Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) attended the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). In his speech he spoke on various issues including global security, terrorism, 2030 Agenda, and the Palestine issue. He also highlighted One Belt One Road as a significant agenda consistent with the global desire for development and prosperity. In the following sections, some of his statements are highlighted.
Wang Yi recalled Chinese President Xi Jinping’s appeal to foster a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation and to build a community of shared future. He added, “The five permanent members of the UNSC must play an exemplary role in upholding no-conflict, no-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.”
On the issue of terrorism, Wang said, “we need a holistic approach that addresses both symptoms and root causes. We need to abide by law and avoid applying double standards.”
ON the Korean situation, Wang said, “We urge the DPRK not to go any further in the dangerous direction. We call on the US to truly honor its four nos commitment toward the DPRK, and we urge all relevant parties to play a constructive role in easing tensions”.1 He also said, “Parties should meet each other half way by addressing each other's legitimate concerns. China believes that the day when the Peninsula is denuclearized should also be the day when its peace mechanism is established.”
He underscored the need to help states implement the 2030 Agenda in line with their own needs and priorities, pressing the UN to continue its follow-up of the Paris Agreement, and parties to respect the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. He encouraged States to seek complementarity between the 2030 Agenda and their own development strategies.
On global refugee issue he said that “it has its origin in regional instability and uneven development. The UN must make quick response to the crisis by easing the humanitarian plight. But more importantly, it must make greater efforts to address the root causes by helping the countries and regions concerned to develop.
The past five years have witnessed a momentous journey for China. Under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, China has made remarkable achievements on all fronts and socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new development stage. He added that China is an anchor of world peace and that China will never seek hegemony, expansion or sphere of influence. China will always vote for peace at the Security Council.
On OBOR he said, “China is an engine for development and prosperity. The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation China successfully hosted last May has produced more than 270 cooperation deliverables.” He added “This project of the century will offer a new paradigm for efforts to promote world peace and development. It will also inject fresh impetus to the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”
Wang Yi, in his speech, reiterates the position of Xi Jinping as the core, repeats China’s past proposals on the Palestinian issue and reiterates its policy on the Korean peninsula crisis by underscoring that the US as well as DPRK needed to tone down their rhetoric. He also underscored the importance of OBOR as a defining a new paradigm for global development. The speech highlights China’s thinking on international order by infusing concepts like “major power relations” and “community of shared future”. Interestingly, he did not condemn all forms of terrorism instead seeking to focus on the ‘root cause debate’.
* The Authors, Research Fellows, Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are that of the Researcher and not of the Council.
1 The four Nos policy was highlighted in a speech by U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson when he said “We do not seek a regime change, we do not seek a collapse of the regime, we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula, we do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th Parallel,”.