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China's top legislator calls for safeguarding multilateralism

(Xinhua)    10:33, August 20, 2020


Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, attends the Fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament via video link in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 19, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Tao)

China's top legislator Li Zhanshu on Wednesday called on joint efforts of legislative bodies to firmly safeguard multilateralism, and promote global anti-epidemic cooperation and economic recovery.

Li, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, made the remarks in Beijing via video link at the Fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament, under the overall theme of parliamentary leadership for more effective multilateralism that delivers peace and sustainable development for the people and planet.

Noting the conference is held at a crucial juncture in the global fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, Li said in his speech that it shows the firm determination and confidence of legislative institutions of various countries to join hands in fighting the epidemic and overcome difficulties together.

Li pointed out that in the face of the epidemic, China has always put people's lives and health first. With the most comprehensive, rigorous, and thorough prevention and control measures, China has achieved major strategic progress against the virus.

Guided by the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, China has informed the World Health Organization and relevant countries of the epidemic situation timely in an open, transparent, and responsible manner, and unreservedly shared its experience in prevention and treatment, Li said, adding China has provided anti-epidemic assistance to more than 150 countries and international organizations, and pledged to provide 2 billion U.S. dollars of international assistance within two years.

Li stressed that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations and the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. Over the past 75 years, the UN has played an important role in safeguarding world peace and development.

"The sudden virus outbreak once again shows that the interests of all countries are linked and the destiny of mankind is shared," Li said, calling on legislative bodies of all countries to firmly safeguard multilateralism, and promote international anti-epidemic cooperation and recovery of the world economy.

Li made three proposals. Firstly, he called for mounting a joint fight against COVID-19. Viruses know no borders or races, and the international community can only win the battle against it with concrete efforts.

"We should oppose stigmatization and politicization of the epidemic and prevent the spread of 'political viruses'," Li said, calling for strengthening information sharing and experience exchanges, and providing more assistance to developing countries.

Secondly, he proposed working hand in hand to safeguard multilateralism.

"China is willing to work with the international community to safeguard the international system with the UN at its core and an international law-based order, advocate the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion, and collaboration in global governance, " Li said, also expressing China's commitment to contribute to the reform of the global governance system in the right direction and safeguard international equity and justice.

The third is to promote economic recovery actively. He said that at the same time, "we should focus on the 'post-epidemic era', safeguard the multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization as the core, promote the recovery of the world economy, and achieve balanced and sustainable growth."

Li said that the NPC attaches great importance to the status and role of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), and will continue to participate in the activities of the IPU and help its development, as well as continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with regional parliamentary organizations and national legislatures.

The World Conference of Speakers of Parliament is organized by the IPU and held once every five years. More than 130 parliamentary leaders from over 110 countries and regions attended this year's conference. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron addressed the opening ceremony. Enditem


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(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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