SHENZHEN — China has made extraordinary progress since the reform and opening-up drive started 40 years ago, and its experience is very useful for other countries, according to a UN official.
Nicholas Rosellini, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in China, made the remarks in a recent interview with Xinhua during a visit to Shenzhen, a boomtown in South China’s Guangdong province.
“The number of people lifted out of poverty during the 40 years is truly impressive. But what is also truly impressive is China’s investment in human development including health, education, and social protection,” Rosellini said, adding the human development index has gone up very strongly in China.
“Human development has been very positive in China. China is committed to solving the problem of unbalanced development. We have seen the targeted anti-poverty program, which is really helping people in remote areas and groups that have been left behind,” he said.
Rosellini also mentioned that in terms of tackling the problems of the environment, achievements made in treating air, water and soil pollution are very encouraging.
“It is not just the government’s response in China, but also internationally, where China has been a champion of the stages and a proponent of the Paris Agreement on climate change,” he added.
“I think there is a lot of experience and knowledge in China, which is very useful to other countries,” he said, adding that he has often been asked by visitors to China about what they can learn from China’s poverty reduction experience, or its industrialization experience.
He said the UN has been working closely with governments across the world to provide support in light of China’s knowledge and customize it in a way that is relevant to other countries.
In terms of the Belt and Road Initiative, Rosellini affirmed investments and resources that have been put into countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, saying that many fragile states benefited from those investments.
“It also is a very good opportunity in terms of contributing to the sustainable development goals. It is very important that investments in the Belt and Road are consistent and within the framework of the sustainable development goals,” he said.
Rosellini said the initiative has not only gotten economic returns, but also had a positive social impact. He also emphasized that communications and transparency in cooperation between partner countries are important.
“I think the Belt and Road — by bringing countries together, by helping accelerate human development, as well as economic development — is a very important tool for improving globalization around the world,” he said. “We need to have countries like China, who take a global view and who are investing in other countries’ future as well as their own future.”