Senior diplomat: China gaining growing hand in global governance

15:21, June 21, 2011      

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Editor's note: The rapid development of the emerging market economies, represented by China, has gradually become a major driving force behind global economic growth. China's further participation in global economic governance will benefit the development of the world economy. Given Sha Zhukang's 40-year diplomatic career and his position as the U.N. under-secretary-General for economic and social affairs, the many events he has experienced reflect China's increasingly high status in the global economic system as well as its growing capacity to participate in global economic governance.

China should and can actively increase its participation in formulating rules and regulations

Reporter: Have you experienced any events that can prove the rise of China's global economic status since you became the U.N. Under-Secretary-General?

Sha Zukang: Economic and social affairs are part of the United Nation's three pillars: security, development and human rights. My appointment as the U.N. under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs by the U.N. secretary-general was mainly due to China's development, and it implies the rise of China's international status.

I have attended all of the U.N. climate change conferences and witnessed the entire process of negotiations during the U.N. Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen since I became the U.N. under-secretary-general and a consultant to U.N .Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. China declared to the world prior to the Copenhagen talks that it would boost its energy efficiency by 40 percent before 2020. China has adopted a series of strong measures, made enormous efforts and paid a heavy price at home to meet the target.

China had only a small amount of carbon dioxide emissions before its reform and opening-up, and some of its emissions have increased since. Despite the increased emissions, China's per capita emissions are only one-fifth as much as those of the United States. Western countries pressured China during the summit in Copenhagen, forced China to assume obligation and unreasonably criticized China, which was absolutely groundless. Although China made the greatest contributions to emissions reduction, it has become the most criticized country. Dialectically speaking, the climate change conference in Copenhagen also implies higher expectations held by the outside world on China as well as China's increased influence.

Reporter: What do you think the changes in the world economic governance system should be like?

Sha Zukang: The goal of the reform in world economic governance is to promote the world economy to develop towards a more fair and reasonable direction. Fair and reasonable is a subjective judgment. What is fair and what is reasonable? I am afraid that a country has different views when in different stages of development. However, we are all in favor of developing toward a fair and reasonable direction because the situation now is not very fair and reasonable.

China has been very exemplary in complying with international rules for a long time, though many rules are unfair to developing countries. International rules are formulated by strong powers rather than the weak. History has also proven this. The Charter of the United Nations was also written by the victors and not the defeated nations. Of course, they certainly considered the interests and needs of defeated nations. China should and can participate in the formulation of the international rules more actively.

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