China pledges to help refugee crises
2016-09-23, ZHAO HUANXIN and HU YONGQI

China pledged $100 million in humanitarian aid on Sept 19 to help countries and international organizations to resolve refugee and migrant crises, and will consider additional support measures.

The vow was made by Premier Li Keqiang when he addressed a meeting at the United Nations in New York on refugees and migrants.

Li said China would also consider using part of the China-UN peace and development fund to support refugee and migrant work in developing countries, and to explore ways to enhance cooperation with developing countries and international agencies.

President Xi Jinping announced China’s decision to establish a 10-year, $1 billion China-UN peace and development fund during the 70th session of the UN General Assembly last year.

Li said resolution of the refugee and migrant issue calls for ramped up international cooperation and efforts by the native countries of refugees and migrants. He said China has actively joined efforts to resolve refugee and migrant issues.

The number of displaced people reached a record 65.3 million at the end of last year, an increase of more than 5 million from 2014, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. They include 21.3 million refugees, 3.2 million asylum seekers and 40.8 million migrants.

Opening the daylong session, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged world leaders to commit to “upholding the rights and dignity of everyone forced by circumstance to flee their homes in search of a better life”.

Li arrived in New York with his wife, Cheng Hong, on Sept 18. This was his first visit to the UN headquarters as premier.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the restoration of China’s rightful seat at the UN. China was one of the founding members of the international organization, but until 1971 its seat was held, with help from the United States and its allies, by authorities of China’s island of Taiwan.

In July, Li met with Ban, and in August he met with Peter Thomson, president of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, when they visited Beijing.

During his four-day stay in New York, Li offered China’s viewpoints on major issues regarding the international order, global governance, and peace and development.

“An active supporter of all causes of the UN, China strongly defends the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and actively participates in the work of the UN as a permanent member of its Security Council,” Li said upon his arrival. “China is willing to work with all sides to make contributions to better address global challenges and promote world peace and development.”

Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the UN, said Li’s visit would offer measures to help promote peace and development throughout the international community.


Hong Xiao and Xinhua contributed to this story.

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