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China sets the pace in South-South Cooperation by Zheng Wenhua,September 11, 2017 Adjust font size:

The Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries was held in Xiamen of southeast China’s Fujian Province on September 5. “Emerging markets and developing countries face similar development tasks,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Dialogue. “By deepening practical cooperation and tapping into complementarity, we can multiply the impact. We need to make good use of BRICS, G77 and other similar mechanisms, broaden South-South Cooperation on a larger scale, and jointly address global challenges. We also need to forge chains of interconnected development and seek strength through unity.”


In response to the current situation and under the framework of BRICS cooperation mechanism, this is a strong call for deeper South-South Cooperation and joint approaches to global development. The Chinese leader’s remarks are of far-reaching significance and will lend a strong impetus to global economic growth and joint development.


The growing risks of downward pressure and uncertainties in the world economy should not be ignored. Multilateral trade negotiations are stalled, and the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change is encountering resistance. Some countries have become more inward-looking and less inclined to engage in international development cooperation, and spillovers of their policy adjustment are deepening.


As the world economy enters a crucial stage where new drivers of growth are replacing traditional ones at a quicker pace, there is mounting competition focused on interests and rules. This makes the external environment for emerging markets and developing countries more complex and challenging.


However, as President Xi said, “A boat sailing against the currents has to forge ahead or risks falling behind.” “Emerging markets and developing countries represent the future of the world. Therefore, it is our responsibility to promote cooperation on international development and implement the Sustainable Development Agenda.”


Since 2013, China has set great store by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, by developing a national program to implement the Agenda and setting up innovation demonstration zones on sustainable development. Thanks to these efforts, China has attained early harvests on economic, social, environmental and many other fronts. Internationally, China will work through such mechanisms as the Assistance Fund for South-South Cooperation, China-UN Peace and Development Fund and South-South Climate Cooperation Fund to boost cooperation on development and help fellow developing countries in implementing the Sustainable Development Agenda.


At the Dialogue, President Xi announced that China will provide 500 million U.S. dollars to the Assistance Fund for South-South Cooperation, to help fellow developing countries tackle famine, refugee, climate change, public health and other challenges. This demonstrates to the full how China is shouldering its responsibilities as a representative of the developing world and giving its firm support to South-South Cooperation.


The past decade has not only seen solid progress in the BRICS cooperation mechanism; in China it has also witnessed the unfolding of all-round reform and opening up and rapid economic and social development. Over the past 10 years, China’s economic aggregate has grown by 239 percent and the total value of imports and exports has risen by 73 percent. China has become the world’s second largest economy and the lives of its 1.3 billion-plus people have significantly improved. China has made an ever greater contribution to both regional and global economic development.


At the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum, President Xi made a commitment that “as we go forward, China will continue to put into practice the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and inclusive development. China will adapt to and steer the new normal of economic development, push forward supply-side structural reform, accelerate the building of a new system for an open economy, drive economic development with innovation, and achieve sustainable development. China will stay firmly committed to peaceful development and make even greater contribution to global peace and development.”


South-South Cooperation aims to promote the sharing of knowledge and experience among developing countries. China is a member of the developing world and an active advocate of South-South Cooperation. In the process of its own development, China has always sought to combine its domestic interests with those of other developing countries, and to offer assistance to fellow participants in South-South Cooperation to the very limits of its capacity.


In recent years, China has set up such platforms as the Center for International Knowledge on Development, Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, Global Poverty Reduction & Inclusive Growth Portal, and Global Poverty Reduction Online Knowledge Sharing Database. These are all designed to promote the sharing of knowledge and experience among developing countries, and to help them find solutions to the blight of poverty. China is committed to promoting global development through its own development, and to working with the international community to identify win-win opportunities.


September 12th is the 14th United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation. South-South Cooperation remains a long-term project, and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a responsibility shared by every developing country. As President Xi said at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum, “Let us work together with other members of the international community, let our cooperation deliver more benefits to the peoples of our five countries, and let the benefits of global peace and development reach all the people in the world.”


The author is the Special Assistant to Editor-in-chief of China Internet Information Center. The original article was published in Chinese, and translated by Wang Ning.

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