HK should support nation's initiatives on world stage

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 October, 2015, 4:47pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 October, 2015, 4:47pm

As a supporter of sound Sino-American relations, I followed via the media President Xi Jinping's official visit to the US last month and his summit with President Barack Obama at the White House.

These talks highlighted areas where the two nations were able to navigate their differences in a spirit of cooperation. This was clear from the joint press conference at the end of the summit.

Chinese state media reported that Mr Obama had reiterated the US would not interfere in Hong Kong and did not support "independence" for Taiwan, Tibet or Xinjiang.

On the South China Sea issue, Mr Xi repeated what he has said before that, while China would uphold its territorial sovereignty, it did not intend to militarise the artificial islands it had built there.

On cybersecurity, there was joint agreement not to commit or to knowingly support cybertheft, while Mr Obama said penalties against companies or individuals remained on the table. Both sides agreed to have cybersecurity talks twice yearly, the first to take place by year-end.

On the economy, China agreed to avoid devaluing the yuan against the US dollar and to continue accelerating market reforms.

Both countries reaffirmed their pledge made last year to work towards a new global climate change agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December.

The US continues to be a vocal critic of China's human rights record. Mr Xi has said human rights and democracy are important but reforms must proceed according to China's timetable.

Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Summit he said China would provide US$2 billion for a new development fund for poor countries.

During the UN General Assembly's annual debate he said, "China's vote in the UN always belongs to the developing countries." A US$1 billion "China-UN Peace and Development Fund" will be established to support UN multilateral cooperation and boost world peace.

At a women's rights forum at UN headquarters, where his wife Peng Liyuan spoke, Mr Xi said China would donate US$10 million to the UN for projects related to the health and well-being of women and children.

As we are China's global city under "one country, two systems", I urge Hong Kong people to support the country's far-reaching initiatives and, with the US and UN, promote peaceful development worldwide and better livelihoods for all peoples whatever their nationality.

Hilton Cheong-Leen, To Kwa Wan