BEIJING, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- China has set an excellent example for promoting sustainable development both nationwide and for the world as a whole, said chiefs of international organizations and overseas observers on Monday after a symposium on sustainable development at the United Nations headquarters.
The UN-facilitated 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by world leaders one year ago. It outlines 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), aiming to guide the world to pursue economic and social progress while protecting the environment.
In this regard, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang presided over the symposium to collect world wisdom to reach SDGs. China's experience in and contribution to sustainable development has also become a hot topic at the symposium.
As the world's most populous country, China has made tremendous efforts and scored great in poverty-alleviation that are a strong support for the shrinking of poverty-ridden population worldwide.
China, with less than 10 percent of the world's arable land and 6 percent of the global fresh water, manages to provide food for 20 percent of the world population. It's remarkable achievement, noted Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations.
Chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde commended China for "leading the chart of growth," as the country had doubled its GDP as well as the per capital income of its people over the past 10 years.
Macharia Munene, a professor on international relations in Nairobi, noted that it's inspiring for other developing countries as China has managed to help millions of people to get rid of poverty in a short period of time.
ASSISTANCE TO OTHER DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
As the biggest developing country, China has shouldered the responsibility of pushing other developing countries onto the path of sustainable growth.
"China is also deepening South-South cooperation to help other developing countries implement the 2030 agenda, providing support and financing technology capacity building," President of World Bank Jim Yong Kim said.
Saeed Chaudhry, director of Islamabad Council for International Affairs, echoed by pointing out that in Africa where once no country or donor was willing to invest, now "You will see schools, hospitals, bridges, roads and other infrastructures built with Chinese assistance in many African countries."
He went on to say that for the true sustainable development of the developing countries, China has also provided training to hundreds of thousands professionals from different needy countries.
In the field of international trade, China also takes concrete measures to aid its African partners. China's imports from Africa represents about 18 percent of their total global exports. In addition, China has granted zero-tariff treatment to over 400 products from African states, 93 percent of their total exports to China, Chaudhry noted.
Numan Fares, a political analyst in Syria, lauded China for providing substantial assistance to countries that "are plagued with crisis and natural catastrophes."
Take war-torn Syria for instance. China has provided several aid shipments to the Syrian people to alleviate their sufferings, Fares added.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to the United States in Sept. last year, China announced a plan to establish a 20 billion yuan (3 billion U.S. dollar) fund to help other developing countries combat climate change. Bambang Suryono, editor in chief of the Inhua Daily in Indonesia, quoted this to demonstrate that China is a responsible big country, which, while addressing its own challenges, has also made endeavors to help other developing countries to attain sustainable development.
Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, deputy secretary general of ASEAN for socio-cultural community, said that ASEAN member states look forward to working closely with China and UN entities in the course of implementing the 2030 Agenda.
GLOBAL ENGINE AND VISION
As the world's second-largest economy with a comparatively fast rate of economic growth, China's experience and contribution are greatly valued by the outside world.
Under the Chinese presidency, the G20 leaders at the summit in China's eastern city of Hangzhou earlier this month aligned for their work programs with the sustainable development agenda.
"This was the first time that the sustainable development agenda was taken as an official action agenda of the G20 summit," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted, adding that "I appreciate the Chinese leadership and vision."
"China is an eminent player in global development; in particular China is a leader in the implementation of the 2030 (sustainable development) agenda, emphasizing country-led strategies that are supported by multi stake-holder partnership," said Jim Yong Kim. Helen Clark, chief of the UN Development Program, noted that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank initiated by China and the new development bank of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) will become very important partners for financing sustainable development.
"China's Belt and Road initiative has a vision for shared prosperity and economic cooperation among countries along the major economic corridors, which links china around the world," said Clark, referring to the initiative on the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road which was brought up by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. The Belt and Road initiative is aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.
"We look forward to working with China to see that this important initiative also serves as a vehicle for driving agenda 2030," she added.
Moreover, China, as "a driving force for the global economic growth," has become an increasingly important export market for many countries as well as a key investor in many places of the world, said Chaudhry. (By Xinhua writers Wang Lili, Shi Xiaomeng, Ji Wei, Liu Tian, Che Hongliang, Zhou Meng and Jinzheng)