China and the United Nations
Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China for the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Over the past seven decades, the Chinese people have forged ahead as one and scored great achievements.
On the diplomatic front, China has made a historic journey against all odds. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, China has since recent years taken a more proactive part in international affairs and made greater contribution to world peace and development. China has lived up to its responsibilities as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a major economy of the world.
Here are some of the principles that China holds dear: a path of peaceful development; an opening-up strategy of mutual benefit; the greater good and shared interests of people around the world; a new vision of security that promotes common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security for all; global development that is open, innovation-driven, inclusive, and beneficial to all nations; harmony in diversity and cross-cultural interactions; and an ecoculture based on respect for nature and green development. In short, China will stay a promoter of world peace, contributor to global development, and upholder of the international order.
China firmly supports and pursues multilateralism. Despite new challenges, China continues to uphold multilateralism and takes an active part in reforming and improving global governance. We stand for the international system built around the United Nations (UN), the international order underpinned by international law, and the multilateral trading system centered around the World Trade Organization (WTO). We are firmly against unilateralism, protectionism and acts of bullying.
The UN is the most universal, representative and authoritative inter-governmental organization. It is a symbol of multilateralism. It is the UN Charter that laid the foundation for the existing international order and basic norms governing international relations.
China is a founding member of the UN and the first country to sign on the Charter. China always supports the UN in playing an active role, and upholds its authority and stature. China’s cooperation with the UN is growing stronger and deeper and is entering a new era.
I. Working Toward a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind
In addressing the summits commemorating the 70th anniversary of the United Nations in 2015 and the United Nations Office at Geneva in 2017, President Xi Jinping elaborated on his vision for a new model of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. With a keen insight into the development and progress of mankind, President Xi called on all nations to work together for an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.
The vision of a community with a shared future for mankind is in keeping with the trend of history and the call of our times. It reflects the common values of mankind, and represents the greatest shared aspiration of people around the world for a better life. It is highly commended and warmly received by the global community, and will have a profound and far-reaching impact on the world. As a creative foreign policy initiative and a significant intellectual contribution to the world, this vision has since become a centerpiece of China’s major-country diplomacy with its distinctive features.
President Xi has also put forth new ideas on a range of weighty issues from global governance, the greater good and shared interests, and global development to security, civilization, and nuclear security. These are the principles that China believes should be followed in reforming and improving the global governance system.
II. Safeguarding Regional and International Peace and Security
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China always stands on the side of peace, justice and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
China actively looks for settlement of major regional hotspot issues, such as the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, the Iranian nuclear issue, Afghanistan, Myanmar, the Middle East, Syria, and South Sudan. In our pursuit of solutions to international and regional hotspot issues, we seek to do it the Chinese way – a peaceful, legitimate and constructive way.
By peaceful, we mean seeking a political solution. We stand for the settlement of disputes and differences through dialogue and negotiation. We strongly oppose any arbitrary use or threat of force in international affairs.
By legitimate, we mean following the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, respecting the sovereignty and aspirations of countries concerned, and rejecting any imposed solution.
By constructive, we mean taking an objective and unbiased position and conducting mediation and good offices based on the merits and demerits of the issue concerned.
On the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, China stands for denuclearization, peace and stability on the Peninsula and for a negotiated solution. We encourage and support the DPRK and the US to show flexibility, work in the same direction, and take phased and synchronized steps. We hope that their negotiations will make progress and produce early harvests, and push forward the political settlement process of the issue.
The full and effective implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not only what is required by the Security Council resolution, but also the only way to properly settle the Iranian nuclear issue. Given the current situation, we hope that the relevant parties will take concrete steps to show respect for and protect Iran’s legitimate and lawful rights and interests and strike a balance between the rights and obligations under the JCPOA. We call on the US to abandon its maximum pressure approach and create conditions for settling the Iranian nuclear issue through equal-footed dialogue.
III. Increasing Participation in UN Peacekeeping Operations
Since 1989, China has dispatched over 40,000 peacekeepers to around 30 operations. A total of 21 Chinese military and police personnel lost their lives for peacekeeping. With more than 2,500 peacekeepers currently on duty in eight missions, China contributes more peacekeepers than any other permanent member of the Security Council. The Chinese peacekeepers are highly commended by the UN and host countries for their strict discipline and professionalism.
To fully deliver on the major measures announced by President Xi Jinping at the UN Peacekeeping Summit in 2015, China has set up an 8,000-strong peacekeeping standby force and a permanent peacekeeping police squad; sent its first peacekeeping helicopter squad to Africa; trained peacekeepers from other countries; carried out demining assistance programs; and supported the development of the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis.
China takes an active part in formulating peacekeeping policies, and follows the three basic principles of peacekeeping (consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force except in self-defense and defense of the mandate). China supports the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative launched by Secretary-General António Guterres, and calls for reform and improvement of peacekeeping operations. The Chinese Blue Helmets will fulfill their sacred mission.
IV. Advancing the International Arms Control and Non-proliferation Process
China has stayed a participant in and contributor to the international arms control treaty system. It is a party to over 20 international treaties on arms control.
China follows a defense policy that is defensive in nature. It never takes part in any form of arms race, and firmly opposes any such race. China has kept its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required by national security. It lives by its promise of not being the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, and unconditionally refraining from the use or threat of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states. China has been as transparent as it can be about its nuclear strategy, and exercised enormous restraint in developing its nuclear force, thus contributing significantly to international nuclear disarmament.
China resolutely opposes the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and their means of delivery. China faithfully and rigorously fulfills its international obligations on non-proliferation. To this end, it has established a well-functioning domestic legal system and enforcement regime on non-proliferation export control. China supports the UN and its Security Council in playing a key role in non-proliferation and works actively for the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 1540.
The US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and other international treaties and mechanisms will have a far-reaching negative impact on global strategic stability, on the security in Europe and the Asia-Pacific, and on the international arms control and non-proliferation regime. Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals are expected to earnestly fulfill their special and primary responsibilities in nuclear disarmament. They should work toward the extension of the New START Treaty and further slash their nuclear arsenals.
China supports and takes an active part in the international conventional arms control process. China is committed to properly address humanitarian concerns regarding conventional arms. It has provided international humanitarian assistance in mine clearance and sponsored training programs for over 40 countries.
China stands for the peaceful uses of outer space and prevention of arms race in outer space. China has played an active part in the work of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. It advocates fair and equitable rules governing outer space to realize the vision of a community with a shared future in the peaceful exploration and use of outer space.
China supports making a widely acceptable code of conduct in cyberspace under the UN framework. It plays a fundamental role in meetings of the UN’s Group of Governmental Experts on Cyber Security, and has made important contribution to the consensus building.
V. Spearheading International Development Cooperation
China takes the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a high priority. It is among the first countries to publish a National Plan and Progress Report on the Implementation of the Agenda, and has achieved early harvests in many areas. China seeks to advance both its own development interests and the shared interests of all nations. It actively participates in global development cooperation, and endeavors to undertake international responsibilities to the best of its ability.
Over the past 70 years, more than 700 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty. This accounts for over 70 percent of poverty reduction worldwide. Meanwhile, China has provided over 400 billion RMB yuan in foreign aid and sent over 600,000 aid workers to nearly 170 countries and international organizations. This is a big contribution to the global fight against poverty and to the development of all countries. China is ready to share with other countries its experience in targeted poverty alleviation and eradication. Under the framework of South-South cooperation, China will continue to do its best to help other developing countries implement the 2030 Agenda.
China attaches great importance to the UN SDG Summit, the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development, and the Samoa Pathway High-level Midterm Review. China hopes that these meetings will build international consensus in light of the national conditions and real needs of developing countries, and focus on poverty reduction, infrastructure development, food security, capacity building and other major concerns of developing countries and on building an open world economy. Developed countries should live up to their Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments on time and in full to effectively support developing countries in realizing sustainable development.