, mobilizing resources, and promoting cooperation.
At the early stage of the pandemic, I called for COVID-19 vaccines to be made a global public good. On that basis, I would like to propose here a Global Vaccine Cooperation Action Initiative: First, we need to strengthen vaccine R&D cooperation and support vaccine companies in conducting joint R&D and production with developing countries. Second, we need to uphold equity and justice, and provide more vaccines to developing countries to meet the global vaccination target for 2022 as set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Third, we need to support the World Trade Organization (WTO) in making an early decision on waiving intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines, and encourage vaccine companies to transfer technology to developing countries. Fourth, we need to scale up cross-border trade cooperation to ensure smooth trade in vaccines and related raw and auxiliary materials. Fifth, we need to treat different vaccines equally and advance mutual recognition of vaccines in accordance with the WHO’s Emergency Use Listing. Sixth, we need to provide financial support for global vaccine cooperation, especially for developing countries to access vaccines.
To date, China has provided over 1.6 billion doses of vaccines to more than 100 countries and international organizations, and will provide over two billion doses to the world in the course of this year. China is conducting joint vaccine production with 16 countries, with an initial capacity of 700 million doses per year. The International Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Cooperation that I proposed last May at the Global Health Summit was held successfully in August. The participating countries reached intended deals of over 1.5 billion doses for this year. China, together with 30 other countries, has also launched an Initiative for Belt and Road Partnership on COVID-19 Vaccines Cooperation, calling on the international community to promote fair distribution of vaccines around the world. China is ready to work with all parties to enhance vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries and make positive contribution to building a global line of defense through vaccination.
Second, strengthen coordination to promote recovery. COVID-19 has made a complex and far-reaching impact on the world economy. It is imperative that we apply the right prescriptions to address both symptoms and root causes of the problems we face. We should step up macroeconomic policy coordination and ensure the continuity, consistency and sustainability of our policies. Major economies should adopt responsible macroeconomic policies, prevent measures taken for themselves from entailing rising inflation, exchange rate fluctuations or mounting debts, avoid negative spillovers on developing countries, and ensure sound operation of the international economic and financial system.
At the same time, we should take a long-term perspective, improve the global economic governance system and rules, and make up for the relevant governance deficit. We should continue to push for the scheduled conclusion of the 16th General Quota Review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to buttress the global financial safety net. China supports the early launch of negotiations on the 20th replenishment process of the International Development Association, and maintains that the relevant Voting Rights Review should faithfully reflect the changes in the international economic landscape and raise the voice of developing countries. China welcomes the IMF’s decision on the new allocation of Special Drawing Rights totaling 650 billion US dollars, and stands ready to lend the new allocation to low-income countries that are seriously affected by COVID-19.
We should safeguard the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core and build an open world economy. The G20 should continue to provide political guidance on the reform of the WTO, uphold its core values and basic principles, and protect developing countries’ rights, interests and development space. It is imperative to restore, as quickly as possible, the normal operation of the dispute settlement mechanism, and work for positive results at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference. We should keep the industrial and supply chains safe and stable, and ensure the smooth functioning of the world economy. China proposes to hold an international forum on resilient and stable industrial and supply chains, and welcomes the active participation of G20 members and relevant international organizations.
Infrastructure development plays an important role in propelling economic growth. China has made unremitting efforts in this regard through Belt and Road cooperation and other initiatives. China is prepared to work with all sides to uphold the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, stay committed to the vision of open, green and clean cooperation, and pursue the goal of high-standard, people-centered and sustainable development, so as to deliver more fruitful outcomes from high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
Third, embrace inclusiveness to achieve common development. The pandemic has brought multiple crises to the world, developing countries in particular. The number of people living in hunger has reached around 800 million. Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is facing unprecedented challenges. In this context, we must take a people-centered approach and make global development more equitable, effective and inclusive, so that no country will be left behind.
The G20 should prioritize development in macro policy coordination, ensure sound implementation of the Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, move forward with the Initiative on Supporting Industrialization in Africa and Least Developed Countries, and promote synergy among the existing mechanisms for development cooperation. Advanced economies should fulfill their pledges on official development assistance (ODA) and provide more resources for developing countries.
Not long ago, I proposed a Global Development Initiative at the United Nations and called on the international community to strengthen cooperation in areas of poverty alleviation, food security, COVID-19 response and vaccines, development financing, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity, so as to accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieve more robust, greener and more balanced global development. This initiative is highly compatible with the G20’s goal and priority of promoting global development. We welcome the active participation of more countries in the initiative.
Fourth, pursue innovation to tap growth potential. Innovation is a decisive factor in promoting economic and social development and in addressing the common challenges to humanity. The G20 should join forces to unleash the potential for innovation-driven growth and draw up rules based on extensive participation and broad-based consensus to foster an enabling environment for innovation-driven development. Forming exclusive blocs or even drawing ideological lines will only cause division and create more obstacles, which will do no good but only harm to scientific and technological innovation.
Digital economy is an important frontier of scientific and technological innovation. The G20 should shoulder responsibilities in the digital era, quicken the development of new types of digital infrastructure, promote deeper integration of digital technologies with the real economy, and help developing countries eliminate the digital divide. China has put forth the Global Initiative on Data Security. We may discuss and develop international rules for digital governance that reflect the will and respect the interests of all sides, and actively foster an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for digital development. China attaches great importance to international cooperation on digital economy, and has decided to apply to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement. China stands ready to work with all parties for the healthy and orderly development of digital economy.
Fifth, promote harmonious co-existence to achieve green and sustainable development. The G20 needs to uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, push for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, and support a successful COP26 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and COP15 to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Developed countries need to lead by example on emissions reduction, fully accommodate the special difficulties and concerns of developing countries, deliver on their commitments of climate financing, and provide technology, capacity-building and other support for developing countries. This is critically important for the success of the upcoming COP26.
China has all along undertaken due international responsibilities commensurate with its national conditions. We have actively advanced the green transition of our economy, and raised the ambition of our climate actions on our own initiative. In the past ten years, China phased out 120 million kilowatts of installed coal-fired power generation capacity. The construction of the first batch of wind and photovoltaic power stations with a total installed capacity of about 100 million kilowatts was launched in an orderly fashion. China will strive to peak its CO2 emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. We will honor our words with actions and work with all countries to pursue a path of green, low-carbon and sustainable development.
As an ancient Chinese philosopher observed, “He who has credibility connects the world.” In other words, credibility is the foundation for interactions with the world. China will stay committed to the fundamental state policy of opening-up to unleash the potential of its huge market and enormous domestic demand. We will promote institutional opening-up that covers rules, regulations, management and standards, and step up protection of intellectual property rights. We will continue to foster a business environment that is based on market principles, governed by law and up to international standards, and ensure a fair and equitable market order for both domestic and foreign companies. I am convinced that China’s development will bring even greater and new opportunities to the world and inject still more new impetus to the world economy.
As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. To build a community with a shared future for mankind requires persisting efforts of all countries. Although the journey ahead may be long and arduous, with sustained actions, we will eventually reach our destination and embrace a brighter future. Let us work together to dispel the dark clouds of the pandemic at an early date and jointly build an ever better future for all of us!