By Wu Miaofa
This year China has made significant achievements as a member of
the United Nations (UN). Playing the role of a participant, a
constructor and protector of the international system represented
by the UN, the nation has held high the banner of the UN Charter,
carried out its independent foreign policies based on the
philosophy of a harmonious world, persisted in strategic talks with
other major powers, enhancing friendly relations with neighboring
countries and strengthening and expanding good relations with other
developing nations. China has shown the world the attitude of a
"responsible major power".
The country took part in talks aimed at resolving such hot
issues as the nuclear crises in the Korean Peninsula, Iraq, the
Darfur issue in Sudan and the Middle East. Particularly noteworthy
is that China has sent the largest number of personnel on
China is a developing country, but it has solemnly promised to
the developing world, first of all African countries, it would
provide more aid to the best of its ability. It has also provided
timely support to neighboring countries beset by disasters, and
In human rights, the country has made undeniable progress in
more than one aspect, such as writing human rights into the
Constitution, and continuously enriching the concept of human
rights for the betterment of people. China has fully participated
in all activities of the UN Human Rights Council, including the
formulation of the council's framework and accepting its annual
inspection of human rights conditions in all UN member states (be
it developed or developing), in the spirit of pragmatism and
constructiveness. And on the issue of climate change, China has
introduced strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2007, China's UN diplomacy played an important role in the
following five areas.
First in Africa it made unique contributions to mitigating the
crisis in Sudan's Darfur region.
As global warming has accelerated in recent years, the
desertification of Sudan's Darfur region has worsened, causing
struggles among different nomadic tribes and ethnic groups over
water resources that have been going on for centuries, to escalate.
Because of the Western media, this problem was turned from one of a
nation's stunted development into a "genocide" issue. And the
Western media also slung mud at China, which had nothing to do with
China therefore proposed some strong measures. First, Chinese
President Hu Jintao reached consensus with his Sudanese counterpart
Omar al-Bashir on efforts to bring all parties involved together to
resolve their differences through political dialogue as a start and
then pave the way for eliminating the crisis.
Second, the Chinese government appointed a special envoy for
China-Africa issues, who went to Darfur and learned first-hand of
the situation in the region and made it known to the rest of the
Third, China spoke highly of the African Union's (AU) decision
to put peacekeeping troops in the region, noting it was a textbook
example of solving Africa's own problems through the African
Union's peace mechanism.
Fourth, China's chief representative to the UN expressed the
nation's opposition to the use of economic sanctions to solve this
problem at relevant meetings of the UN Security Council, and
pointed out sanctions would only exacerbate the already dire
situation. At the same time, the Chinese government persuaded the
Sudanese government to accept UN peacekeeping forces and join other
African nations in forming a joint taskforce to resolving the
Fifth, China did what it had promised to do with undeniable
results. For instance, it quickly responded to a UN request and
promised a 300-member peacekeeping contingent for Sudan's Darfur
region, where more than 150 of them have already arrived.
Sixth, the Chinese government has sent emergency supplies to
Sudan several times as a tangible contribution to easing the
humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
Second, on the Koran Peninsula nuclear issue, China made
outstanding efforts in gaining a breakthrough, and took a proactive
part in resolving the Iran nuclear crisis.
It is no exaggeration to say China went to great lengths to help
solve the nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republic of
Korea (DPRK). It has always tied its own national interest closely
to that of the international community, demanding resolutely the
denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula on the one hand, and
opposing the indiscriminate use of sanctions that tend to
complicate matters on the other, and unshakably insisting on
resolving differences through negotiation. With unrelenting efforts
by all six parties involved, a major breakthrough was finally
achieved over the DPRK nuclear issue earlier this year. Currently
the disabling of the Myongbong nuclear facility in the DPRK is
As for the Iran nuclear issue, China has been involved in the
5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus
Germany) talks from the very beginning, standing against Iran's
efforts to possess nuclear arms on the one hand and opposing
sanctions against Iran and acknowledging Iran has the right to
peaceful use of nuclear energy on the other. Due to its complexity,
solving it has become more difficult than people originally
thought. However, there is one principle China will make sure there
is no compromise: absolutely no use of force. This standing of
China's has won the respect of most nations, including Iran.
Third, on the issue of the Middle East, China abandoned the
non-involvement attitude it often maintained in the past and joined
major international efforts as a permanent member of the UN
Security Council to resolve this thorny issue.
China began to shed its observer attitude around the time it
appointed its first Middle East special envoy. He was soon seen
shuttling between Palestine and Israel as well as between Arab
nations concerned and the Arab League. Chinese Foreign Minister
Yang Jiechi attended the latest international conference on the
Middle East peace hosted by the US in Annapolis, Maryland and
proposed several important initiatives.
Fourth, China attaches utmost importance to the issue of global
warming and has taken strong measures to deal with it.
China has concluded through nearly 30 years of peaceful progress
that development must be based on science or it would be impossible
to sustain. A series of measures have therefore been implemented in
the country in this regard. China has also attached great
importance to the issue of global warming at the international
It was one of the first participating nations in the Kyoto
Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and has
set goals for the gradual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
according to its national condition. It maintains close cooperation
with various countries on this issue and has been exploring the
best way to develop green energy resources.
Earlier this year, President Hu Jintao raised several proposals
at the APEC forum held in Australia on planting large forests and
green slopes to alleviate global warning.
On December 3, Premier Wen Jiabao had an important phone
conversation with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the UN
conference on climate change in Bali, Indonesia. He said climate
change was a problem facing the whole of mankind and needs to be
dealt with by the international community according to the
principle of each contributing what it can and within the framework
of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto
Developed countries should help developing nations build
capabilities to deal with climate change while drastically reducing
their own greenhouse emissions. Developing countries on their part
should take whatever effective measures their national conditions
allow to contribute to the global fight against climate change.
Ban spoke highly of the stance of China's and believed it was a
proactive endeavor by the Chinese government to deal with the
China maintains that reducing carbon dioxide emissions is the
responsibility of all nations of the world, but not on an
absolutely equal footing. In other words, developed nations should
shoulder the lion's share of carbon emission reduction by
dramatically cutting down their own emissions. China's insistence
on sharing common responsibility with country-specific differences
reflects the historical facts of global economic development and
Fifth, China's UN membership fee has increased
China has maintained a proactive and responsible attitude toward
the issue of UN membership fees since its economic reform and
opening began almost 30 years ago. It has never delayed or deferred
its membership fees which have increased in proportion to its
comprehensive national strength, reaching 2.05 percent last year.
This year China's UN membership fee rose by 40 percent, 2.05
percent to 2.67 percent. The increase is the largest for a single
nation among all UN member states.
The author is a researcher with China Institute of International
(China Daily December 24, 2007)