On September 14, 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign journalists, at which Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, Health Minister Chen Zhu, and Vice Minister of Commerce Yi Xiaozhun introduced the background, main activities and important significance of Premier Wen Jiabao's attendance of the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Millennium Development Goals and the generate debate of the 65th session of the UN General Assembly from September 21 to 23 in New York. Tian Qi, Deputy Director General of the Information Department, hosted the briefing, with nearly one hundred Chinese and foreign journalists present.
Liu Zhenmin said that Premier Wen's attendance of the meeting would be the third successive attendance by top Chinese state leaders at the UN meetings. It is also the second attendance by Premier Wen at the UN meetings following the 2008 meeting at the United Nations. The current international situation continues to undergo profound and complicated changes. World multi-polarization and economic globalization keep moving deeper. Peace, development and cooperation become a strong trend of the times. Countries in the world are more anxious to seek for peace, development and cooperation. World economy is recovering slowly and the foundation is not solid. Countries' performance varies. The problem of uneven development is still grim. Climate change, energy security, public health and other global issues are still outstanding. Regional hot-spot issues keep emerging. Local unrest occurs from time to time. The security situation tends to become more complex and diverse. World peace and development still face a series of new difficulties and challenges. Meanwhile, this year will be the 10th year for the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Countries have made progress in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, but the fulfillment of the MDGs on schedule is still facing many challenges on a global scale. Developing countries expect the international community to increase attention to development issues, deepen cooperation for development, and achieve the MDGs on schedule. The United Nations is expected to play a greater role in this regard.
Liu Zhenmin said Premier Wen's schedule is very tight and rich. Premier Wen will take part in about 20 multilateral and bilateral events. He will attend the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Millennium Development Goals and deliver a speech, sharing China's progress and experience in achieving the Millennium Development Goals as well as China's contributions to and propositions on international development cooperation. He will also attend the general debate of the 65th session of the UN General Assembly and deliver a speech, reiterating that China will unswervingly adhere to the reform and opening up policy and peaceful development and continue to work with the international community to strengthen cooperation, seek common development and achieve win-win results. He will attend the UN Security Council Summit, which was initiated by Turkey, the rotating presidency of the Security Council in September. At the Summit, he will introduce China's views concerning the world peace and the current international security situation and raise suggestions on how to better play the role of the Security Council in the current international security situation. He will attend the Millennium Development Goals and HIV/AIDS seminar organized by UNAIDS, introducing the efforts and achievements made by the Chinese government in HIV/AIDS prevention and control and putting forward China's propositions on strengthening international cooperation in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in the next phase. Premier Wen will also meet with leaders of some countries and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, attend the events organized by the friendly groups in the United States, accept interviews with the U.S. mainstream media, talk with the leaders of the Chinese-language media and the media agencies of Hong Kong and Macau, and meet with representatives of Chinese abroad, overseas Chinese, overseas Chinese students and Chinese-funded agencies.
Liu Zhenmin finally stressed that as a responsible member of the United Nations China has always actively participated in the work of the United Nations and has taken concrete action to support the United Nations to play a central role in international affairs. Premier Wen's attendance of the related UN meetings has fully reflected that China values and supports the United Nations. China expects that the meetings will be able to further strengthen the authority and role of the United Nations, enable the United Nations to play a greater role in maintaining international peace, promoting common development and advancing international cooperation, urge the international community to increase attention to development issues, and inject new impetus to the fulfillment of the MDGs as scheduled. China expects to strengthen communication and cooperation with other countries during the meeting to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.
Chen Zhu introduced the background of the Millennium Development Goals and HIV/AIDS seminar and the basic situation of China's implementation of the health-related Millennium Development Goals. He said that the seminar was initiated by the UNAIDS and co-organized by China, Nigeria and South Africa. The seminar has four goals: first, to continue to promote the fulfillment of the global goal of "universal access" of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care and link the HIV/AIDS prevention and control with the broader Millennium Development Goals; second, to show the determination of developing countries to respond to the challenges of HIV/AIDS and achieve the Millennium Development Goals; third, to call on developing countries to strengthen South-South cooperation and help each other cope with challenges together; fourth, to call on developed countries and the international community to implement the political commitments and help developing countries achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals.
Chen pointed out that there are three health-related goals in the MDGs: reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. China has fulfilled the first goal ahead of schedule and is expected to achieve the second goal on schedule. The rapid spread of HIV/AIDS in China has been basically checked and China is confident to meet the Millennium Development Goals in the field of HIV/AIDS by 2015. China is fully implementing the policies to control modern tuberculosis. China has formulated the "Plan of Action for the Elimination of Malaria (2010-2020)" and decided to achieve the goal of eliminating malaria across China by 2020.
Yi Xiaozhun introduced what China has done to support developing countries to achieve the UN MDGs. He said that at the United Nations high-level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals in September 2008, Premier Wen made a comprehensive presentation on China's achievements in poverty reduction and China's contributions to promoting the cause of global poverty reduction and the South-South cooperation. Premier Wen also announced the six assistance measures to be taken by the Chinese government in the next 5 years for other developing countries. Currently, these measures are in good progress and have produced preliminary results in the majority of recipient countries. They have played a positive role in boosting local economic and social development and driving the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. They are welcomed by the recipient countries and fully recognized by the international community. The Chinese government will, in close consultation and cooperation with developing countries, continue to implement the relevant commitments as planned and ensure the effectiveness of the assistance. 2010 marks the 60th anniversary of China's foreign aid. The Chinese government made a comprehensive summary of the achievements in the past 60 years and expounded on the profound meaning of foreign aid model with Chinese characteristics, which can be concluded as: "mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, common development, not going beyond one's ability, honoring commitments, respecting diversity, and results orientation". China's foreign aid belongs to South-South cooperation and it falls into the category of mutual assistance between developing countries. The Chinese Government will, based on past experiences, according to the needs of countries concerned, continue to help developing countries cope with climate change, strengthen human resources development and training, develop medical and health services, achieve sustainable development of agriculture, exempt the debt of inter-governmental interest-free loans, support developing countries to accelerate development, and actively promote the realization of UN Millennium Development Goals.
Yi stressed that China remains a developing nation. Development is still a difficult, long-term task China faces. Although China is not rich and faces all kinds of bottlenecks in the development process, China has been actively honoring the "Millennium Declaration" commitments, earnestly fulfilling the international responsibility to promote South-South cooperation and providing assistance for other developing countries, especially the least developed countries in its power.
The above officials also took questions for journalists.