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China to firmly uphold multilateralism: new UN ambassador

(Xinhua)    13:31, July 31, 2019

UN-CHINA-NEW AMBASSADOR-PRESS BRIEFING

Zhang Jun, the new China's permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks to the press at the UN headquarters in New York, July 30, 2019. On the first day of taking post as China's permanent representative to the United Nations, Zhang Jun pledged on Tuesday that China, one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, will firmly uphold multilateralism and support the United Nations in playing an important role. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

UNITED NATIONS, July 30 -- On the first day of taking post as China's permanent representative to the United Nations, Zhang Jun pledged on Tuesday that China, one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, will firmly uphold multilateralism and support the United Nations in playing an important role.

"We will firmly uphold multilateralism, oppose unilateralism and protectionism, and support the United Nations in playing an important role," the ambassador told Chinese reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.

Noting that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and next year will mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN, Zhang said that China's cooperation with the organization is "standing at a new starting point."

"China will make full use of its unique advantages as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, actively participate in international affairs, promote the settlement of disputes through political and diplomatic means, and make its contributions to world peace," said the envoy.

"At the same time, we will promote international cooperation to jointly address global challenges in a responsible and constructive manner," he noted.

Talking about specific areas of cooperation, Zhang said that China will participate "constructively" in UN discussions on climate change, cyber security, counter-terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation, so as to make China's contribution to addressing these major challenges and building a community of shared future for mankind.

The ambassador said that China will also play an active role in pushing for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and deepen cooperation with the UN under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Recalling that the UN secretary-general attended twice the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Zhang said that China has already signed a series of cooperation agreements with various UN agencies and specialized agencies under the UN framework to promote the BRI cooperation.

"We believe that the implementation of these agreements will strongly boost sustainable development and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda," he said.

The envoy reiterated China's stance of firmly safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.

"Development is one of the themes and one of the most important challenges facing the world today," the ambassador said. "The vast majority of UN member states are developing countries, and the vast majority of the people across the world live in developing countries. Therefore, the right to development is also one of the most important basic human rights."

In the past few years, developing countries have made some achievements in development, but at the same time, they still face a series of severe challenges and problems of inadequate and unbalanced development, he said.

"Just like China, we have made great achievements in development, but we are still facing some problems of insufficient and unbalanced development in various aspects. We are still a 100 percent developing country," he noted.

The ambassador criticized the practice that some countries are making irresponsible remarks about their position as developing countries. "We are firmly opposed to any country making use of the positioning of a developing country to create obstacles to its development or even deprive it of its rights."

Zhang voiced China's strong determination to firmly safeguard its rights and interests by "resolutely opposing any country's interference in China's internal affairs through issues such as Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong."

"We will firmly safeguard China's sovereignty, security and right to development," he noted.

Talking about commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, Zhang said that "we could let the world know better about China's development path and concept."

China's model has produced "profound influence" to world peace and development, he said.

Before his debut press briefing with the Chinese media, Zhang presented credentials to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Before he was appointed as the Chinese UN ambassador, Zhang had been serving as assistant minister for foreign affairs since 2018, prior to which he was director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Department of Economic Affairs from 2012.

Beginning in 2007, Zhang was China's ambassador to the Netherlands and permanent representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, serving until 2012. From 2004 to 2007, he was secretary to the General Office of the State Council.


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