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Remarks at Collective Meeting of Leaders of Five Developing Countries

2008/07/08

Hu Jintao
President of the People's Republic of China
Sapporo, Japan, 8 July 2008

President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa,
Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to meet you all again and I look forward to a frank exchange of views with you on issues of common interest.

I wish to begin by expressing, on behalf of the Chinese Government and people, heartfelt thanks to the governments and people that you represent for the strong support and sincere assistance given to my country in our rescue and relief endeavors following the devastating earthquake in Wenchuan. We are grateful for the solidarity and sympathy expressed by the people of your countries toward the Chinese people. With the care and support from the international community, the Chinese Government and people have the resolve and confidence to prevail over the disaster caused by the massive earthquake and help the people in the affected areas rebuild their beautiful homeland at an early date.

The world today is undergoing major changes and adjustments. The trend towards a multipolar world is irreversible, economic globalization is gaining momentum, scientific and technological revolution is picking up speed, and countries are becoming increasingly interdependent. To share development opportunities, meet challenges together and advance mankind's noble cause of peace and development serves the fundamental interests of people of all countries and represents their common aspirations.

Developing countries are an important force in upholding world peace and promoting common development. With growing strength and greater solidarity and cooperation, developing countries as a whole have gained stronger influence and played a bigger role in international affairs in recent years. We represent five major developing countries. Together, we take up 42% of the world's population and 12% of the world's GDP. Sixteen percent of the peacekeepers at the ongoing UN peacekeeping operations come from these five countries. Closer coordination and cooperation among us will not only contribute to the development of our respective countries but also enhance South-South cooperation, promote North-South dialogue and advance the noble cause of peace and development of mankind.

Over the past year, coordination mechanisms at various levels among the five countries have taken initial shape, which have enabled us to step up consultation and coordination on issues related to the G8 outreach session. Our efforts have yielded positive results. We should build on our achievements and continue to make efforts in the following priority areas.

First, strengthen solidarity and coordination and promote common development. As active participants in economic globalization and with increasing ties with the international market, our countries have become an important part of the world economic architecture and a major driving force for global economic growth. The growing uncertainties and factors for instability in the world economic growth have a direct bearing on our own development. This calls for intensified consultation and coordination among us and closer bilateral and multilateral cooperation of mutual benefit to minimize the impact of unfavorable factors. In this way, we can maintain the momentum and dynamism of our fast economic growth and continue to make contribution to world economic development.

Second, step up coordination and advance South-South cooperation. South-South cooperation is an important channel for developing countries to draw on each other's strengths and achieve common development. We should help enhance South-South cooperation and play an exemplary role in such cooperation. We should work together to promote multilateralism and democracy in international relations, enhance the right of developing countries to participation and decision-making in international affairs and strive for more favorable external conditions for the growth of developing countries. At the same time, we should push forward reforms in international economic, financial, trade and development regimes, uphold the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries and enhance their capacity to tackle various risks and challenges, and promote balanced, coordinated and sustainable growth of the global economy.

Third, take a long-term view and promote North-South dialogue. As economic globalization is gathering momentum, interests and destinies of countries across the world are tied together. World economic growth cannot be sustained if developing countries remain in a state of backwardness. Global issues can be effectively addressed only when developed and developing countries work hand in hand. We should continue to work in an active and pragmatic way under the principle of seeking common ground while reserving differences, and help forge a new North-South partnership featuring equality, mutual benefit, cooperation and win-win progress. Through intensified consultation with developed countries, we may urge them to pay more attention to the voice of developing countries. We should make full use of international resources for the benefit of global development.

Fourth, work together to fulfill our responsibilities. Most of the hot-spot issues in today's world directly affect the interests of developing countries. We have the need and the responsibility to work together to exert positive influence on global affairs, increase the say of developing countries and make greater contribution to the building of a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity. Our present task is to strive for substantive results beneficial to developing countries at important international conferences such as the upcoming UN high-level event on Millennium Development Goals and the follow-up meeting on financing for development.

In a word, we the five countries have vast potential for cooperation and there is a lot we can do in upholding world peace and promoting common development. Strengthening our solidarity and cooperation serves not only the interests of our own people but also the common interests of people all over the world.

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, soaring food prices have become a pressing issue in the world economy. High food prices have added to the difficulties of the global poverty reduction efforts and affected regional stability. Developing countries suffer most from rising food prices and we the five countries have also been affected to varying degrees. It is worth noting that recently, there has been an argument stressing the so-called "responsibility of big developing countries", an argument which blames the development of big developing countries for the worldwide food price rise. This is not a responsible attitude. The causes for rising food prices are in fact multi-faceted and complex. The international community can maintain world food security only by increasing cooperation and taking comprehensive measures.

We the five countries are all major grain producers and consumers. Therefore, we should jointly encourage the international community to act more actively to ensure food security. We need to support and facilitate the efforts of the Task Force on Global Food Security Crisis to work out an international cooperation framework on food security. We should increase coordination and carry out technological exchanges and cooperation in such practical areas as planting, disease and pest prevention and grain reserves. We should take an active part in international discussions on food security, let more people appreciate our efforts and contribution in maintaining world food security and help ensure that these discussions will progress in a direction that serves the interest of developing countries.

Within the framework of South-South cooperation, China is ready to share experience in agricultural development with other developing countries, and provide help as its capacity allows, including sending more agricultural technicians, training more professionals in agricultural technology and management and further increasing agricultural assistance to them, so that together, we can raise the integrated agricultural production capacity of developing countries.

Thank you!

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