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Xi Jinping Attends and Delivers a Keynote Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference
2021-10-14 15:03

On the evening of October 14, 2021, President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony of the second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference and delivered a keynote speech titled "Staying Connected with the World and Abreast with the Times, and Making Big Strides on the Path of Sustainable Development" via video conference.

Xi Jinping pointed out that transport is the artery of the economy and a bond between civilizations. Transport, in the forms of camel caravans and sailing boats on the ancient Silk Road, wave-breaking vessels in the Age of Exploration, and the criss-cross transport networks in this modern age, has facilitated economic integration and people-to-people exchanges and turned the world into a close-knit global village. Now, major changes unseen in a century, compounded by a once-in-a-century pandemic, are posing serious challenges to the global efforts of growing the economy and bettering people's lives. We should follow the prevailing trend of world development, advance global transport cooperation, and write a new chapter featuring connectivity of infrastructure, unfettered flows of trade and investment, and interactions between civilizations.

First, we need to uphold open interplay and enhance connectivity. We should pursue an open world economy, reject discriminatory or exclusive rules and systems, and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all. We should strengthen both hard connectivity of infrastructure and soft connectivity of institutions and rules, and develop four-dimensional connectivity of land, sea, air and the Internet.

Second, we need to uphold common development and promote fairness and inclusiveness. Only when countries develop together can there be true development; only when countries prosper together can there be true prosperity. Uneven development must be addressed before broader prospects for humanity's common development could be brought about. We should leverage the enabling role of transport and increase related input in poor regions, so that local economies and people's lives could improve as a result of better roads. We should enhance North-South and South-South cooperation and scale up support for developing transport infrastructure in the least developed countries and landlocked developing countries, so as to achieve common prosperity.

Third, we need to uphold an innovation-driven approach and create more drivers for development. More should be done to develop smart transport and smart logistics and promote deep integration of new technologies like big data, the Internet, artificial intelligence and blockchain with the transport sector, to ensure easier movement of people and smoother flow of goods.

Fourth, we need to uphold ecological conservation as a priority and pursue green and low-carbon development. The only durable way to achieve sustainable development is to establish an economic system for green and low-carbon development and promote green transition in all respects of economic and social development. More efforts are needed to foster a green and low-carbon way of transport, step up green infrastructural development, promote new energy, smart, digital and light-weight transport equipment, and encourage and advocate green travel, to make transport and travel more environment-friendly and low-carbon.

Fifth, we need to uphold multilateralism and improve global governance. We should follow the vision of global governance featuring extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and mobilize resources from across the globe to meet global challenges and promote global development. We should uphold the authority and status of the United Nations and, in the context of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, advance cooperation in such areas as poverty reduction, health, transport and logistics, and infrastructure development. I hope more will join the Initiative.

Xi Jinping pointed out that since the founding of New China, generation after generation of the Chinese people have worked in the spirit of opening roads through mountains and putting bridges over rivers, and turned China into a country with vast transport infrastructure. Today, we are redoubling our efforts to build a country with great transport strength. Convinced that transport should come first, we have built the world's largest high-speed railway network, expressway network and world-class port clusters. We have opened air and sea routes that reach all parts of the world. Convinced of the need for innovation, we have achieved major breakthroughs in equipment manufacturing like high-speed trains and large aircraft. We have more than half of the world's new energy vehicles. Mega transport projects like the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and Beijing Daxing International Airport have been completed and put into operation. Transport has become a frontier in China's modernization drive. Convinced of the importance of global connectivity, we have become the economy best connected to the global shipping network and with the highest volume of trade in goods. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the China-Europe Railway Express and ocean-going cargo vessels have been running day and night to keep global industrial and supply chains stable, showcasing China's sense of responsibility in the global community.

Xi Jinping stressed that China will continue to hold high the banner of true multilateralism, and stay connected with the world and abreast with the times. This way, we will contribute more to global development while pursuing our own development. China will not change course in its pursuit of a new system of open economy of higher standards, and China will not waver in its resolve to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. China's door of opening-up will only open wider, and will never be closed. China will continue to advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, strengthen infrastructure connectivity with other countries, and develop a green Silk Road and a digital Silk Road at a faster pace.

Xi Jinping announced that China will set up a Global Innovation and Knowledge Center for Sustainable Transport, as a contribution to global transport development.

In conclusion, Xi Jinping stressed that let us stick together on the promising path of connectivity and mutual benefit, jointly build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Ding Xuexiang, Liu He, Cai Qi, Wang Yi, He Lifeng and other officials attended the opening ceremony.

The second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference is held online and offline in Beijing from October 14 to 16. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and other leaders delivered speeches via video link upon invitation. Representatives from 171 countries attended the opening ceremony.