Remarks by H. E. Mr Cui Aimin, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Sweden
at October 13th Webinar: “Human Rights Development and Belt and Road Initiative”
Distinguished participants, Ladies and gentlemen, Friends,
Good morning! I am very glad to participate in this webinar, to have the discussion with you on “human rights development and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)”, and to exchange views with you on how the BRI promotes the development of the global cause of human rights and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Sweden, I wish to extend my warm congratulations on the convening of the webinar and my sincere welcome to the participants.
Human rights are an achievement and a symbol of the progress of human civilization. Respecting and protecting human rights is a basic principle of modern civilization and a common undertaking of all countries.The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Government of China combine the principle of universality of human rights with China’s national conditions, uphold the rights to subsistence and development as the primary and basic human rights uphold people living a happy life as the primary human right, work for the all-round development of the people strive to enhance people’s sense of gain, happiness and security, and have successfully opened a path of human rights development of socialism with Chinese characteristics. At the same time, China is committed to promoting development through cooperation, and promoting human rights through development. China fully participates in the global governance of human rights, and has made significant contribution to the development of the global cause of human rights. The BRI upholds the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, follows open, green and integrity concepts, actively promotes policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade financial integration and people-to-people bonds, and pursues goals of high standard, sustainability and improvement of people’s well-being. It is an initiative of shared development and also an initiative of protection and promotion of human rights.It provides China’s solution to the promotion of the global cause of human rights.
First, the BRI vigorously promotes the right to subsistence. The right to subsistence is the most basic human right and the premise and basis to enjoy and develop other human rights. Health and medical conditions bear directly on the quality and standard of people’s subsistence. In recent years China has been deepening health communication and cooperation with BRI countries under the Health Silk Road and has implemented a number of projects with significant influence, broad benefits, positive effects and good reputation which considerably improved the public health and medical services of relevant countries. The“BRI Brightness Action” program helped over 5000 cataract patients restore eyesight, and the rainwater collection system in Kuwait helps local people to cope with the floods. In the face of the serious danger posed by the COVID-19 pandemic against people’s life and health, China has cumulatively provided 4.6 billion protective gowns, 18 billion test kits, over 430 billion masks and 2.2 billion doses of vaccines to153 countries including BRI countries and 15 international organizations. The China-Europe freight train kept operational even at the height of the pandemic, and charted 82 routes that connected China and 200 cities in 24 European countries, providing important guarantee for timely access to medical supplies and daily goods for relevant countries.
Second, the BRI effectively promotes the right to development. Development is an eternal theme of humanity, and creates conditions for realizing various human rights. Through the BRI, we support and help many developing countries to develop economically and improve people’s living standards, and contribute to the progress of the global cause of human rights. China has built 79 economic and trade cooperation zones in 24 countries along the Belt and Road, cumulatively investing USD 43 billion in them and creating 346 thousand local jobs. By implementing the hybrid rice poverty-alleviation model village project in
Burundi and building the mushroom cultivation center in Rwanda, we helped the local people to shake off absolute poverty. Projects such as the Jakarta-Bandung high speed railway and the Haifa Port continue to be implemented making contribution to closing the global development gap As the World Bank estimates, the BRI will lift 7.6 million people in relevant countries out of extreme poverty, 32 million people out of moderate poverty, and increase the trade of participating countries by 2.8% to 9.7%,global trade by 1.7% to 6.2% and global income by 0.7% to 2.9%.
Third, the BRI strongly promotes environmental rights. A good ecological environment is the most inclusive benefit for the people. In building the BRI,China has always been committed to green development incorporating circular economic development, energy conservation and emission reduction, new energy development and climate actions into the BRI cooperation, and effectively safeguarding and promoting the environmental rights of the people in BRI countries. We have increased investment in renewable energy supply projects, committed to stop building new coal-fired power plants overseas, and supported BRI countries in making their energy supply more efficient, clean and diverse. In the planning and implementation of the projects, we fully take ecological factors into consideration. For example, wild life migration corridors are built in infrastructure projects and process water is reused and recycled, which generates positive effects.
Fourth, the BRI significantly promotes the exchanges and mutual learning between different paths of human rights development. It is China’s consistent view that there is no superior path of human rights, and each path is special in its own way. All countries have the right to independently choose a path of human rights development that suits their
national conditions. To impose one’s own model of human rights development on others irrespective of their national conditions and their people’s choice is undemocratic and hegemonic, which is against what human rights are supposed to be and will only undermine the global cause of human rights. The complex ethnic and religious situations and the different political systems and development models in the countries along the Belt and Road require more communication that can break through barriers. The BRI has become an important platform for different countries to increase mutual understanding, to enhance people-to-people connectivity, and to increase and strengthen exchanges and cooperation in education, science and technology,culture and people-to-people exchanges among participating countries, which plays a positive role in making the global governance of human rights more fair, just, reasonable and inclusive.
In a world that is facing the combined impacts of major changes unseen in a century and the COVID-19 pandemic, the aspiration for peace and development by people around the world is ever higher, their call for equity and justice ever stronger and pursuit of win-win cooperation ever more resolute. It has become a shared hope of people around the world to improve livelihood and to promote and protect human rights through development. In September, 2021 at the United Nations General Assembly, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative(GDI),which represents another public good contributed by China to the global cause of human rights. Giving priority to development and putting people at the center the GDI focuses on the eight areas of poverty alleviation, food security, Covid-19 and vaccines, financing for development climate change and green developmentindustrialization digital economy, and connectivity. The GDI is broadly welcomed by the international community, with over 100 countries and many international organizations including the UN expressing their positive and supportive attitudes towards it, and over 60 countries joining the Group of Friends of the GDI. The GDI, together with the BRI, will make new contribution to promoting and protecting the right to development and other rights and interests of people in developing countries and to promoting the global cause of human rights.
As President Xi Jinping pointed out, to strive to deliver a better life to the people is the biggest human right. The Chinese side is willing to actively conduct human rights dialogue and cooperation with all sides on the basis of equality and mutual respect, make joint efforts to promote the global cause of human rights and deliver benefits to people around the world. In a few days, the 20t National Congress of the CPC will be convened. The Congress will map out the development blueprint of China in the next five years or an even longer period, and open a new chapter for China’s development. It will also become a new starting point for the development of China’s human rights and inject new momentum into world peace and development and the human rights cause. China will continue to be firmly and confidently committed to the path of human rights development that suits our national conditions, and to meet people’s aspiration for a better life. China will also continue to be a supporter, practitioner and promoter for the healthy development of the global cause of human rights, and will work tirelessly to improve the protection of human rights of people around the world through international public goods such as the BRI and the GDI and promote the building of a better community with a shared future for mankind.
I would like to conclude by wishing the webinar a great success! Thank you!
Webinar: Human RIghts, Development, and The Belt and Road Initiative.