Xi offers $1b to UN peace fund

By Bai Tiantian Source:Global Times Published: 2015-9-29 1:28:01

‘Law of jungle no way to conduct international relations’

President Xi Jinping has re-emphasized China's commitment to global peaceful development, calling for more mutual respect between nations and pledging more Chinese support for peace-keeping efforts, including a permanent peace-keeping force. 

In his speech at the 70th United Nations General Assembly on Monday, Xi announced that China will commit $1 billion tor a peace fund with the UN, and build a peace-keeping standby force of 8,000 troops, as well as give $100 million to the African Union for peace-keeping.

In the speech, his first at the UN, Xi urged developed countries to realize their emission-cutting promises and help developing countries deal with climate change.

Xi said that as the pace of evolution is accelerating, a multi-polar world will become an "irresistible trend."

"The law of the jungle is not the way for countries to conduct international relations," Xi said.

He also said that the world needs to draw lessons from World War II history to avoid repeating past mistakes, and pledged that China will never seek hegemony, expansionism or a sphere of influence. 

Xi urged developed countries to realize their emission-cutting promises and help developing countries deal with climate change.

Other countries are welcome to board China's express train to realize common development, Xi said.

Xi was the fourth global leader to speak, after Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, US President Barack Obama and Polish President Andrzej Duda.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon opened the proceedings by showing the delegates a film called Fanfare for all People, and said the UN is the "indispensable home and hope of all humankind."

The speeches, which will continue until Saturday, are expected to cover a wide range of topics, including climate change, the nuclear deal reached between Iran and the world's major powers, economic growth, Europe's refugee crisis, the Syria war and the threat of terrorism, especially the rise of the Islamic State (IS).

Obama, for his part, addressed a broad range of world issues in his speech, including climate change, Iran, Syria and the threat of the IS and Cuba.

"The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict," Obama said. "But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo."

As expected, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended Russia's policy on Syria in his speech on Monday, saying that it is a huge mistake not to cooperate with the Assad government in the fight against the IS.

"President Assad's armed forces and [Kurdish] militia are truly fighting the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations in Syria," he continued.

Putin, who is attending the UN meeting for the first time in a decade, was also expected to have a face-to-face talk with Obama later on Monday.

Xi's emphasis in his speech on equality and mutual respect between nations is in line with a new concept of a new type of international relations, aimed at replacing confrontation with cooperation, and exclusiveness with win-win cooperation.

"The concepts Xi expounded at the assembly shows China's emphasis on the role of the UN and the country's active participation in global peace and development," Jin Canrong, vice director of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times.

Xi on Saturday voiced China's support for UN authority, reiterating on Monday that nations should renew their commitment to the UN.

China's staunch support for the UN is a signal that the country has no intention to challenge the existing world order, despite US fears of China's rise, analysts said.

"What China proposes is not to dismantle the existing world order but to actively participate in the construction and reform of the current order to address some of its problems to make the system more fair and reasonable," said Zheng Qirong, an expert from China Foreign Affairs University.

Zha Xiaogang, a research fellow at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, believes that the greatest difference between the Chinese and US view of global order is to what extent each country is willing to interfere in other countries' domestic affairs in order to achieve its own goals.

"Given China's unique history and cultural background, the country rarely meddles in the other nations' choice of political systems and believes such a choice should be the nations' own," Zha told the Global Times.

"Under this logic, China proposes that countries under the UN, of different domestic systems, should enjoy equal rights to participate in international rule-making," he noted. 

Posted in: Politics, Diplomacy

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