HAVANA, Sept. 16 — The following is the full text of the remarks by Li Xi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the special representative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, at the Summit of the Group of 77 and China in Havana, Cuba, on Friday.
Working Together for Stronger Solidarity, Greater Development, and Closer South-South Cooperation
Remarks by H.E. Li Xi
at the Summit of the Group of 77 and China
Havana, September 15, 2023
Your Excellency President Miguel Díaz-Canel,
Your Excellency Secretary General Antonio Guterres,
Excellencies Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to attend the Summit of the Group of 77 (G77) and China as President Xi Jinping’s special representative. May I begin by thanking the government of Cuba for the meticulous preparations and thoughtful arrangements that have made the Summit possible.
As the Chair of the Summit, Cuba has made a great effort and contributed significantly to promoting the collective strength and solidarity of developing countries in addressing global challenges and in safeguarding the development interests of developing nations. We applaud your effort and contribution.
The world is undergoing changes on a scale unseen in a century. Developing countries are becoming stronger. A significant shift is taking place in the international balance of power. And South-South cooperation is growing significantly in both quantity and quality.
Emerging markets and developing countries have contributed as much as 80 percent of the world’s economic growth in the past 20 years, and now account for more than 40 percent of global GDP, up from 24 percent 40 years ago. South-South cooperation is playing an increasingly important role in driving the momentum of collective rise of developing countries and in sustaining the continued global economic growth.
At the same time, however, unilateralism and hegemonism are becoming rampant. Some countries are resorting to such practices as unilateral sanctions, erection of “fences and barriers,” decoupling, and disruption of industrial and supply chains, seriously undermining the legitimate development rights and interests of developing countries and our space for development.
During the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, last month, more than 60 developing countries sent a loud and clear message of solidarity and cooperation to the world, calling for reform of global governance to make it more just and equitable. Given such background, the Havana Summit cannot be more timely.
China is the world’s largest developing nation and a natural member of the Global South. We are ready to work with Cuba and other G77 members to open a new chapter in South-South cooperation in quest for greater development through stronger solidarity, build a Global South community with a shared future, and usher in a new era of common development.
On behalf of China, I wish to propose the following in respect of cooperation between the G77 and China:
First, staying true to the original aspiration of the G77 for independence and greater collective strength through unity.
The G77 was born nearly 60 years ago in the struggles of its members for national independence and against exploitation and oppression. Developing countries have since advocated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the Bandung Spirit, won national independence, and endeavored to safeguard world peace and promote global development.
Now, more than ever, we need to stay true to the G77 founding mission. We must uphold the common values of humanity. We must reject bloc confrontation and the Cold War mentality. We must seek to resolve differences and disputes between countries by peaceful means. And we must join hands to maintain world peace and tranquility, and foster an international environment favorable to development.
Second, advocating equity, justice and inclusiveness.
Over the past 60 years since its launch, the G77 has worked tirelessly to eliminate inequity and injustice.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has voted overwhelmingly for 30 consecutive times, demanding an immediate end to the U.S. embargo against Cuba.
We must continue to make our voice heard loud and clear at the UNGA and other major international fora and events.
We must speak up for justice, and see to it that items on the agenda of the United Nations meet the development interests of developing countries.
We support Uganda in making its hosting of the Third South Summit next year a success.
We must call on the entire international community to place development front and center on the international agenda. And we must urge developed countries to deliver on their development assistance commitments.
We must strengthen the voice and representation of developing countries in global governance based on the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.
Third, pursuing development, revitalization and win-win cooperation.
As a new revolution of science, technology and industry is well underway, it is important that the G77 and China, as the mainstay of South-South cooperation, work in synergy to revitalize the global development partnership and strengthen coordination on macro policies. We need to foster new drivers for our own development, focusing on cooperation in areas of food security, poverty alleviation, industrialization, green development, digital technology and artificial intelligence. We need to develop a win-win, cooperative division of labor based on our comparative advantages so as to secure a place in global industrial, supply and value chains to our advantage.
China remains committed to building an open, inclusive and mutually beneficial system for South-South scientific and technological cooperation. And China will be more open in our thinking and actions with regard to international exchanges and cooperation in science, technology and innovation, so that all countries can equally benefit from digital dividends, and no developing country will be left behind or left out in the development of new technologies and industries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China is the largest developing country in the world. No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will always be part of the developing world and a member of the Global South.
South-South cooperation is always a high priority in China’s cooperation with other countries. This is our strategic choice, and it is not a stopgap measure.
Ten years ago, President Xi Jinping unveiled his vision for building a community with a shared future for mankind. He also proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
In more recent years, President Xi Jinping has proposed the Global Development Initiative (GDI), the Global Security Initiative (GSI), and the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI). The three initiatives offer a Chinese approach to lasting peace, greater development and closer cooperation in the world, and also provide an important platform for deepening South-South cooperation.
Today, China provides development assistance to more than 160 countries, joins hands with more than 150 countries in building the Belt and Road, and works with over 100 countries and international organizations to advance the GDI.
In his address to the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue in Johannesburg, President Xi Jinping announced that China had set up a Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund with a total funding of 4 billion U.S. dollars, and Chinese financial institutions would soon set up a special fund of 10 billion dollars dedicated to the implementation of the GDI. This is a further contribution by China to helping other developing countries address difficulties and challenges and achieve common development.
China will continue to maintain close communication and coordination with G77 members in order to optimize allocation of development resources, deepen South-South cooperation, ensure efficient use of public goods of BRI cooperation, the GDI and other initiatives, close the development divide, and resolve problems in development.
In mid-October, China will host the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing. We look forward to welcoming you at the Forum and to your perspective on future BRI cooperation and the way forward for greater development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We, the developing nations, have won national independence and liberation after a long and arduous journey. We share a fervent desire to bring a better life for our people.
We have invariably stood in solidarity through thick and thin. We have supported each other and grown together, and we are a community that rise and fall together.
As a Chinese saying goes, “When brothers are of the same mind, they can cut through metal with combined strength.” I am confident that as long as we adapt to the changing times, strengthen solidarity, friendship and cooperation, and lend each other support in pursuing a path to modernization suited to our respective national conditions and characteristics, we will surely be able to better safeguard the common interests of developing countries, have a greater say in global governance, achieve common development and shared prosperity, and bring more stability and positivity to global peace and development.