The Summit Meeting of the Group of 77 and China, a major organisation of developing countries, was held in the Cuban capital, Havana, September 15-16.
Attended by more than 1,300 participants from 116 countries and 12 organisations and agencies of the United Nations system, it represented a major diplomatic achievement by Cuba and a stunning rebuff to US attempts to isolate the heroic socialist island. Representation was drawn from 33 nations from Latin America and the Caribbean, 46 from Africa, 34 from Asia, and three from Europe. They comprised 31 heads of state and government, 12 vice presidents, dozens of ministers from multiple portfolios, and many other high-level dignitaries.
Li Xi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee attended as the special representative of President Xi Jinping.
Addressing the summit on September 15, Li said that Cuba has made a great effort and contributed significantly to promoting the collective strength and solidarity of developing countries in addressing global challenges and in safeguarding the development interests of developing nations. He applauded Cuba’s effort and contribution.
The world, he added, is undergoing changes on a scale unseen in a century. Developing countries are becoming stronger. A significant shift is taking place in the international balance of power. And South-South cooperation is growing significantly in both quantity and quality.
At the same time, however, unilateralism and hegemonism are becoming rampant. Some countries are resorting to such practices as unilateral sanctions, erection of ‘fences and barriers,’ decoupling, and disruption of industrial and supply chains, seriously undermining the legitimate development rights and interests of developing countries and their space for development.
China is the world’s largest developing nation and a natural member of the Global South. China is ready to work with Cuba and other G77 members to open a new chapter in South-South cooperation in the quest for greater development through stronger solidarity, build a Global South community with a shared future, and usher in a new era of common development.
Li advanced three proposals to:
1) Stay true to the original aspiration of the G77 for independence and greater collective strength through unity.
The G77 was born nearly 60 years ago in the struggles of its members for national independence and against exploitation and oppression. Developing countries have since advocated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the Bandung Spirit, won national independence, and endeavoured to safeguard world peace and promote global development.
2) Advocate equity, justice and inclusiveness.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has voted overwhelmingly for 30 consecutive times, demanding an immediate end to the US embargo against Cuba. We must continue to make our voice heard loud and clear at the UNGA and other major international fora and events.
3) Pursue development, revitalisation and win-win cooperation.
We need to foster new drivers for our own development, focusing on cooperation in areas of food security, poverty alleviation, industrialisation, green development, digital technology, and artificial intelligence.
China is the largest developing country in the world, Li stressed. “No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will always be part of the developing world and a member of the Global South. South-South cooperation is always a high priority in China’s cooperation with other countries. This is our strategic choice, and it is not a stopgap measure.
“We, the developing nations, have won national independence and liberation after a long and arduous journey. We share a fervent desire to bring a better life for our people. We have invariably stood in solidarity through thick and thin. We have supported each other and grown together, and we are a community that rise and fall together.”
Li combined his attendance at the summit with an official friendly visit to Cuba. Meeting with First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) and Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, he said that China stands ready to promote the development of the respective party building and socialist causes of the two countries.
For his part, Diaz-Canel said that China has firmly stood with the Global South nations and effectively safeguarded the common interests of developing countries, noting that the Cuban side thanks China for its assistance to Cuba’s economic and social development and is ready to maintain close friendly exchanges with the CPC and promote practical cooperation. He also expressed gratitude for China’s firm support for the Cuban people’s just struggle against unilateral blockade and sanctions.
When visiting Army General Raul Castro, the leader of Cuba’s socialist revolution, Li conveyed Xi Jinping’s greetings to Raul and said that the traditional friendship between China and Cuba was forged and carefully cultivated by the older generation of leaders of the two countries. Raul is a close friend of the CPC and the Chinese people and has made historic contributions to the development of relations between the two parties and the two countries. Facing the complex and ever-changing international situation, China is willing to work with Cuba to jointly build a China-Cuba community with a shared future.
Raul Castro asked Li to convey his greetings to Xi. He recalled his exchanges with Chinese comrades, saying that Cuba is happy and encouraged by the great achievements made in the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and is willing to learn from China’s development experience. He also visited the Fidel Castro Ruz Centre together with Li.
Following his visit to Cuba, Li’s itinerary featured visits to Brazil and Egypt at the invitation of their governments and ruling parties.
We reprint below the full text of Li’s speech as well as a report of his meetings with Cuban leaders. They were originally carried by the Xinhua News Agency. The full text of the Summit Declaration may be read here.
Full text: Remarks by Li Xi at Summit of the Group of 77 and China
HAVANA, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) — The following is the full text of the remarks by Li Xi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the special representative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, at the Summit of the Group of 77 and China in Havana, Cuba, on Friday.
Working Together for Stronger Solidarity, Greater Development, and Closer South-South Cooperation
Your Excellency President Miguel Díaz-Canel,
Your Excellency Secretary General Antonio Guterres,
Excellencies Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to attend the Summit of the Group of 77 (G77) and China as President Xi Jinping’s special representative. May I begin by thanking the government of Cuba for the meticulous preparations and thoughtful arrangements that have made the Summit possible.
As the Chair of the Summit, Cuba has made a great effort and contributed significantly to promoting the collective strength and solidarity of developing countries in addressing global challenges and in safeguarding the development interests of developing nations. We applaud your effort and contribution.
The world is undergoing changes on a scale unseen in a century. Developing countries are becoming stronger. A significant shift is taking place in the international balance of power. And South-South cooperation is growing significantly in both quantity and quality.
Emerging markets and developing countries have contributed as much as 80 percent of the world’s economic growth in the past 20 years, and now account for more than 40 percent of global GDP, up from 24 percent 40 years ago. South-South cooperation is playing an increasingly important role in driving the momentum of collective rise of developing countries and in sustaining the continued global economic growth.Continue reading Li Xi: China will always be part of the developing world and a member of the Global South