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September 23, 2021

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Xi: China to stop new coal power projects abroad

President Xi Jinping has said that China would not build new coal-fired power projects abroad, using his address at the United Nations General Assembly to add to pledges to deal with climate change.

“China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad,” Xi said in his pre-recorded video address at the annual UN gathering on Tuesday, in which he stressed China’s peaceful intentions in international relations.

“This is another remarkable step taken by China on its own initiative to cope with the global climate change, as Xi earlier announced China’s pledge to strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060,” said Ruan Zongze, China Institute of International Studies executive vice president.

United States climate envoy John Kerry quickly welcomed Xi’s announcement, calling it a “great contribution” and a good beginning to efforts needed to achieve success at the October 31-November 12 COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

Alok Sharma, head of COP26, also hailed the announcement.

“It is clear the writing is on the wall for coal power. I welcome President Xi’s commitment to stop building new coal projects abroad — a key topic of my discussions during my visit to China,” he said on Twitter.

Besides decreasing coal-fired power projects, China has pledged an additional US$3 billion of international assistance in the next three years to support developing countries in responding to COVID-19 and promoting economic recovery.

“Development holds the key to people’s well-being,” Xi said.

He unveiled a six-pronged Global Development Initiative — staying committed to development as a priority, staying committed to a people-centered approach, staying committed to benefits for all, staying committed to innovation-driven development, staying committed to harmony between man and nature and staying committed to results-oriented actions.

Xi spoke after US President Joe Biden gave his first UN address. Biden mapped out a new era of vigorous competition without a new Cold War.

Xi called for building a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation, and doing the best to “expand the convergence of interests” and “achieve the biggest synergy possible.”

“One country’s success does not have to mean another country’s failure, and the world is big enough to accommodate common development and progress of all countries,” he said, adding that differences and problems among countries need to be handled through dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

“Recent developments in the global situation show once again that military intervention from the outside and so-called democratic transformation entail nothing but harm,” Xi said.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the UN. Xi said China will solemnly commemorate this historic event and advance cooperation with the UN to a new level and make greater contributions to promoting the UN’s noble cause.


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