China calls for development, inclusion as African Union joins G20
The Group of 20 (G20) expanded for the first time on Saturday as the bloc granted permanent membership to the African Union (AU).
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision at the group's summit running from September 9 to 10 in New Delhi, India.
Modi said later that the G20 had reached a consensus on a leaders' declaration. Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said China was very supportive of the various outcomes.
The G20 needs unity instead of division, cooperation instead of confrontation and inclusion instead of exclusion, Chinese Premier Li Qiang said on Saturday while addressing the first session of the summit.
Advocating common development
Li urged the G20 members to stick to the original aspiration of unity and cooperation, and shoulder the responsibility of the times for peace and development.
The G20 members should be partners in promoting global economic recovery, global open cooperation and global sustainable development, he said.
Aiming to cultivate new drivers for global development and facilitating common development and progress of all countries, China has proposed the Global Development Initiative (GDI), which provides a Chinese solution to promote global development.
More than 100 countries and international organizations have expressed their support for the GDI, according to the Progress Report on the Global Development Initiative released in June by the Center for International Knowledge on Development of China.
Nearly 70 countries have joined the Group of Friends, an important platform for extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits that also serves as an important step in institutional development of GDI cooperation, the report noted.
Addressing the launching ceremony of the report, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu called for improving global allocation of development resources.
"We need to further mobilize development resources of governments, business communities, the academia and civil societies, and draw on their comparative strengths to improve resource allocation and the overall development level of developing countries," he said.
Developed countries need to earnestly shoulder their responsibilities by delivering on their commitments to official development assistance, development financing and climate financing, and by participating more in GDI cooperation in various fields in order to make the global distribution of development resources more balanced, Ma said.
To put development first, China has set up a Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund with a total funding of $4 billion and will soon set up a special fund of $10 billion dedicated to the implementation of the GDI.
Regarding practical cooperation, over 200 cooperation projects have come to fruition, with cooperation mechanisms expanding in areas such as poverty reduction, education and health in Asia, Africa, Pacific island countries and the Caribbean.
Expanding voice of Global South
After years of advocacy, the AU joined the G20 on Saturday, expanding Africa's voice at the global-level.
China was the first country to explicitly express its support for the AU's membership in the G20. Last month, China again stressed its strong support for the AU to become a full member of the G20, according to a joint statement issued after the China-Africa Leaders' Dialogue.
In August, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China is committed to supporting Africa in speaking with one voice on international affairs and continuously elevating its international standing when addressing the China-Africa Leaders' Dialogue in Johannesburg, South Africa.
G20 membership will provide a propitious framework for amplifying advocacy in favor of Africa and its effective contribution to meeting global challenges, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said on Saturday.
(Cover: G20 installation in New Delhi, India, September 7, 2023. /CFP)