China calls for bigger role of G20 members in post-COVID era

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Nov. 21 attended the Session I of the 15th G20 Leaders’ Summit via video link in Beijing and delivered important speech.

He called on G20 members to follow the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, uphold multilateralism, pursue openness and inclusiveness, promote mutually beneficial cooperation and keep pace with the times. The G20 ought to play a bigger role in this process, he stressed. On the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, China stands ready to pursue peaceful coexistence and common development with all countries.

The international community believes that the important initiatives and proposals raised by Xi address the concerns of the international society and are of huge significance. His remarks demonstrated China’s major country responsibility.

G20 is a cooperation platform that was born amid crisis. After the outbreak of the international financial crisis in 2008, G20 members worked with mutual assistance and acted in solidarity, and finally brought the endangered global economy back to the right track of stability and recovery.

This outgoing year, humanity has experienced the most serious global pandemic in a century. Over one million people have lost their lives. The world economy is in recession. Societies and livelihoods are taking a big hit. The impact of COVID-19 is even worse than that of the 2008 global financial crisis.

The G20 has taken swift actions in the wake of COVID-19. At the Extraordinary Summit earlier this year, G20 members agreed to step up cooperation to fight the pandemic, advance the R&D of medicines and vaccines, maintain economic and financial stability, keep the industrial and supply chains open, and ease the debt burden of developing countries. In this global battle, the G20 has once again played an important and, indeed, irreplaceable role.

The spirit of partnership is even more highlighted when the world is facing a critical test. At present, the international architecture is evolving at a faster pace. Rising unilateralism and protectionism are causing disruptions to global industrial and supply chains. The world still has a long and arduous journey to defeating the virus, stabilizing economy, and securing livelihood, given the expanding deficits of governance, trust, development and peace.

The international society places extremely high attention on global governance and international order in the post-pandemic era, as well as the role that the G20 will play. It also attaches great importance to how the G20 will transform from a crisis response mechanism to a long-term governance mechanism and expand its focus from short-term policy response to a combination of short-, medium- and long-term policymaking.

To cope with the challenges brought by COVID-19, Xi believes that more efforts are needed in the following areas: building a global firewall against COVID-19, ensuring the smooth functioning of the global economy, harnessing the role of the digital economy, and pursuing more inclusive development.

From the height of building a community with a shared future for mankind and grasping the trend of the world and the times, Xi has chartered the course for the G20 to play a more prominent leading role in maintaining international order and global governance in the post-pandemic era. He called on G20 members to strengthen the UN-centered international system, improve the governance architecture for economic globalization, promote the sound development of the digital economy, and build up capacities for tackling global challenges.

The international community believes that Xi’s proposals have offered Chinese wisdom and schemes for global countries to further control the pandemic and stabilize and recover their economy. These proposals help all parties make stronger cohesion to jointly cope with challenges.

China actively supports and participates in international cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines. Having joined the COVAX facility, the country will honor its commitment of giving assistance and support to other developing countries, and work to make vaccines a global public good accessible and affordable to people around the world. China has proposed a global mechanism on the mutual recognition of health certificates based on nucleic acid test results in the form of internationally accepted QR codes. It advocates to foster an enabling environment for the development of the digital economy, enhance data security cooperation, strengthen the digital infrastructure, and level the playing field for high-tech companies from all countries. In spite of its own difficulties, China has fully implemented the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and supports the decision on DSSI extension. China has proposed the convening of another Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in 2025, and supports the UN in holding the Food Systems Summit next year and proposes the holding of an international conference on food loss and waste in due course. With distinctive proposals and concrete actions, China will always be a builder of global peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which haunts the world, is a major test for global governance. The G20 shall keep taking its responsibilities and make important contribution to promoting solidarity and recovering the world economy.

The sunshine of cooperation will finally dispel the dark clouds of the virus. Looking into the future, the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind will only receive more support. To build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity is what people around the world are anticipating