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China News Service: BAN Ki-moon: China’s Reform and Opening-up Benefits the World
Origin:Boao Forum for Asia      Time:2018-11-26 15:00:16    Views:294

China News Service, Seoul, Nov. 24, correspondent Zeng Nai:

Speaking of China’s 40 years of reform and opening-up, former UN Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon said, “(It) benefits the world.” Recently, he accepted an interview with a correspondent from China News Service in South Korea.

BAN Ki-moon, who can write Chinese characters and often quote ancient poems, said “(he was) influenced by Chinese culture including Confucianism and Taoism since childhood.” After the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea in 1992, BAN Ki-moon, a “diplomatic backbone” of South Korea, began frequent contacts with Chinese officials. In 2007, BAN Ki-moon was elected UN Secretary-General and visited China 11 times during his ten-year tenure. According to him, “I am very proud to witness and promote China moving to the world stage.”

“How to view China’s reform and opening-up?” When asked by the correspondent, BAN Ki-moon laughed and said, “It goes beyond a few changes.” From economic data analysis alone, the share of China’s GDP globally soared from about 2% to more than 15% from 1978 to 2017. “This is an incredibly huge achievement.” BAN Ki-moon said that such success could only be achieved through reform, opening-up and future-oriented leadership.

Talking about China’s biggest change, BAN Ki-moon mentioned two keywords – “poverty elimination” and “contributing to the world”.

In 40 years of reform and opening-up, China has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty. In the view of BAN Ki-moon, “It benefits not only the Chinese people, but also the whole world.” In 2000, representatives of 189 countries adopted the Millennium Declaration at the UN Millennium Summit, undertaking to achieve goals such as halving, by the year 2015, the proportion of the world’s poor people on the basis of 1990. “But for China’s efforts, the Millennium Development Goals would not be realized so quickly,” he said.

Chinese wisdom also contributes to global governance. BAN Ki-moon said that China is now the second largest capital contributor to UN peacekeeping operations and is making tireless efforts for world peace. China’s reform and opening-up also offers a new possibility. “If China can do it, other countries can refer to it.”

From the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the “Belt and Road” initiative, to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation... BAN Ki-moon said that China has proposed many new initiatives or policies to participate more actively in global affairs. This is exactly what the international community expects. “I am very grateful to China for its sustained support to developing countries.

BAN Ki-moon, aged 72, stepped down as Secretary-General of the United Nations at the end of 2016. He said in his farewell speech that he was worried about the existing issues such as wars and poverty. More than a year later, he faces a new trouble - multilateralism is under serious threat.

“I am deeply worried.” Speaking of the current international situation, BAN Ki-moon wore a serous expression. He was worried “some powerful forces are going backwards”, such as the United States announcing its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. But speaking of China, he wore a relaxed expression, “I don’t worry about China at all.” He said that he hoped China could continue to play a “model role”.

As BAN Ki-moon put it, China has always been the defender of the international order and the practitioner of multilateralism. Chinese officials have repeatedly stressed that China will open wider to the world instead of losing its doors! “This sends a very good signal,” said BAN Ki-moon.

This year, BAN Ki-moon was elected as Chairman of the BFA. At the BFA annual conference 2018 in April, he wrote the words “coexistence and co-prosperity” in Chinese.

“‘Coexistence and co-prosperity’ means working together for common prosperity.” BAN Ki-moon said that the world is now intimately tied and no country can go it alone. He agreed with the “building a community of a shared future for mankind” proposed by Chinese leaders. “China’s commitment to continue to expand openness and mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries enjoys great popularity.”

Looking forward to the future, BAN Ki-moon, who experienced the Korean War in his childhood, also has expectations for peace. To address the North Korean nuclear crisis, he said, China plays an important role in the six-party talks. Now the Korean Peninsula is ushering in a favorable turn for the better and hopes that all parties can foster cooperation. (End)