Chinese president Xi Jinping announced at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday that Beijing will no longer fund coal-fired power plants abroad via China’s Belt and Road infrastructure project. He also promoted the importance of diplomacy, saying that the disputes among countries “need to be handled through dialogue and cooperation,” state media reported.
“One country’s success does not have to mean another country’s failure,” Xi stressed in a prerecorded speech from Beijing. He urged that the “world is big enough to accommodate common development and progress of all countries.” His remarks were made just hours after US President Joe Biden said in his maiden speech that he had “no intention of starting a cold war,” declaring that the United States was shifting from “relentless war” to “relentless diplomacy”.
Amb. Zhang Jun: the Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi grasps the major, urgent issues facing today’s world, and reflects the common aspiration of the international community, esp. developing countries. pic.twitter.com/iZIkrB169h — Chinese Mission to UN (@Chinamission2un) September 21, 2021
“We stand, in my view, at an inflection point in history,” Biden said. “Instead of continuing to fight the wars of the past, we are fixing our eyes and devoting our resources to the challenges that hold the keys to our collective future.” He went on to add, “Our security, our prosperity and our very freedoms are interconnected as never before. And so, I believe, we must work together as never before.”
Further in a message directly aimed at China, Biden said: “We are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs, without mentioning China. “All the major powers of the world have a duty, in my view, to carefully manage their relationships so they do not tip from responsible competition into conflict,” Biden stressed.
Biden warns about Climate change, China’s Xi echoes concerns
As Biden focused on global climate change as a “code red for humanity,” calling on countries to step up the efforts, China’s Xi also called for global solidarity against the climate hazards backing a global momentum to scrap the use of coal for electricity. China abandoning funding towards the international coal projects will block the largest source of foreign coal financing for the world, thus pushing the carbon footprint goals an edge closer.
“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.”
President Xi at #UNGA — Chinese Mission to UN (@Chinamission2un) September 21, 2021
Addressing #UNGA, President Xi laid out China’s new assessment and actions for COVID response, economic recovery, international relations and global governance, calling on countries to bolster confidence and jointly overcome difficulties to build a better world. — Chinese Mission to UN (@Chinamission2un) September 21, 2021
“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 statement broadcast to the assembly at UN headquarters. While he did not give a timeline, the Chinese President’s promise of snubbing the world’s proposed coal projects, including those that are in the pre-construction phase an estimated 163 gigawatts of power’s worth of projects and approximately 40 gigawatts in foreign countries as per the reports will halt the global emissions to a great deal. Since 2015, when the Paris Agreement was struck, China has stopped over 74 percent of its coal projects, roughly 484 gigawatts of coal power.