China working to preserve agreements

Chinese officials are aware of the importance of the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate change accord to global prosperity and peace. And by uniting with partner governments, China can negate the effects of US President Donald Trump’s ill-judged decisions on these agreements

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 October, 2017, 12:49am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 October, 2017, 4:07pm

China had a central role in putting together two of the world’s most important agreements in recent years, the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate change accord. They are landmark pacts aimed at protecting against weapons proliferation and the weather extremes and higher sea levels that unfettered air pollution is causing. These are the obligations President Xi Jinping was referring to in his report as secretary general to the 19th Congress of the Communist Party when promising that Beijing would always try to be a builder of world peace, contributor to global development and guardian of the international order. That has to be especially so given US President Donald Trump’s spiteful intent to tear such deals apart.

Trump’s administration has already embarked on the process of the US leaving the Paris pact and last week the president called on American lawmakers and partners to the Iran deal to amend or renegotiate it. He is being driven not by common sense, but a desire to bulldoze the legacy of his predecessor, Barack Obama. His disregard for the security that both accords provide is endangering the world. Fortunately, China and others that agreed to the accords have promised to work closely to make them as effective as possible.

Time for China to have a bigger global say, Xi tells world

This is in keeping with the guidelines for China’s diplomacy Xi laid out. He called for nations to build a community of shared destiny in which they would contribute what they could for the benefits of all without individual gains and losses. Global challenges and uncertainties like climate change, nuclear proliferation, cybercrime and terrorism would be most effectively dealt with through governments cooperating and there was a need for a fairer global governance system that puts all nations on an equal footing. China would not pursue interests at the expense of others, never seek hegemony, its military was for defensive purposes and no other country would ever be threatened.

This thinking is the basis for the “Belt and Road Initiative”, which aims to bring common development to nations along the route from Asia to Africa and Europe, the diplomatic efforts made to settle disputes and the aid for countries in need. It is also behind the climate change and Iran accords. Allowing the Iran agreement, brokered with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, to fall apart could create another rogue nuclear nation like North Korea.

China’s embracing of the Paris pact is similarly important to the nation, which is fighting urban air pollution. But Chinese officials are also aware of the importance of such deals to global prosperity and peace. By uniting with partner governments, the effects of ill-judged decisions like those of Trump can be negated.