BEIJING: President Xi Jinping vowed on Monday that China would always uphold world peace and international rules, amid concerns expressed by the United States and other countries over its increasing assertiveness globally.
In a speech marking the 50th anniversary of China's return to the United Nations, Xi said it would always be the "builder of world peace" and a "protector of international order", state news agency Xinhua reported.
Xi urged all countries to promote the values of peace, development, justice, democracy, freedom, making use of a phrase the "common values of all mankind" that he coined and first mentioned in a July speech for the 100th anniversary of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
In 1971, the United Nations voted to recognise the People's Republic of China as the sole representative of China, expelling Taiwan, which had held the UN seat in the name of the Republic of China, its official title.
Xi said reforms on global governance are needed, and that international rules should be decided by all 193 members of the United Nations, instead of by "certain countries or country groupings", making a veiled criticism of the United States for exerting a dominant influence over international institutions.
He also said all countries should always abide by international rules, and not only when the rules suit them.
However, UN chief Antonio Guterres congratulated the People's Republic of China on the restoration of a lawful seat in the UN on October 25 50 years ago, and thanked China for supporting the UN's work and playing a major role in promoting world peace and development, adding unilateralism is totally unacceptable.
Noting the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted development and people's livelihoods in all countries, especially the developing countries, Xi pointed out we should attach importance to and get work well done in both the joint pandemic response and the economic recovery.
He urged stepping up anti-pandemic assistance to developing countries, as well as fair and reasonable distribution of vaccines globally to help make vaccines global public goods.
In 2018, China became one of the largest financial contributors to the UN. Its contribution rose to 12 percent of its GDP in 2019 from 7.9 percent in 2018, making it second only to the US at 22 percent and surpassing Japan at 9.7 percent.