Nation shares its public goods with world

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The Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway, jointly built by China and Indonesia, is a landmark project of the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as a national strategic project in Indonesia. Provided to China Daily
The Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway, jointly built by China and Indonesia, is a landmark project of the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as a national strategic project in Indonesia. Provided to China Daily

Published: Mon 31 Oct 2022, 10:53 AM

Last updated: Mon 31 Oct 2022, 10:55 AM

In Kasane, northern Botswana, construction workers are racing against time to build a primary school that could provide access to education for 560 children. It will be the fourth primary school built in the country with aid from the Chinese government. Meanwhile, in Fiji, Chinese experts have trained 1,704 locals, including female farmers, disabled people and even tour managers who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, to cultivate mushrooms.

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In Ecuador, 58 farmers have just completed an online training session offered by Chinese experts on designing and making furniture and lamps from bamboo, one of the country’s most abundant resources. Over the past decade, China has emerged as one of the top providers of global public goods, sharing its expertise on development and offering solutions to challenges with much of the developing world. As the Communist Party of China held its 20th National Congress from October 16 to 22, analysts and observers highlighted the significance of the country’s international development collaboration in enabling a better response to various challenges worldwide, including underdeveloped infrastructure, food security and climate change. Wang Luo, director of the Institute of International Development Cooperation at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, hailed action the country has taken. “From the Belt and Road Initiative and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, to the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, we can clearly see that China, led by the CPC, is responding to global development challenges in a more proactive manner.”

With the lingering pandemic posing challenges to global development and the crisis in Ukraine resulting in new risks and challenges, China has done its best to present its own solutions, especially the Global Development Initiative to bridge the worldwide development gap, Wang said. President Xi Jinping proposed the initiative during a session of the UN General Assembly in September last year. He named eight priority areas for the global community to step up cooperation: poverty alleviation, food security, COVID-19 response and vaccines, development financing, climate change and green development, industrialisation, the digital economy, and connectivity.

Xi hosted the High-level Dialogue on Global Development in June that brought together leaders from 18 developing countries, pledging to upgrade the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund to a Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, and adding $1 billion to the fund on top of the $3 billion already committed. Analysts have highlighted the significance of the Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI, first proposed by Xi in 2013, in advancing policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity, and fostering new growth drivers for different nations.

By July, Beijing had signed BRI cooperation documents with 149 countries and 32 international organisations, adopting more than 3,000 cooperation projects involving investment of nearly $1 trillion. In Pakistan , the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor — infrastructure projects under construction in Pakistan since 2013 — has created 38,000 jobs, more than 75 per cent of which are for local residents, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Wang Huiyao, president of the Centre for China and Globalisation, and a counselor with the State Council, said China has made all-out efforts to advance and engage in global cooperation against the pandemic.

China was among the first countries to promise making COVID-19 vaccines a global public good and to support the waiving of intellectual property rights on the vaccines. It has provided more than 2.2 billion doses of vaccines to over 120 countries and international organisations, the Chinese Foreign Ministry says. Wang Luo of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation said the CPC has always emphasised a people-centred development philosophy, and that global issues cannot be solved by one country alone.

“That is why China’s global development cooperation has always sought to help other nations attain their sustainable development goals with the implementation of concrete projects and funding programmes."

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