As a Member of the Developing World China Will Always Speak up for Developing Countries
 Remarks by H.E. Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China
at the 37th Foreign Ministers' Annual Meeting of the G77

New York, 26 September 2013


Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I'm very pleased to attend the Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the G77. I wish to thank Fiji for its remarkable work as the Chair of the G77 for 2013. The Chinese delegation and I myself are old friends of the G77. I am ready to work with all of you to make the meeting a great success.

Mr. President,

In recent years, the international situation has undergone numerous changes. There have been a great deal of discussions in the international community on the role of developing countries and the G77 in particular. I wish to take this opportunity to answer a few of the questions related to the topic.

Some asked: Are there more challenges than opportunities for the developing countries?

There are many opportunities and challenges for them. On the one hand, economic globalization, world multi-polarization and IT society development have grown rapidly, which offer developing countries still more latecomers' advantages and greater development horizon. The emerging markets and developing countries are growing collectively with billions becoming citizens of industrialized society. The international balance of power is moving towards greater equilibrium. The developing countries have gained a greater say in world affairs and enjoyed greater respect.

On the other hand, developing countries are the chief victims of regional conflicts and the financial crisis. At present, world economic recovery is still feeble, with frequent large flows of hot money, insufficient financing for development and rampant protectionism, making the external environment for developing countries even more complex. The developed countries, by pursuing "reindustrialization", introducing a new technological revolution, promoting FTA and strengthening rule-making in their favor, has put greater pressure on the developing countries to slide even farther.

But on the whole, for the developing countries, opportunities outweigh challenges, if they have a keen sense of opportunities and potential dangers, give top priority to the economy, development and people's wellbeing, and take on challenges with reform, opening-up, technological progress and collective self-reliance.

Some asked: Can the G77 regain its past glory?

Of course it can! Back in the 1970s and 1980s, conditions of the developing countries were far less desirable both economically and politically. But the G77 rallied closely together, courageously pushed the UN General Assembly to adopt the Declaration on Building a New International Economic Order and other important resolutions, supported the creation of a host of important UN mechanisms and programs and stood up in defense of their own interests and international justice. The world was able to see the power of the G77 and the developing countries also realized that "strength comes from unity".

Today, the developing world accounts for 82% of the world's population, nearly half of the world's GDP, around 50% of international trade and 31% of global FDI. Of the World Top 500 companies, 120 are from the developing countries. Inside the G20, eight are emerging market countries. The strength and influence of developing countries are no longer what they used to be. We are participating in world affairs on an equal footing and working actively to build international systems.

There might be problems of one kind or another between or among the developing countries, but what comes first is our common interests. There might be subdivisions of one kind or another within the developing world, but what comes first is that we are all developing countries. There can and should be various types of partnerships between the North and South countries, but this gives no ground to evade or even deny the "common but differentiated responsibilities".

In the face of the new situation in North-South relations, the developing countries should be on guard against any attempt of sowing discord and dividing in order to rule. We must avoid the situation in which each fights the war on its own, still less undermine each other's positions. We must cultivate a keen sense of unity and coordination, seek common ground while reserving differences, come to each other's support readily, try to speak with one voice and better defend our interests through a more vocal and further strengthened G77+China mechanism.

Some people asked: Is China still a developing country?

Of course. Since the start of the reform and opening-up program, China has enjoyed a rapid economic growth. It is the biggest exporter and has the world's second largest GDP. We should also see, however, that its per capita income ranks around the 90th place in the world and China ranks only the 101st place by the Human Development Index of UNDP. China is still in the primary stage of socialism with the number of poor totaling over 100 million now and in the foreseeable future as well. There is sill a considerable development gap between urban and rural areas and among different regions. Therefore, China is undoubtedly still a developing country.

I wish to stress here that even when China becomes stronger and more prosperous, it will remain a staunch member of the developing world because China and fellow developing countries have similar past, common development task and ever-expanding shared strategic interests.

The developing countries are always the basis of China's diplomacy. We will continue to enhance our cooperation with the other developing countries, firmly uphold the legitimate rights and interests of the developing countries at the UN, G20, APEC and other platforms, speak for the developing countries, and support greater representation and say of the developing countries in international affairs. China will forever be a reliable friend and sincere partner of the developing countries.

Some asked: How will China conduct its cooperation with the G77?

During his visit to Africa, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized four words, namely, "sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith" that characterized China's relations with Africa. They, in my view, may also apply to our relations with the G77 and all the other developing countries. As for friends from developing countries, we treat them as our equals with sincerity and never interfere in their internal affairs. We seek to link our own development closely with the development of other developing countries and provide them with assistance and support to the best of our ability. Whenever we make a commitment, we always make sure that it is fully implemented to the letter. We share a natural affinity with the developing countries and, on that basis, work to step up people-to-people exchanges for broad social support from two sides. As for new developments and new problems in China's relations with developing countries, we look at them squarely and deal with them appropriately in the spirit of mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

The medical teams sent overseas by China are a fine example of South-South cooperation. China dispatched its first medical team to Algeria in 1963, and has since sent 23,000 medical workers to 66 countries and regions, providing medical service to an accumulated number of 270 million people. As we speak, more than 1,100 Chinese medical workers are half a world away from home and loved ones for the noble cause of healing and saving lives.

What is more, the Chinese medical teams are a vivid example of how we Chinese treat morality and interests. In our relations with the friends from developing countries, morality always comes before interests and interests are pursued only in the right way. We stand for common development and mutual benefit and will never do things for selfish interests or follow a beggar-thy-neighbor approach.

There is a need for China and G77 members to learn from each other's experience in governance, strengthen their exchanges on development ideas and policies and promote their strategic cooperation in industrialization, urbanization, IT application and agricultural modernization.

There is a need for us to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in infrastructure, connectivity, energy and resources and jointly tackle the spill-over effect of monetary policy adjustments by certain developed countries.

There is a need for us to enhance our coordination within the UN framework, work to put development high on the international agenda and exert a greater influence of the G77 in the post 2015 development agenda. We must scale up our communication and concerted efforts on such issues as UN reform, the handling of major emergencies and making of international rules.

Mr. President,

As a Chinese saying goes, the fire burns high when every one brings wood to it. China values the G77 and the G77+China mechanism. We are ready to work with all of you through thick and thin so as to bring greater progress in our cause.

Thank you.