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  Foreign Affairs Headlines
Li Keqiang Attends the 59th Annual Session of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization
 2021-11-29 23:10

On November 29, 2021, Premier Li Keqiang attended and addressed the 59th annual session of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) via video link.

Li Keqiang said, as an important outcome of the Bandung Conference, the AALCO is the only platform dedicated to international law spanning Asia and Africa. Over the past 60-odd years, Asian and African countries, through full consultation and building consensus, have established major visions of international law such as the "Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence" and "common but differentiated responsibilities", which has enriched the basic principles of international law underpinned by the UN Charter, and made indelible Asian and African contributions to developing international law. President Xi Jinping put forward that, we should keep pursuing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind through constant efforts. Currently, the world witnesses repeated resurgence and frequent mutations of COVID-19; world economic recovery remains lackluster, and multilateralism and multilateral mechanisms are suffering impacts. Asian and African countries, whose combined population is three-quarters of the world's total, are important forces for upholding the international rule of law and practicing multilateralism, and we should work together to create a better future. Li Keqiang put forward five proposals:

First, uphold sovereign equality and jointly practice multilateralism. We should always advocate that all countries are equal regardless of their sizes, fully respect the rights of all countries to independently choose development paths and models, and fully respect the diversity of different civilizations and social systems. The internal affairs of a country should be handled by its own people, and international affairs should be managed by all countries through consultation. We should stay committed to practicing multilateralism, and strengthening the righteous force for upholding sovereign equality, peace and stability.

Second, strengthen connectivity and jointly advance opening-up for mutual benefit. We need to deepen our partnership featuring mutual benefit, openness and inclusiveness, and steadily enhance regional economic integration. We need to uphold the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core, and raise the voice of developing countries in formulating international economic and trade rules. China will fully implement the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, promote the Initiative on Partnership for Africa's Development, work with all parties to enhance the synergy of development strategies, and bolster global economic recovery and growth.

Third, build a strong line of defense against the pandemic and jointly strengthen global health governance. We need to advocate the spirit of science, follow the rule of science and jointly fight against the pandemic. We should promote the building of a fair and equitable vaccine distribution system, support the construction of regional vaccine production and distribution centers, and strengthen cooperation on R&D and production of vaccines and drugs.

Fourth, accelerate a green transition and jointly promote sustainable development. Complying with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, the developed countries should first reduce emissions, stop pollution, earnestly support the developing countries in financing, technology, and capacity building; the developing countries should promote a green and low-carbon transition in a balanced and orderly manner according to their own national conditions.

Fifth, uphold fairness and justice and jointly strengthen international rule of law. We should firmly uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order based on international law, and the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Sound governance should be improved through good laws. We should increase the representation and say of developing countries in reforming multilateral institutions. We should actively participate in the development of new mechanisms and rules in the deep sea, polar region, outer space, cyberspace, digital and other emerging fields, and ensure the rights of Asian and African people in sharing the fruits of development.

Li Keqiang declared that, China will set up a regional arbitration center with the AALCO in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to provide more convenient and efficient dispute-settlement services to Asian and African countries.

Li Keqiang pointed out, given the challenges facing humankind, Asian and African countries need to jointly assume the important responsibility of upholding the international rule of law and practicing multilateralism. He believes that the AALCO will further pool the strengths of developing countries, and make new and important contributions to jointly building a better world.

The 59th annual session of the AALCO, held in Hong Kong, was attended online and offline by around 200 representatives from member states, permanent observer states, relevant countries and international organizations. Chief Executive of the HKSAR Carrie Lam delivered a speech via video link.

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