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China to provide $100m in additional aid for problems of refugee movement

Updated: Sep 20,2016 8:30 AM     Xinhua

UNITED NATIONS — Premier Li Keqiang said on Sept 19 that China will provide $100 million in additional humanitarian aid to help solve problems brought about by massive movement of refugees and migrants.

The aid, which is on top of China’ s previous pledges, would go to some relevant countries and international organizations.

Premier Li made the statement while addressing the Summit for Refugees and Migrants of the ongoing UN General Assembly that opened earlier last week.

The large movement of refugees and migrants concerns global peace and development, affects regional stability, and could trigger serious political, social and security concerns, the Premier said.

“We are committed to shouldering our responsibilities compatible with our abilities, and this is an act of justice,” Premier Li said.

“We did what we could to help, even when China was poor,” he said, adding that “now China has made great progress in its economy, but we still are a developing country.”

China is mulling further supporting measures, considering setting aside a portion of the China-UN peace and development fund to support developing countries in their efforts to address issues concerning refugees and migrants, Premier Li said.

China would also actively explore working with international institutions and developing countries on trilateral cooperation, he added.

The issue of refugees and migrants is a humanitarian crisis, testing human conscience, the Premier said.

The problem not only affects the development of countries that are concerned, put regional peace and stability in jeopardy, but also is a drag on global economic recovery, influence international order, and leave opportunities for terrorists to explore, he said.

While noting that the issue of refugees and migrants is a global one that “no country can stay immune to,” the Premier urged the international community to “act strongly to respond.”

“We are living in a global village, every life is precious, and the dignity of every person deserves being upheld,” Premier Li said.

While paying attention to the refugee crisis in Europe, the same attention should go to Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan and other countries, he added.

The Premier called for enhanced international cooperation to address the issue, and stressed the importance of formulating and implementing a comprehensive solution under the UN framework.

He also underscored the coordinating role of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in solving the issue concerning refugees and migrants.

Premier Li pointed to “mobilizing fund and relief to ensure the basic daily need of the refugees” as the top priority, and called for a fight against human trafficking and terrorism.

In addressing the issue, “history and national circumstances must be taken into account, and each should shoulder its respective responsibilities,” the Premier said.

The problem cannot be solved without the efforts of the countries where the issue of refugees and migrants is started, he said.

While noting this is the first UN meeting on large movement of refugees and migrants since the bloc’ s founding, Premier Li hopes the meeting would be a new start for all parties to reach consensus and join hands to solve the issue.

On the sidelines of the UN conference, the Premier will meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and hold talks with leaders of some countries.

During his stay in New York, Premier Li is also expected to hold a bilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama, meet local figures in the fields of economy, finance, think tanks and media, and attend events held by institutions including the Economic Club of New York.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the restoration of China’s seat in the UN.

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