Beijing. At the virtual session of the 2022 World Economic Forum (WEF), Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday pledged to embrace cooperation on jointly overcoming the pandemic and champion economic globalization, and reaffirmed China’s commitment to pursuing high-quality development, reform and opening-up, as well as ecological conservation, to create a better post-COVID-19 world.
To meet the severe challenges facing the world, Xi called on the world to “do everything necessary to clear the shadow of the pandemic and boost economic and social recovery and development, so that the sunshine of hope may light up the future of humanity.”
The WEF will hold a series of virtual plenaries from Jan. 17 to Jan. 21, 2022, which will gather world leaders to discuss the global situation and share their insights and plans regarding the most urgent global issues.
Solidarity against the pandemic
As COVID-19 is resurging with more variants and spreading faster than before, President Xi stressed the importance of fully leveraging vaccines as a powerful weapon and ensuring the equitable distribution of vaccines to close the global immunization gap.
“China will provide another one billion doses to African countries, including 600 million doses as donations, and will also donate 150 million doses to ASEAN countries,” Xi said, adding that China has already sent over 2 billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations.
With the COVID-19 pandemic posing a serious threat to people’s safety and health, and exerting a profound impact on the global economy, it has become an urgent and important task for the international community to defeat the pandemic at an early date. President Xi pointed out that the only correct path is one of strong confidence and cooperation.
Xi called on countries to strengthen international cooperation against COVID-19, carry out active cooperation on the research and development of medicines, jointly build multiple lines of defense against the coronavirus, and speed up efforts to build a global community of health for all. Jean-Jacques de Dardel, former ambassador of Switzerland to China, said that China has made tremendous efforts to stem the rise of the novel coronavirus and set the example of how a responsible country can lead in the construction of a better world for all people.
“We can only salute them,” the former ambassador said.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China has always been a committed frontrunner in the promotion of international vaccine cooperation, and has acted as a steadfast advocate for equitable vaccine distribution, fulfilling President Xi’s commitment to the world.
Championing economic globalisation
In January 2017, when President Xi first attended the WEF annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, he spoke comprehensively about China’s views and propositions on economic globalization, and voiced strong support for economic globalization, eliciting a warm response from the international community. Five years on, at the virtual session of the 2022 WEF, Xi once again called on countries around the world to uphold true multilateralism, build an open world economy, and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all, to fully unleash the vitality of the world economy.
Xi said we should guide reforms of the global governance system with the principle of fairness and justice, uphold the multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its center, make generally acceptable and effective rules for artificial intelligence and digital economy on the basis of full consultation, and create an open, just and non-discriminatory environment for scientific and technological innovation.
“Despite the countercurrents and dangerous shoals along the way, economic globalization has never and will not veer off course,” Xi said.
Aiming to bridge the development divide and revitalize global development, Xi pledged at the virtual meeting to work with all partners to jointly translate the Global Development Initiative into concrete actions and make sure that no country is left behind in this process.
Ruan Zongze, executive vice president of the China Institute of International Studies, said the Global Development Initiative, as a public good open to the whole world, was focused on the pressing challenges faced by developing countries, and would synergize with the U.N. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and boost common development across the world.
Xi’s remarks once again indicated that China has always been a staunch pioneer in promoting balanced global development and a major contributor to the advancement of economic globalization amid the rise of unilateralism and protectionism, said Su Xiaohui, a researcher with the China Institute of International Studies.
Pursuing high-quality development
In his address, Xi said that China will pursue high-quality development, and reform and opening-up, while staying committed to promoting ecological conservation.
“We have every confidence in the future of China’s economy,” Xi said.
The Chinese economy enjoys a good momentum overall, Xi said, citing that the country’s gross domestic product grew by around 8 percent year on year in 2021, achieving the dual target of fairly high growth and relatively low inflation.
Shifts in the domestic and international economic environment have brought tremendous pressure, but the fundamentals of the Chinese economy, characterized by strong resilience, enormous potential and long-term sustainability, remain unchanged, he said.
China’s development gains will benefit all its people in a more substantial and equitable way, Xi added.
China now has the world’s biggest carbon market and biggest clean power generation system: the installed capacity of renewable energy has exceeded 1 billion kilowatts, and the construction of wind and photovoltaic power stations with a total installed capacity of 100 million kilowatts is well underway.
“Achieving carbon peak and carbon neutrality are the intrinsic requirements of China’s own high-quality development and a solemn pledge to the international community,” Xi said.
“China is a country which has taken probably the biggest U-turn in the world by shifting toward this concept of eco-civilization, which is based on low carbon development and nature-based recovery,” Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said.
China’s unswerving actions and commitments reflect its determination to achieve sustainable development and its concern for the future of humanity, said Su Xiaohui, adding that they demonstrate China’s positive role as a responsible major country and will inject more positive energy into global climate governance.