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Zhang Jun
Zhang Jun
Ambassador Zhang Jun is the Permanent Representative of China to the UN. He was formerly China’s assistant minister of foreign affairs.

In this milestone year, China – as a responsible major country – will work even more closely with the UN, support true multilateralism and seek to ensure the development of all. The top priority right now is to step up international cooperation to curb Covid-19 and ensure fair distribution of vaccines.

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The UN must defend multilateralism against the ‘virus’ of unilateralism and protectionism. Covid-19, climate change and digital security are just some of the severe challenges before us that must be addressed through cooperation and solidarity.

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The world is facing a trust deficit at a time when effective cooperation is needed more than ever. Yes, the coronavirus is terrible, but what is worse is a political virus, such as a Cold War mentality, which harms everyone.

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With the multilateral trading system now under threat amid the rise of protectionism, Apec must rise to the challenge to forge even closer cooperation. In this, it will have China’s full support.

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While Asia and the Pacific on the whole has benefited greatly from globalisation, the gains have not spread to all. As a model of effective cooperation, Apec is best placed to address this lopsided development.

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Travellers in Bali are often asked two questions: where did you come from; and, where are you going? This week, after almost two decades, the Apec economic leaders' meeting will return to Indonesia, the birthplace of the so-called Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment in the region, set in 1994.